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Transition metal solute interactions with point defects in fcc iron from first principles

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Original languageEnglish
Article number014110
Number of pages19
JournalPhysical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2015

Abstract

We present a comprehensive set of first-principles electronic structure calculations of the properties of substitutional transition metal solutes and point defects in austenite (face-centered cubic, paramagnetic Fe). Clear trends were observed in these quantities across the transition metal series, with solute-defect interactions strongly related to atomic size, and only weakly related to more subtle details of magnetic or electronic structure. Oversized solutes act as strong traps for both vacancy and self-interstitial defects and as nucleation sites for the development of protovoids and small self-interstitial loops. The consequent reduction in defect mobility and net defect concentrations in the matrix explains the observation of reduced swelling and radiation-induced segregation. Our analysis of vacancy-mediated solute diffusion demonstrates that below about 400 K Ni and Co will be dragged by vacancies and their concentrations should be enhanced at defect sinks. Cr and Cu showopposite behavior and are depleted at defect sinks. The stable configuration of some oversized solutes is neither interstitial nor substitutional; rather they occupy two adjacent lattice sites. The diffusion of these solutes proceeds by a novel mechanism, which has important implications for the nucleation and growth of complex oxide nanoparticles contained in oxide dispersion strengthened steels. Interstitial-mediated solute diffusion is negligible for all except the magnetic solutes (Cr, Mn, Co, and Ni). Our results are consistent across several antiferromagnetic states and surprising qualitative similarities with ferromagnetic (body-centered cubic) Fe were observed; this implies that our conclusions will be valid for paramagnetic iron.

    Research areas

  • RADIATION-INDUCED SEGREGATION, AUGMENTED-WAVE METHOD, MINIMUM ENERGY PATHS, ELASTIC BAND METHOD, ALPHA-MANGANESE, IMPURITY DIFFUSION, MAGNETIC STRUCTURE, ELECTRON-IRRADIATION, OVERSIZED ELEMENTS, STAINLESS-STEEL

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