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Title: First-principles study on the interaction of nitrogen atom with α–uranium: From surface adsorption to bulk diffusion

Experimental studies of nitriding on uranium surfaces show that the modified layers provide considerable protection against air corrosion. The bimodal distribution of nitrogen is affected by both its implantation and diffusion, and the diffusion of nitrogen during implantation is also governed by vacancy trapping. In the present paper, nitrogen adsorption, absorption, diffusion, and vacancy trapping on the surface of and in the bulk of α–uranium are studied with a first-principles density functional theory approach and the climbing image nudged elastic band method. The calculated results indicate that, regardless of the nitrogen coverage, a nitrogen atom prefers to reside at the hollow1 site and octahedral (Oct) site on and below the surface, respectively. The lowest energy barriers for on-surface and penetration diffusion occur at a coverage of 1/2 monolayer. A nitrogen atom prefers to occupy the Oct site in bulk α–uranium. High energy barriers are observed during the diffusion between neighboring Oct sites. A vacancy can capture its nearby interstitial nitrogen atom with a low energy barrier, providing a significant attractive nitrogen-vacancy interaction at the trapping center site. This study provides a reference for understanding the nitriding process on uranium surfaces.
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Department of Applied Physics, Hunan University, Changsha 410082 (China)
  2. Science and Technology on Surface Physics and Chemistry Laboratory, P.O. Box 718-35, Mianyang 621907 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22273544
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 16; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ABSORPTION; ADSORPTION; ATOMS; CORROSION; DENSITY FUNCTIONAL METHOD; DIFFUSION BARRIERS; LAYERS; NITROGEN; SURFACES; TRAPPING; URANIUM; VACANCIES