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Title: A Novel Dual-Step Nucleation Pathway in Crystalline Solids under Neutron Irradiation

Abstract

Innovations in nanostructuring of inorganic crystalline solids are often limited by prerequisite critical nucleation energy and solute supersaturation for formation of a phase. This research provides direct evidence supporting the viability of an unconventional irradiation-induced nanostructuring process, via transmission electron microscopy, that circumvents these preconditions. Using polymorphic silicon carbide (SiC) as a prototype, a surprising two-step nucleation route is demonstrated through which nanoscale distribution of the second phase is achieved by reaction of solutes with neutron irradiation-induced precursors. In the first step, nanoscale α–SiC precipitates in a β–SiC matrix unexpectedly nucleate heterogeneously at structural defects. This occurs at significantly lower temperatures compared with the usual β→α transition temperature. Subsequently, α–SiC precipitate acts as a surrogate template for its structural and compositional transition into a fission product precipitate, palladium silicide. These discoveries provide a modern view of irradiation engineering in polymorphic ceramics for advanced applications.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Contributing Org.:
EMN-HyMARC
OSTI Identifier:
1469359
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-17-42957-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322; PII: 18548
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Meher, Subhashish, van Rooyen, Isabella J., and Lillo, Thomas M. A Novel Dual-Step Nucleation Pathway in Crystalline Solids under Neutron Irradiation. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18548-8.
Meher, Subhashish, van Rooyen, Isabella J., & Lillo, Thomas M. A Novel Dual-Step Nucleation Pathway in Crystalline Solids under Neutron Irradiation. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18548-8.
Meher, Subhashish, van Rooyen, Isabella J., and Lillo, Thomas M. Mon . "A Novel Dual-Step Nucleation Pathway in Crystalline Solids under Neutron Irradiation". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18548-8. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1469359.
@article{osti_1469359,
title = {A Novel Dual-Step Nucleation Pathway in Crystalline Solids under Neutron Irradiation},
author = {Meher, Subhashish and van Rooyen, Isabella J. and Lillo, Thomas M.},
abstractNote = {Innovations in nanostructuring of inorganic crystalline solids are often limited by prerequisite critical nucleation energy and solute supersaturation for formation of a phase. This research provides direct evidence supporting the viability of an unconventional irradiation-induced nanostructuring process, via transmission electron microscopy, that circumvents these preconditions. Using polymorphic silicon carbide (SiC) as a prototype, a surprising two-step nucleation route is demonstrated through which nanoscale distribution of the second phase is achieved by reaction of solutes with neutron irradiation-induced precursors. In the first step, nanoscale α–SiC precipitates in a β–SiC matrix unexpectedly nucleate heterogeneously at structural defects. This occurs at significantly lower temperatures compared with the usual β→α transition temperature. Subsequently, α–SiC precipitate acts as a surrogate template for its structural and compositional transition into a fission product precipitate, palladium silicide. These discoveries provide a modern view of irradiation engineering in polymorphic ceramics for advanced applications.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-017-18548-8},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

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