Estimate for thermal diffusivity in highly irradiated tungsten using molecular dynamics simulation

DR Mason and A Reza and F Granberg and F Hofmann, PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS, 5, 125407 (2021).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.125407

The changing thermal conductivity of an irradiated material is among the principal design considerations for any nuclear reactor, but at present few models are capable of predicting these changes starting from an arbitrary atomistic model. Here we present a simple model for computing the thermal diffusivity of tungsten, based on the conductivity of the perfect crystal and resistivity per Frenkel pair, and dividing a simulation into perfect and athermal regions statistically. This is applied to highly irradiated microstructures simulated with molecular dynamics. A comparison to experiments shows that simulations closely track observed thermal diffusivity over a range of doses from the dilute limit of a few Frenkel pairs to the high-dose saturation limit at three displacements per atom (dpa).

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