Precipitate stability in Cu-Ag-W system under high-temperature irradiation

Xuan Zhang, Shipeng Shu, Pascal Bellon, Robert S. Averback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract The kinetics of precipitation was investigated in the ternary Cu alloy, Cu83.5Ag15W1.5 during irradiation with MeV Kr ions at elevated temperatures. The alloy was prepared as a solid solution by physical vapor deposition and then irradiated at room temperature to create a high density of nano-sized W precipitates. These precipitates served as effective sinks for point defects during subsequent elevated-temperature irradiation, suppressing radiation-enhanced diffusion. As a consequence the size of the Ag precipitates formed during elevated-temperature irradiation was stabilized below 20 nm, up to temperatures in excess of 300 °C, thus significantly extending the regime for "compositional patterning" above 175 °C, found for Cu85Ag15. For higher temperature irradiations (above 400 °C), the role of the W precipitates in stabilizing the size of the Ag precipitates switched from simply acting as point-defect sinks to serving as pinning sites for the Ag precipitates. At 500 °C, the average Ag precipitate diameter is ∼30 nm compared to ∼300 nm in the Cu85Ag15 binary alloy. Rate theory calculations and kinetic Monte Carlo simulations are employed to illustrate how this transition takes place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12230
Pages (from-to)348-356
Number of pages9
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Jul 15 2015


  • Radiation damage
  • Radiation-enhanced diffusion
  • Radiation-enhanced precipitation
  • Self-organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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