Charge influence on point defect interactions with xenon bubbles in uranium dioxide

L Yang and BD Wirth, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 128, 025102 (2020).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0008653

The interaction of xenon (Xe) bubbles with small self-defects in uranium dioxide (UO2) has been studied using molecular statics simulations. The results show that the pressure and size of bubbles have a minimal impact on the heterogeneity of the interaction between a charge neutral Xe bubble and charged point defects, while the local charge distribution around the bubble overwhelmingly determines the interaction strength and critical interaction distance. The charge effect on the interactions between Xe bubbles and defects was further confirmed by assessing the point defect interaction energies with negatively or positively charged Xe bubbles. The Xe density, or pressure, has a much smaller effect on the interaction energy between charged bubbles and small defects at least for low and medium pressure bubbles. The interactions between charged Xe bubbles and point defects basically follow the Coulomb electrostatic interaction law, which is independent of the empirical potentials employed for the Xe-UO2 system in this work. Published under license by AIP Publishing.

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