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Title: Temperature dependence of the radiation tolerance of nanocrystalline pyrochlores A2Ti2O7 (A = Gd, Ho and Lu)

A potentially enhanced radiation resistance of nanocrystalline materials, as a consequence of the high density of interfaces and surfaces, has attracted much attention both to understand the fundamental role of these defect sinks and to develop them for high-radiation environments. Here, irradiation response of nanocrystalline A2Ti2O7 (A = Gd, Ho and Lu) pyrochlore powders with grain sizes of 20–30 nm was investigated by 1-MeV Kr2+ ion bombardment. In situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the critical amorphization fluence for each nanocrystalline compound at room temperature was greater than that for their coarse-grained counterparts, indicating an enhanced amorphization resistance. The effect of temperature on the irradiation response of one of these compounds, nanocrystalline Lu2Ti2O7, was further examined by performing ion irradiation at an elevated temperature range of 480–600 K. The critical amorphization temperature (Tc) was found to be noticeably higher in nanocrystalline Lu2Ti2O7 (610 K) than its coarse-grained counterpart (480 K), revealing that nanocrystalline Lu2Ti2O7 is less resistant to amorphization compared to its coarse-grained phase under high temperatures. We interpret these results with the aid of atomistic simulations. Molecular statics calculations find that cation antisite defects are less energetically costly to form near surfaces than in the bulk, suggesting thatmore » the nanocrystalline form of these materials is generally less susceptible to amorphization than coarse-grained counterparts at low temperatures where defect kinetics are negligible. In contrast, at high temperatures, the annealing efficiency of antisite defects by cation interstitials is significantly reduced due to the sink properties of the surfaces in the nanocrystalline pyrochlore, which contributes to the observed higher amorphization temperature in the nano-grained phase than in coarse-grained counterpart. Altogether, these results provide new insight into the behavior of nanocrystalline materials under irradiation.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Lanzhou Univ., Gansu (China)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Lanzhou Univ., Gansu (China)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1359-6454
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; AC04-94AL85000; AC02-06CH11357
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Acta Materialia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 110; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1359-6454
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1329963