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Title: Ionization-induced annealing of pre-existing defects in silicon carbide

A long-standing objective in materials research is to find innovative ways to remove preexisting damage and heal fabrication defects or environmentally induced defects in materials. Silicon carbide (SiC) is a fascinating wide-band gap semiconductor for high-temperature, high-power, high-frequency applications. Its high corrosion and radiation resistance makes it a key refractory/structural material with great potential for extremely harsh radiation environments. Here we show that the energy transferred to the electron system of SiC by energetic ions via inelastic ionization processes results in a highly localized thermal spike that can effectively heal preexisting defects and restore the structural order. This work reveals an innovative self-healing process using highly ionizing ions, and it describes a critical aspect to be considered in modeling SiC performance as either a functional or a structural material for device applications or high-radiation environments.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science & Technology Division; Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science & Technology Division
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science & Technology Division; Univ. of Helsinki (Finland). Dept. of Physics
  4. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering; Shandong Univ., Jinan (China). Key Lab. of Particle Physics and Particle Irradiation (MOE), School of Physics
  5. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1210134
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE silicon carbide; ionization; self-healing; irradiation; defects; molecular dynamics