Reduction of dislocation, mean free path, and migration barriers using high entropy alloy: insights from the atomistic study of irradiation damage of CoNiCrFeMn

YG Li and R Li and Q Peng and S Ogata, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 31, 425701 (2020).

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/ab9cf5

High entropy alloy has attracted extensive attention in nuclear energy due to outstanding irradiation resistance, partially due to sluggish diffusion. The mechanism from a defect-generation perspective, however, has received much less attention. In this paper, the formation of dislocation loops, and migration of interstitials and vacancies in CoNiCrFeMn high entropy alloy under consecutive bombardments were studied by molecular dynamics simulations. Compared to pure Ni, less defects were produced in the CoNiCrFeMn. Only a few small dislocation loops were observed, and the length of dislocation was small. The dislocation loops in Ni matrix were obviously longer and so was the length of dislocation. The interstitial clusters had much smaller mean free path during migration in the CoNiCrFeMn. The mean free path of 10-interstitial clusters in CoNiCrFeMn was reduced over 40 times compared to that in pure Ni. In addition, CoNiCrFeMn had a smaller difference of migration energy between interstitial and vacancy, which increased the opportunity of recombination of defects, therefore, led to less defects and much fewer dislocation loops. Our results provide insights into the mechanism of irradiation resistance in the high entropy alloy and could be useful in material design for irradiation tolerance and accident tolerance materials in nuclear energy.

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