Scientific understanding of any kind of radiation effects starts from the primary damage, i.e. the defects that are produced right after an initial atomic displacement event initiated by a high-energy particle. In this Review, we consider the extensive experimental and computer simulation studies that have been performed over the past several decades on what the nature of the primary damage is. We review both the production of crystallographic or topological defects in materials as well as radiation mixing, i.e. the process where atoms in perfect crystallographic positions exchange positions with other ones in non-defective positions. All classes of materials except biological materials are considered. We also consider the recent effort to provide alternatives to the current international standard for quantifying this energetic particle damage, the Norgett-Robinson-Torrens displacements per atom (NRT-dpa) model for metals. We present in detail new complementary displacement production estimators (“athermal recombination corrected dpa” arc-dpa) and atomic mixing (“replacements per atom” rpa) functions that extend the NRT-dpa, and discuss their advantages and limitations.
- Defect production
- Displacement cascades
- Thermal spike
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering