Correlating TEM images of damage in irradiated materials to molecular dynamics simulations
TEM image simulations are used to couple the results from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to experimental TEM images. In particular we apply this methodology to the study of defects produced during irradiation. MD simulations have shown that irradiation of FCC metals results in a population of vacancies and interstitials forming clusters. The limitation of these simulations is the short time scales available, on the order of 100 s of picoseconds. Extrapolation of the results from these short times to the time scales of the laboratory has been difficult. We address this problem by two methods: we perform TEM image simulations of MID simulations of cascades with an improved technique, to relate defects produced at short time scales with those observed experimentally at much longer time scales. On the other hand we perform in situ TEM experiments of An irradiated at liquid-nitrogen temperatures, and study the evolution,of the produced damage as the temperature is increased to room temperature. We find that some of the defects observed in the MD simulations at short time scales using the TEM image simulation technique have features that resemble those observed in laboratory TEM images of irradiated samples. In situ TEM shows that stacking fault tetrahedra are present at the lowest temperatures and are stable during annealing up to room temperature,. while other defect clusters migrate one dimensionally above -100 degreesC. Results are presented here. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.