Determination of Vacancy Formation Energies in Binary UZr Alloys Using Special Quasirandom Structure Methods

D Vizoso and C Deo, FRONTIERS IN MATERIALS, 8, 692660 (2021).

DOI: 10.3389/fmats.2021.692660

The use of predictive models to examine defect production and migration in metallic systems requires a thorough understanding of the energetics of defect formation and migration. In fully miscible alloys, atomistic properties will all have a range of values that are heavily dependent on local atomic configurations. In this work we have used the atomistic simulation tool Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) to investigate the impact of first nearest neighbor configuration on vacancy formation energies at 0 K in gamma-U-Zr alloys of varying Zr concentrations. The properties of randomly generated alloy microstructures were also compared with those produced as special quasi- random structures (SQS) using the "mcsqs" code within the Alloy Theoretic Automated Toolkit. Results have confirmed that local configuration can have a significant impact on measured properties and must be considered when characterizing miscible alloy systems. Results also indicated that the generation method of the random structure (i.e., via random species assignment or a method of enforced randomness) does not result in a measurable difference in average vacancy formation energies in miscible U-Zr systems.

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