skip to main content


Title: Irradiation-induced formation of a spinel phase at the FeCr/MgO interface

Oxide dispersion strengthened ferritic/martensitic alloys have attracted significant attention for their potential uses in future nuclear reactors and storage vessels, as the metal/oxide interfaces act as stable high-strength sinks for point defects while also dispersing helium. Here, in order to unravel the evolution and interplay of interface structure and chemistry upon irradiation in these types of materials, an atomically sharp FeCr/MgO interface was synthesized at 500 °C and separately annealed and irradiated with Ni 3+ ions at 500 °C. After annealing, a slight enrichment of Cr atoms was observed at the interface, but no other structural changes were found. However, under irradiation, sufficient Cr diffuses across the interface into the MgO to form a Cr-enriched transition layer that contains spinel precipitates. First-principles calculations indicate that it is energetically favorable to incorporate Cr, but not Fe, substitutionally into MgO. Furthermore, our results indicate that irradiation can be used to form new phases and complexions at interfaces, which may have different radiation tolerance than the pristine structures.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  4. New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1359-6454; PII: S1359645415002189
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Acta Materialia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 93; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1359-6454
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; metal/oxide interfaces; spinel phase; DFT calculations
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1251005