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Radiation endurance in Al2O3 nanoceramics

Abstract : The lack of suitable materials solutions stands as a major challenge for the development of advanced nuclear systems. Most issues are related to the simultaneous action of high temperatures, corrosive environments and radiation damage. Oxide nanoceramics are a promising class of materials which may benefit from the radiation tolerance of nanomaterials and the chemical compatibility of ceramics with many highly corrosive environments. Here, using thin films as a model system, we provide new insights into the radiation tolerance of oxide nanoceramics exposed to increasing damage levels at 600 °C –namely 20, 40 and 150 displacements per atom. Specifically, we investigate the evolution of the structural features, the mechanical properties, and the response to impact loading of Al2O3 thin films. Initially, the thin films contain a homogeneous dispersion of nanocrystals in an amorphous matrix. Irradiation induces crystallization of the amorphous phase, followed by grain growth. Crystallization brings along an enhancement of hardness, while grain growth induces softening according to the Hall-Petch effect. During grain growth, the excess mechanical energy is dissipated by twinning. The main energy dissipation mechanisms available upon impact loading are lattice plasticity and localized amorphization. These mechanisms are available in the irradiated material, but not in the as-deposited films.
Keywords : nanoceramics Radiation
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 12:29:31 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 10:41:52 PM

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F. García Ferré, A. Mairov, L. Ceseracciu, Y. Serruys, P. Trocellier, et al.. Radiation endurance in Al2O3 nanoceramics. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 6 (1), ⟨10.1038/srep33478⟩. ⟨cea-02380636⟩



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