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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Dislocations are one-dimensional defects in crystals, enabling their deformation, mechanical response, and transport properties. Less well known is their influence on material chemistry. The severe lattice distortion at these defects drives solute segregation to them, resulting in strong, localized spatial variations in chemistry that determine microstructure and material behavior. Recent advances in atomic-scale characterization methods have made it possible to quantitatively resolve defect types and segregation chemistry. As shown here for a Pt-Au model alloy, we observe a wide range of defect-specific solute (Au) decoration patterns of much greater variety and complexity than expected from the Cottrell cloud picture. The solute decoration of the dislocations can be up to half an order of magnitude higher than expected from classical theory, and the differences are determined by their structure, mutual alignment, and distortion field. This opens up pathways to use dislocations for the compositional and structural nanoscale design of advanced materials.
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  5. We report the sputter deposition of Cu-7V and Cu-27V (at.%) alloy films in an attempt to yield a “clean” alloy to investigate nanocrystalline stability. Films grown in high vacuum chambers can mitigate processing contaminates which convolute the identification of nanocrystalline stability mechanism(s). The initial films were very clean with carbon and oxygen contents ranging between ~0.01 and 0.38 at.%. Annealing at 400 °C/1 h facilitated the clustering of vanadium at high-angle grain boundary triple junctions. At 800 °C/1 h annealing, the Cu-7V film lost its nanocrystalline grain sizes with the vanadium partitioned to the free surface; the Cu-27V retained its nanocrystalline grains with vanadium clusters in the matrix, but surface solute segregation was present. Though the initial alloy and vacuum annealing retained the low contamination levels sought, the high surface area-to-volume ratio of the film, coupled with high segregation tendencies, enabled this system to phase separate in such a manner that the stability mechanisms that were to be studied were lost at high temperatures. This illustrates obstacles in using thin films to address nanocrystalline stability.
  6. Abstract Atom probe tomography (APT) of a nanocrystalline Cu–7 at.% V thin film annealed at 400°C for 1 h revealed chemical partitioning in the form of solute segregation. The vanadium precipitated along high angle grain boundaries and at triple junctions, determined by cross-correlative precession electron diffraction of the APT specimen. Upon field evaporation, the V 2+ /(V 1+ + VH 1+ ) ratio from the decomposed ions was ~3 within the matrix grains and ~16 within the vanadium precipitates. It was found that the VH 1+ complex was prevalent in the matrix, with its presence explained in terms of hydrogen's ability to assist in field evaporation. The change in the V 2+ /(V 1+ + VH 1+ ) charge-state ratio (CSR) was studied as a function of base temperature (25–90 K), laser pulse energy (50–200 pJ), and grain orientation. The strongest influence on changing the CSR was with the varied pulse laser, which made the CSR between the precipitates and the matrix equivalent at the higher laser pulse energies. However, at these conditions, the precipitates began to coarsen. The collective results of the CSRs are discussed in terms of field strengths related to the chemical coordination.