Volume 2, Issue 8 (September 2005)
Correlated Formation and Stability of SIA Loops and Stacking Fault Tetrahedra in High Energy Displacement Cascades in Copper
Atomistic modeling was conducted for an investigation of primary damage creation, self-interstitial and vacancy clusters formation, and their stability in high energy displacement cascades in copper. The simulations were carried out for a wide range of temperatures (100 K ≤ T ≤ 900 K) and primary knock-on atom (PKA) energies 5 keV ≤ Epka ≤ 25 keV. This study of over 400 cascades is the largest yet reported for this metal. At least 20 cascades for each (Epka, T) pair were simulated in order to ensure statistical reliability of the results. The number of surviving point defects for each cascade and the mean value for cascades at the same temperature and PKA energy were found. The corresponding fraction of self-interstitial atoms (SIA) in dislocation loops and vacancies in stacking fault tetrahedron (SFT)-like clusters was calculated. Strong spatial and size correlation of SFTs and SIA clusters at low temperatures were established.
In the context of high dose irradiation and the spatial overlap of displacement cascades, the stability of SFTs and dislocation loops inside an overlapping cascade region was investigated. It was observed that an SFT destroyed in the collision phase by a cascade is always recreated. On being completely enveloped by the region of displaced atoms, both SFT and SIA dislocation loops are destroyed with corresponding decrease of the number of residual point defects, whereas partial overlapping leads to increase in size of both types of cluster.