Significant microstructural damage, in the form of defect clusters, typically occurs in metals subjected to heavy ion irradiation. High angle grain boundaries (GBs) have long been postulated as sinks for defect clusters, like dislocation loops. Here, we provide direct evidence, via in situ Kr ion irradiation within a transmission electron microscope, that high angle GBs in nanocrystalline (NC) Ni, with an average grain size of ~55 nm, can effectively absorb irradiation-induced dislocation loops and segments. These high angle GBs significantly reduce the density and size of irradiation-induced defect clusters in NC Ni compared to their bulk counterparts, and thus NC Ni achieves significant enhancement of irradiation tolerance.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science|
|State||Published - Apr 2013|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge financial support by the DOE-NEUP under contract no. DE-AC07-05ID14517-00088120. Partial support by the US Army Research Office—Materials Science Division—is also acknowledged under contract no. W911NF-09-1-0223. We also thank John Hirth and Lin Shao for their helpful discussions.