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Title: Damage-tolerant nanotwinned metals with nanovoids under radiation environments

Material performance in extreme radiation environments is central to the design of future nuclear reactors. Radiation induces significant damage in the form of dislocation loops and voids in irradiated materials, and continuous radiation often leads to void growth and subsequent void swelling in metals with low stacking fault energy. Here we show that by using in situ heavy ion irradiation in a transmission electron microscope, pre-introduced nanovoids in nanotwinned Cu efficiently absorb radiation-induced defects accompanied by gradual elimination of nanovoids, enhancing radiation tolerance of Cu. In situ studies and atomistic simulations reveal that such remarkable self-healing capability stems from high density of coherent and incoherent twin boundaries that rapidly capture and transport point defects and dislocation loops to nanovoids, which act as storage bins for interstitial loops. This study describes a counterintuitive yet significant concept: deliberate introduction of nanovoids in conjunction with nanotwins enables unprecedented damage tolerance in metallic materials.
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  1. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
  2. China Univ. of Petroleum, Beijing (China)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  4. Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723; ncomms8036
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; SC0010482; AC52-06NA25396
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
Country of Publication:
United States
physical sciences; materials science; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1239108