Defect dynamics constitutes the foundation for describing microstructural evolution in any material systems for nuclear applications, including body-centered cubic γ-U, Mo, and their alloys. However, defect properties and evolution, and the impact of a large atomic size mismatch between U and Mo atoms on defect dynamics have not been elucidated. In this work, we use molecular dynamics to extensively examine composition-dependent defect behavior in U-Mo alloys and the pure metals. It has been found that point defect migration is strongly correlated and mediated by minor atoms via preferential paths in alloys. Interstitial dumbbells migrate three-dimensionally through the major atoms with a preferred 〈110〉 configuration. Vacancies are less mobile than interstitials, but become comparable (one order of magnitude difference in diffusivity) in U-rich systems. Overall, compared with the pure metals, defect diffusivity can be tuned up or down based on the alloy composition. Finally, interstitial clustering is found to be unfavorable in U-rich systems, as opposed to Mo which exhibits an efficient formation of interstitial-type dislocation loop with 1D diffusion mode. These findings not only provide necessary input to high-fidelity meso-scale simulations of microstructural evolution in these systems, but also have important implications towards explaining radiation effects influenced by the dimensionality and rates of defect diffusion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering