skip to main content

Title: Stacking fault energy in concentrated alloys

We revisit the meaning of stacking fault energy (SFE) and the assumptions of equilibrium dissociation of lattice dislocations in concentrated alloys. SFE is a unique value in pure metals. However, in alloys beyond the dilute limit, SFE has a distribution of values depending on the local atomic environment. Conventionally, the equilibrium distance between partial dislocations is determined by a balance between the repulsive elastic interaction between the partial dislocations and a unique value for SFE. This assumption is used to determine SFE from experimental measurements of dislocation splitting distances in metals and alloys, often contradicting computational predictions. We use atomistic simulations in a model NiCo alloy to study the dislocation dissociation process in a range of compositions with positive, zero, and negative average SFE and surprisingly observe a stable, finite splitting distance in all cases at low temperatures. We then compute the decorrelation stress and examine the balance of forces on the partial dislocations, considering the local effects on SFE, and observe that even the upper bound of SFE distribution alone cannot satisfy the force balance in some cases. Furthermore, we show that in concentrated solid solutions, the resisting force caused by interaction of dislocations with the local solute environment becomes a major force acting on partial dislocations. Here, we show that the presence of a high solute/dislocation interaction, which is not easy to measure and neglected in experimental measurements of SFE, renders the experimental values of SFE unreliable.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Even though the fundamental rules governing dislocation activities have been well established in the past century, we report a phenomenon, dislocation transformation, governed by the generalized-stacking-fault energy surface mismatch (GSF mismatch for short) between two co-existing phases. By carrying out ab-initio-informed microscopic phase-field simulations, we demonstrate that the GSF mismatch between a high symmetry matrix phase and a low symmetry precipitate phase can transform an array of identical full dislocations in the matrix into an array of two different types of full dislocations when they shear through the precipitates. The precipitates serve as a passive Shockley partial source, creating new Shockley partial dislocations that are neither the ones from the dissociation of the full dislocation. This phenomenon enriches our fundamental understanding of partial dislocation nucleation and dislocation-precipitate interactions, offering additional opportunities to tailor work-hardening and twinning processes in alloys strengthened by low-symmetry precipitate phases.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The interactions between solute atoms and crystalline defects such as vacancies, dislocations, and grain boundaries are essential in determining alloy properties. Here we present a general linear correlation between two descriptors of local electronic structures and the solute-defect interaction energies in binary alloys of body-centered-cubic (bcc) refractory metals (such as W and Ta) with transition-metal substitutional solutes. One electronic descriptor is the bimodality of thed-orbital local density of states for a matrix atom at the substitutional site, and the other is related to the hybridization strength between the valancesp-andd-bands for the same matrix atom. For a particular pair of solute-matrix elements, this linear correlation is valid independent of types of defects and the locations of substitutional sites. These results provide the possibility to apply local electronic descriptors for quantitative and efficient predictions on the solute-defect interactions and defect properties in alloys.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The mechanical response of complex concentrated alloys (CCAs) deviates from that of their pure and dilute counterparts due to the introduction of a combinatorially sized chemical concentration dimension. Compositional fluctuations constantly alter the energy landscape over which dislocations move, leading to line roughness and the appearance of defects such as kinks and jogs under stress and temperature conditions where they would ordinarily not exist in pure metals and dilute alloys. The presence of suchchemicaldefects gives rise to atomic-level mechanisms that fundamentally change how CCAs deform plastically at meso- and macroscales. In this article, we provide a review of recent advances in modeling dislocation glide processes in CCAs, including atomistic simulations of dislocation glide using molecular dynamics, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of edge and screw dislocation motion in refractory CCAs, and phase-field models of dislocation evolution over complex energy landscapes. We also discuss pathways to develop comprehensive simulation methodologies that connect an atomic-level description of the compositional complexity of CCAs with their mesoscopic dislocation-mediated plastic response with an eye toward improved design of CCA with superior mechanical response.

    Graphical abstract

    more » « less
  4. There is a strong demand for materials with inherently high creep resistance in the harsh environment of next-generation nuclear reactors. High entropy alloys have drawn intense attention in this regard due to their excellent elevated temperature properties and irradiation resistance. Here, the time-dependent plastic deformation behavior of two refractory high entropy alloys was investigated, namely HfTaTiVZr and TaTiVWZr. These alloys are based on reduced activity metals from the 4-5-6 elemental palette that would allow easy post-service recycling after use in nuclear reactors. The creep behavior was investigated using nano-indentation over the temperature range of 298 K to 573 K under static and dynamic loads up to 5 N. Creep stress exponent for HfTaTiVZr and TaTiVWZr was found to be in the range of 20–140 and the activation volume was ~16–20b3, indicating dislocation dominated mechanism. The stress exponent increased with increasing indentation depth due to a higher density of dislocations and their entanglement at larger depth and the exponent decreased with increasing temperature due to thermally activated dislocations. Smaller creep displacement and higher activation energy for the two high entropy alloys indicate superior creep resistance compared to refractory pure metals like tungsten. 
    more » « less
  5. Ultrafast affinity extraction (UAE) is a form of microscale affinity HPLC that can be employed to quickly measure equilibrium constants for solute-binding agent interactions in solution. This study used chromatographic and equilibrium theory with universal plots to examine the general conditions that are needed in UAE to obtain accurate, precise, and robust measurements of equilibrium constants for such interactions. The predicted results were compared to those obtained by UAE in studies that examined the binding of various drugs with two transport proteins: human serum albumin and α1-acid glycoprotein. The most precise and robust conditions for these binding studies occurred for systems with intermediate values for their equilibrium free fraction for the solute (F0 ≈ 0.20-0.80). These trends showed good agreement with those seen in prior studies using UAE. It was further determined how the apparent free fraction of a solute was related to the dissociation rate of this solute, the time allowed for solute dissociation during UAE, and the equilibrium free fraction for the solute. These results also agreed with experimental results, as obtained for the binding of warfarin and gliclazide with human serum albumin. The final section examined how a change in the apparent free fraction, as caused by solute dissociation, affected the accuracy of an equilibrium constant that was measured by UAE. In addition, theoretical plots were generated to allow the selection of conditions for UAE that provided a given level of accuracy during the measurement of an equilibrium constant. The equations created and trends identified for UAE were general ones that can be extended in future work to other solutes and binding agents. 
    more » « less