Los Alamos National Laboratory

Center for
Materials at Irradiation and Mechanical Extremes
A BES Energy Frontier Research Center

Irradiation Extremes Thrust

Traditional structural materials degrade and fail under intense irradiation, but certain nanocomposites contain high volume fractions of “super sink” interfaces that allow these materials to self-heal.Understanding how radiation damage is trapped and removed at such interfaces will help in designing a new class of radiation-tolerant materials that would make future nuclear reactors maximally safe, sustainable, and efficient. This (movie/figure) shows the radiation damage evolution near a supersink interface formed by joining copper and niobium. Unlike in pure crystalline materials, the radiation-induced damage is completely absorbed by the interface.

blue: interface Cu
gray: interface Nb
yellow: high energy Cu atoms (including vacancies, interstitials, and the liquidlike material in the thermal spike core)
red: high energy Nb atoms

All perfect FCC and BCC atom environments removed for clarity.

blue: interface Cu
gray: interface Nb
yellow: high energy Cu atoms (including vacancies, interstitials, and the liquidlike material in the thermal spike core)
red: high energy Nb atoms

All perfect FCC and BCC atom environments removed for clarity.

 

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