Superconducting Cu/Nb nanolaminate by coded accumulative roll bonding and its helium damage characteristics

R Gao and MM Jin and F Han and BM Wang and XP Wang and QF Fang and YH Dong and C Sun and L Shao and MD Li and J Li, ACTA MATERIALIA, 197, 212-223 (2020).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2020.07.031

A very broad distribution of microstructural length scales spanning few nm- to the mu m-scale has proven effective to achieve exceptional materials properties. Here, we fabricate a Cu/Nb two-phase composite made of a hierarchically layered structure by modifying the conventional accumulative roll bonding (ARB) technique, where fresh Nb sheets are inserted and bonded during a repeated stacking and rolling process. This barcode-like multilayer with a designed hierarchical length scale distribution possesses densely distributed phase boundaries and rich interfacial structures. The composite demonstrates similar superconductivity characteristics as pure Nb, but is 3 x stronger, has theoretically better oxidation resistance, and retains considerable ductility. Under the helium irradiation environment, the unique interfacial structures featuring chemical intermixing zones (3-dimensional) are more immune to the formation of large helium clusters than atomically sharp interfaces (2-dimensional), screening them from radiation damage and improving their long-term mechanical integrity. This work signifies an effective strategy of constructing hierarchical laminates to achieve high-performance materials, which holds promise in fusion and fission energy applications. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Acta Materialia Inc.

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