Dynamic self-organization in Cu alloys under ion irradiation

S. W. Chee, B. Stumphy, N. Q. Vo, R. S. Averback, P. Bellon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phase separation in dilute Cu(1-x)Mx films under irradiation with 1.8 MeV Kr+ ions at elevated temperatures has been studied for 0.10 < x < 0.15 and M = Ag, Co, Fe, Mo and Nb. In all systems compositional patterning was observed on a mesoscopic length scale within a fixed temperature interval. At lower temperatures most of the alloys formed nearly homogeneous solid solutions, while at higher temperatures these same alloys underwent macroscopic phase separation. The upper temperature limit for patterning increased with decreasing solute diffusivity in the Cu matrix, reported in the absence of irradiation. The heat of mixing of the alloy, however, also played a role in the patterning behavior. For Cu90Mo10, which has a high positive heat of mixing, no upper or lower temperature limits for patterning were observed. Molecular dynamics computer simulations reported here explain why Cu90Mo10 behaves differently from the other alloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4088-4099
Number of pages12
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Copper alloys
  • Nanocrystalline materials
  • Phase separation
  • Radiation effects
  • Self-organization and patterning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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