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Atomic scale mobility of the volatile fission products Xe, Kr and I in cubic SiC

Abstract : The migration barriers for the vacancy-assisted migration of fission products in 3C-SiC are reported and analysed in the context of the five frequency model, which enables one to calculate an effective diffusion coefficient from elementary mechanisms. Calculations were carried out using the nudged elastic band method (NEB) with interatomic forces determined from density functional theory (DFT). Justification for treating vacancy-assisted fission product migration as limited to the FCC carbon sublattice is based on the stability of carbon vacancies, unfavourable silicon vacancy formation and the accommodation of fission products on the carbon sublattice. Results show that over the majority of the band gap the activation energy for I exceeds that of Xe which exceeds that of Kr. Results also indicate that activation energies are higher near the top of the band gap, thus, implying that enhanced fission product retention can be achieved through n-type doping of 3C-SiC, which limits the availability of the migration mediating carbon vacancies.
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M. Cooper, S. Kelly, M. Bertolus. Atomic scale mobility of the volatile fission products Xe, Kr and I in cubic SiC. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, 18 (25), pp.16902-16911. ⟨10.1039/c6cp01567k⟩. ⟨cea-02382416⟩

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