What organization of condensed matter does resist irradiation, as a function of irradiation conditions? How to characterize the latter? We survey the advances in the field during the past three decades, when irradiation effects reduce to nuclear collisions. While in simple cases (structure defined by a scalar order parameter) one may define a stochastic potential, which yields the stationary states of the compounds under irradiation and their respective stability, in more general cases, we are left with brute force atomistic simulations to explore materials' behaviour as a function of irradiation conditions. Special attention is given to the kinetics of concentration fields under irradiation, a question with several practical implications. We conclude that irradiation conditions are best defined by three parameters: the cascade features (number of displacements and replacements, length of replacement sequences, ...), the frequency of cascade occurrence, and the cumulated dose. We suggest cascade features be named '(elementary) dose' and the cascade occurrence frequency 'dose rate'. To cite this article: G. Martin, P. Bellon, C. R. Physique 9 (2008).
- Complex materials
- Radiation damage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy