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Influence of chemical disorder on energy dissipation and defect evolution in advanced alloys

  • Yanwen Zhang (a1), Ke Jin (a1), Haizhou Xue (a2), Chenyang Lu (a3), Raina J. Olsen (a1), Laurent K. Beland (a1), Mohammad W. Ullah (a1), Shijun Zhao (a1), Hongbin Bei (a1), Dilpuneet S. Aidhy (a4), German D. Samolyuk (a1), Lumin Wang (a3), Magdalena Caro (a5), Alfredo Caro (a5), G. Malcolm Stocks (a1), Ben C. Larson (a1), Ian M. Robertson (a6), Alfredo A. Correa (a7) and William J. Weber (a8)...

Historically, alloy development with better radiation performance has been focused on traditional alloys with one or two principal element(s) and minor alloying elements, where enhanced radiation resistance depends on microstructural or nanoscale features to mitigate displacement damage. In sharp contrast to traditional alloys, recent advances of single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys (SP-CSAs) have opened up new frontiers in materials research. In these alloys, a random arrangement of multiple elemental species on a crystalline lattice results in disordered local chemical environments and unique site-to-site lattice distortions. Based on closely integrated computational and experimental studies using a novel set of SP-CSAs in a face-centered cubic structure, we have explicitly demonstrated that increasing chemical disorder can lead to a substantial reduction in electron mean free paths, as well as electrical and thermal conductivity, which results in slower heat dissipation in SP-CSAs. The chemical disorder also has a significant impact on defect evolution under ion irradiation. Considerable improvement in radiation resistance is observed with increasing chemical disorder at electronic and atomic levels. The insights into defect dynamics may provide a basis for understanding elemental effects on evolution of radiation damage in irradiated materials and may inspire new design principles of radiation-tolerant structural alloys for advanced energy systems.

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