Complex nanoprecipitate structures induced by irradiation in immiscible alloy systems

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We investigate the fundamentals of compositional patterning induced by energetic particle irradiation in model A-B substitutional binary alloys using kinetic Monte Carlo simulations. The study focuses on a type of nanostructure that was recently observed in dilute Cu-Fe and Cu-V alloys, where precipitates form within precipitates, a morphology that we term "cherry-pit" structures. The simulations show that the domain of stability of these cherry-pit structures depends on the thermodynamic and kinetic asymmetry between the A and B elements. In particular, both lower solubilities and diffusivities of A in B compared to those of B in A favor the stabilization of these cherry-pit structures for A-rich average compositions. The simulation results are rationalized by extending the analytic model introduced by Frost and Russell for irradiation-induced compositional patterning so as to include the possible formation of pits within precipitates. The simulations indicate also that the pits are dynamical structures that undergo nearly periodic cycles of nucleation, growth, and absorption by the matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144102
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 8 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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