skip to main content

Title: An in situ study on Kr ion–irradiated crystalline Cu/amorphous-CuNb nanolaminates
Nanocrystalline and nanolaminated materials show enhanced radiation tolerance compared with their coarse-grained counterparts, since grain boundaries and layer interfaces act as effective defect sinks. Although the effects of layer interface and layer thickness on radiation tolerance of crystalline nanolaminates have been systematically studied, radiation response of crystalline/amorphous nanolaminates is rarely investigated. In this study, we show that irradiation can lead to formation of nanocrystals and nanotwins in amorphous CuNb layers in Cu/amorphous-CuNb nanolaminates. Substantial element segregation is observed in amorphous CuNb layers after irradiation. In Cu layers, both stationary and migrating grain boundaries effectively interact with defects. Furthermore, there is a clear size effect on irradiation-induced crystallization and grain coarsening. In situ studies also show that crystalline/amorphous interfaces can effectively absorb defects without drastic microstructural change, and defect absorption by grain boundary and crystalline/amorphous interface is compared and discussed. Our results show that tailoring layer thickness can enhance radiation tolerance of crystalline/amorphous nanolaminates and can provide insights for constructing crystalline/amorphous nanolaminates under radiation environment.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1728419
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10187907
Journal Name:
Journal of Materials Research
Volume:
34
Issue:
13
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2218 to 2228
ISSN:
0884-2914
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Ion irradiation is a versatile tool to introduce controlled defects into two-dimensional (2D) MoS2on account of its unique spatial resolution and plethora of ion types and energies available. In order to fully realise the potential of this technique, a holistic understanding of ion-induced defect production in 2D MoS2crystals of different thicknesses is mandatory. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron diffraction and Raman spectroscopy show that thinner MoS2crystals are more susceptible to radiation damage caused by 225 keV Xe+ions. However, the rate of defect production in quadrilayer and bulk crystals is not significantly different under our experimental conditions. The rate at whichmore »S atoms are sputtered as a function of radiation exposure is considerably higher for monolayer MoS2, compared to bulk crystals, leading to MoO3formation. P-doping of MoS2is observed and attributed to the acceptor states introduced by vacancies and charge transfer interactions with adsorbed species. Moreover, the out-of-plane vibrational properties of irradiated MoS2crystals are shown to be strongly thickness-dependent: in mono- and bilayer MoS2, the confinement of phonons by defects results in a blueshift of theA1gmode. Whereas, a redshift is observed in bulk crystals due to attenuation of the effective restoring forces acting on S atoms caused by vacancies in adjacent MoS2layers. Consequently, theA1gfrequency of tri- and quadrilayer crystals is statistically invariant on account oft competition between phonon confinement effects and interlayer interactions. TheA1glinewidth is observed to decrease in bi- and trilayer crystals after low dose irradiation and is attributed to layer decoupling. This work shows that there is a complex interplay between defect production, crystal thickness and interlayer interactions in MoS2. Our results demonstrate that ion irradiation is an effective tool to modulate the electronic, vibrational and structural properties of MoS2, which may prove beneficial for practical applications.

    « less
  2. Nanocrystalline metals have shown enhanced radiation tolerance as grain boundaries serve as effective defect sinks for removing radiation-induced defects. However, the thermal and radiation stability of nanograins are of concerns since radiation may induce grain boundary migration and grain coarsening in nanocrystalline metals when the grain size falls in the range of several to tens of nanometers. In addition, prior in situ radiation studies on nanocrystalline metals have focused primarily on single heavy ion beam radiations, with little consideration of the helium effect on damage evolution. In this work, we utilized in situ single-beam (1 MeV Kr++) and dual-beam (1more »MeV Kr++ and 12 keV He+) irradiations to investigate the influence of helium on the radiation response and grain coarsening in nanocrystalline Cu at 300 °C. The grain size, orientation, and individual grain boundary character were quantitatively examined before and after irradiations. Statistic results suggest that helium bubbles at grain boundaries and grain interiors may retard the grain coarsening. These findings provide new perspective on the radiation response of nanocrystalline metals.« less
  3. Cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells are a promising photovoltaic (PV) technology for producing power in space owing to their high-efficiency (> 22.1 %), potential for specific power, and cost-effective manufacturing processes. In contrast to traditional space PVs, the high-Z (atomic number) CdTe absorbers can be intrinsically robust under extreme space radiation, offering long-term stability. Despite these advantages, the performance assessment of CdTe solar cells under high-energy particle irradiation (e.g., photons, neutrons, charged particles) is limited in the literature, and their stability is not comprehensively studied. In this work, we present the PV response of n-CdS / p-CdTe PVs under acceleratedmore »neutron irradiation. We measure PV properties of the devices at different neutron/photon doses. The equivalent dose deposited in the CdTe samples is simulated with deterministic and Monte Carlo radiation transport methods. Thin-film CdTe solar cells were synthesized on a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) coated glass substrate (≈ 4 cm × 4 cm). CdS:O (≈ 100 nm) was reactively RF sputtered in an oxygen/argon ambient followed by a close-spaced sublimation deposition of CdTe (≈ 3.5 μm) in an oxygen/helium ambient. The sample was exposed to a 10 min vapor CdCl2 in oxygen/helium ambient at 430˚C. The samples were exposed to a wet CuCl2 solution prior to anneal 200ºC. A gold back-contact was formed on CdTe via thermal evaporation. The final sample contains 16 CdTe devices. For neutron irradiation, we cleaved the CdTe substrate into four samples and exposed two samples to ≈ 90 kW reactor power neutron radiation for 5.5 hours and 8.2 hours, respectively, in our TRIGA (Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics) reactor. We observed a noticeable color change of the glass substrates to brown after the neutron/gamma reactor exposure. Presumably, the injected high-energy neutrons caused the breaking of chemical bonds and the displacement of atoms in the glass substrates, creating point defects and color centers. The I-V characteristics showed noticeable deterioration with over 8 hour radiations. Specifically, the saturation current of the control devices was ≈ 25 nA increasing to 1 μA and 10 μA for the 5.5-hour and 8.2-hour radiated samples, respectively. The turn-on voltage of the control devices (≈ 0.85 V) decreased with the irradiated sample (≈ 0.75 V for 5.5-hour and ≈ 0.5 V for 8.2-hour exposures), implying noticeable radiation damage occurred at the heterojunction. The higher values of the ideality factor for irradiated devices (n > 2.2) compared to that of the control devices (n ≈ 1.3) also support the deterioration of the p-n junction. We observed the notable decrease in shunt resistance (RSH) and the increase in series resistance (Rs) with the neutron dose. It is possible that Cu ions introduced during the CuCl2 treatment may migrate into CdTe grain boundaries (GBs). The presence of Cu ions at GBs can create additional leakage paths for photocarrier transport, deteriorating the overall PV performance. We estimated the radiation dose of CdTe in comparison to Si (conventional PV) using a UUTR model (e.g., MCNP6 2D UTR Reactor simulations). In this model, we simulated Si and CdTe at the center point of the triangular fuel lattice and used an “unperturbed flux” tally in the water. Our simulations yielded a dose rate of 6916 Gy/s of neutrons and 16 Gy/s of photons for CdTe, and 1 Gy/s of neutrons and 21 Gy/s of photons for Si (doses +/- <1%). The large dose rate of neutrons in CdTe is mainly attributed to the large thermal neutron absorption cross-section of 113Cd. Based on this estimation, we calculate that the exposure of our CdTe PVs is equivalent to several million years in LEO (Low-Earth Orbit), or about 10,000 years for Si in LEO. Currently, we are working on a low-dose neutron/photon radiation on CdTe PVs and their light I-Vs and microstructural characterizations to gain better understanding on the degradation of CdTe PVs.« less
  4. In this work, molecular dynamics simulations to explore the crack propagation and fracture behavior of Cu/Nb metallic nanolayered composites (MNCs) were performed. The results of this study are consistent with the previous experimental results, which illustrated that cracks in Cu and Nb layers may exhibit different propagation paths and distances under the isostrain loading condition. The analysis reveals that the interface can increase the fracture resistance of the Nb layer in Cu/Nb MNCs by providing the dislocation sources to generate the plastic strain at the front of the crack. Increasing the layer thickness can enhance the fracture resistance of bothmore »Cu and Nb layers, as the critical stress for activating the dislocation motion decreases with the increment of the layer thickness. In addition, grain boundaries (GBs) in polycrystalline Cu/Nb samples would decrease the fracture resistance of Nb layer by promoting the crack propagate along the GBs, i.e., intergranular fracture, while the effect of interface and layer thickness on the fracture resistance of MNCs will not be altered by introducing the GBs in MNCs.« less
  5. Understanding of structural and morphological evolution in nanomaterials is critical in tailoring their functionality for applications such as energy conversion and storage. Here, we examine irradiation effects on the morphology and structure of amorphous TiO2 nanotubes in comparison with their crystalline counterpart, anatase TiO2 nanotubes, using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), in situ ion irradiation TEM, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Anatase TiO2 nanotubes exhibit morphological and structural stability under irradiation due to their high concentration of grain boundaries and surfaces as defect sinks. On the other hand, amorphous TiO2 nanotubes undergo irradiation-induced crystallization, with some tubes remaining only partiallymore »crystallized. The partially crystalline tubes bend due to internal stresses associated with densification during crystallization as suggested by MD calculations. These results present a novel irradiation-based pathway for potentially tuning structure and morphology of energy storage materials.« less