We develop a multiscale approach to quantify the increase in the recombined fraction of point defects under irradiation resulting from dilute solute additions to a solid solution. This methodology provides design principles for radiation-resistant materials. Using an existing database of solute diffusivities, we identify Sb as one of the most efficient solutes for this purpose in a Cu matrix. We perform density-functional-theory calculations to obtain binding and migration energies of Sb atoms, vacancies, and self-interstitial atoms in various configurations. The computed data informs the self-consistent mean-field formalism to calculate transport coefficients, allowing us to make quantitative predictions of the recombined fraction of point defects as a function of temperature and irradiation rate using homogeneous rate equations. We identify two different mechanisms according to which solutes lead to an increase in the recombined fraction of point defects; at low temperature, solutes slow down vacancies (kinetic effect), while at high temperature, solutes stabilize vacancies in the solid solution (thermodynamic effect). Extension to other metallic matrices and solutes are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics