Molecular dynamics simulation of displacement cascades in Cu and Ni: Thermal spike behavior

T. Diaz De La Rubia, R. S. Averback, Horngming Hsieh, R. Benedek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molecular dynamics simulations of energetic displacement cascades in Cu and Ni were performed with primary-knock-on-atom (PKA) energies up to 5 Kev. The interatomic forces were represented by the Gibson II (Cu) and the Johnson-Erginsoy (Ni) potentials. Our results indicate that the primary state of damage produced by displacement cascades is controlled basically by two phenomena: replacement collision sequences during the ballistic phase, and melting and resolidification during the thermal spike. The thermal-spike phase is of longer duration and has a more marked effect in Cu than in Ni. Results for atomic mixing, defect production, and defect clustering are presented and compared with experiment. Simulations of 'heat spikes' in these metals suggest a model for 'cascade collapse' based on the regrowth kinetics of the molten cascade core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-586
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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