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Title: Radiation tolerant nanocrystalline ZrN films under high dose heavy-ion irradiations

ZrN, a refractory ceramic material, finds many potential applications in advanced nuclear reactors. However, the grain size dependent radiation response in nanocrystalline (nc) ZrN under high dose heavy ion irradiation has not yet been studied to date. Here, we compare the radiation response of nc-ZrN films (with a respective average grain size of ∼9 and 31 nm) to Fe{sup 2+} ion irradiations up to a damage level of 10 displacements-per-atom (dpa). The ZrN film with the average grain size of 9 nm shows prominently enhanced radiation tolerance as evidenced by suppressed grain growth, alleviated radiation softening, as well as reduced variation in electrical resistivity. In contrast, ZrN with the larger average grain size of 31 nm shows prominent radiation softening and resistivity increase, attributed to the high density of defect cluster formed inside the grains. The influence of grain boundaries on enhanced irradiation tolerance in nc-ZrN is discussed.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Material Science and Engineering, Texas A and M University, College Station, Texas 77843 (United States)
  2. (United States)
  3. (China)
  4. Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A and M University, College Station, Texas 77843 (United States)
  5. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A and M University, College Station, Texas 77843 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22402855
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 14; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ATOMIC DISPLACEMENTS; CERAMICS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CRYSTALS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; GRAIN BOUNDARIES; GRAIN GROWTH; GRAIN SIZE; IRON IONS; IRRADIATION; NANOSTRUCTURES; RADIATION DOSES; RADIATION HARDNESS; REACTOR MATERIALS; THIN FILMS; ZIRCONIUM NITRIDES