Lattice defects generated by radiation damage can diffuse to grain boundaries (GBs) and be annihilated at GBs. However, the precise role of GBs in annihilating the segregated defects remains unclear. Here, we employed multi-scale models to determine how interstitials are annihilated at small-angle tilt GBs (STGBs) in SiC. First of all, we found the pipe diffusion of interstitials in STGBs is slower than bulk diffusion. This is because the increased interatomic distance at dislocation cores raises the migration barrier of interstitial dumbbells. Furthermore, we found both the annihilation of interstitials at jogs and jog nucleation from clusters are diffusion-controlled and can occur under off-stoichiometric interstitial fluxes. Finally, a dislocation line model is developed to predict the role of STGBs in annihilating radiation damage. This model includes defect flux to GBs, pipe diffusion in STGBs, and the interaction of defects with jogs. The model predicts the role of STGBs in annihilating defects depends on the rate of defects segregation to and diffusion along STGBs. STGBs mainly serve as diffusion channel for defects to reach other sinks when defect diffusivity is high at boundaries. When defect diffusivity is low, most of the defects segregated to STGBs are annihilated by dislocation climb.
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