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Computer simulation of point defect properties in dilute Fe-Cu alloy using a many-body interatomic potential

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-732
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophical Magazine A: Physics of Condensed Matter, Structure, Defects and Mechanical Properties
Volume75
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997

Abstract

The behaviour of copper atoms in dilute solution in α-iron is important for the microstructural changes that occur in ferritic pressure vessel steels under fastneutron irradiation. To investigate the properties of atomic defects that control this behaviour, a set of many-body interatomic potentials has been developed for the Fe-Cu system. The procedures employed, including modifications to ensure suitability for simulating atomic collisions at high energy, are described. The effect of copper on the lattice parameter of iron in the new model is in good agreement with experiment. The phonon properties of the pure crystals and, in particular, the influence of the instability of the metastable, bcc phase of copper that precipitates during irradiation are discussed. The properties of point defects have been investigated. It is found that the vacancy has lower formation and migration energy in bcc copper than in α-iron, and the self-interstitial atom has very low formation energy in this phase of copper. The threshold displacement energy in iron has been computed as a function of recoil orientation for both iron-and copper-atom recoils. The differences between the energy for the two species are small.

    Research areas

  • ENERGY DISPLACEMENT EVENTS, PRESSURE-VESSEL STEELS, EMBEDDED ATOM METHOD, MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, POSITRON-ANNIHILATION, ELASTIC-CONSTANTS, HCP METALS, BCC METALS, COPPER, IRON

ID: 11394060