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Vacancy effects on one-dimensional migration of interstitial clusters in iron under electron irradiation at low temperatures

Sato, Yuki*; Abe, Yosuke  ; Abe, Hiroaki*; Matsukawa, Yoshitaka*; Kano, Sho*; Onuki, Somei*; Hashimoto, Naoyuki*

We performed in situ observation of one-dimensional (1D) migration of self-interstitial atom (SIA) clusters in iron under electron irradiation at 110-300 K using high-voltage electron microscopy. Most 1D migration was stepwise positional changes of SIA clusters at irregular time intervals at all temperatures. The frequency of 1D migration did not depend on the irradiation temperature. It was directly proportional to the damage rate, suggesting that 1D migration was induced by electron irradiation. In contrast, the 1D migration distance depended on the temperature: distribution of the distance ranged over 100 nm above 250 K, decreased steeply between 250 and 150 K and was less than 20 nm below 150 K. The distance was independent of the damage rate at all temperatures. Next, we examined fluctuation in the interaction energy between an SIA cluster and vacancies of random distribution at concentrations $$10^{-4}$$-$$10^{-2}$$, using molecular statics simulations. The fluctuation was found to trap SIA clusters of 4 nm diameter at vacancy concentrations higher than $$10^{-3}$$. We proposed that 1D migration was interrupted by impurity atoms at temperatures higher than 250 K, and by vacancies accumulated at high concentration under electron irradiation at low temperatures where vacancies are not thermally mobile.

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Category:Materials Science, Multidisciplinary

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