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Title: Advances in Understanding of Swift Heavy-Ion Tracks in Complex Ceramics

Tracks produced by swift heavy ions in ceramics are of interest for fundamental science as well as for applications covering different fields such as nanotechnology or fission-track dating of minerals. In the case of pyrochlores with general formula A2B2O7, the track structure and radiation sensitivity shows a clear dependence on the composition. Ion irradiated Gd2Zr2O7, e.g., retains its crystallinity while amorphous tracks are produced in Gd2Ti2O7. Tracks in Ti-containing compositions have a complex morphology consisting of an amorphous core surrounded by a shell of a disordered, defect-fluorite phase. The size of the amorphous core decreases with decreasing energy loss and with increasing Zr content, while the shell thickness seems to be similar over a wide range of energy loss values. The large data set and the complex track structure has made pyrochlore an interesting model system for a general theoretical description of track formation including thermal spike calculations (providing the spatial and temporal evolution of temperature around the ion trajectory) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations (describing the response of the atomic system).Recent MD advances consider the sudden temperature increase by inserting data from the thermal spike. The combination allows the reproduction of the core-shell track characteristic and sheds light onmore » the early stages of track formation including recrystallization of the molten material produced by the thermal spike.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science, 19(1):39-48
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
ion tracks; swift heavy ion; ceramic; thermal spike; molecular dynamics; electron microscopy; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory