Novel nanoscale precipitate structures in ion-irradiated Cu1-xVx alloys: Cherry-pit formation

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The nanoscale precipitation induced by 1.8 MeV ion irradiation in Cu1-xV x thin films, with x ≈ 0.09 and 0.91, was studied by atom probe tomography. For the Cu91V9 alloys, irradiation in the range of 300-500 °C led to steady-state compositional patterning of V-rich nanoprecipitates. V nanoprecipitates larger than ∼10 nm in diameter, moreover, contained Cu-rich cores, resulting in an unusual cherry-pit nanostructure. The number of these pits within one precipitate increased with the precipitate size, but with the volume fraction of pits within a given precipitate remaining roughly constant, from ∼1.5 to 5%. Similar irradiations performed on V91Cu9 also resulted in an enhanced precipitation reaction, but with smaller Cu-rich nanoprecipitates, <3 nm in diameter, and no cherry pits. These results are rationalized using recent atomistic simulations that have explored the conditions for stabilizing by ion irradiation cherry-pit nanostructures in immiscible A-B alloy systems, such as Cu-V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-178
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 3 2014


  • Cu
  • nanostructure
  • radiation effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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