May 27, 2022
Journal Article

Helium interaction with solutes and impurities in neutron-irradiated nanostructured ferritic alloys: A first principles study

Abstract

Density functional theory calculations are performed to explore the binding between He and alloying solutes, impurities, and transmutation products expected in neutron irradiated nanostructured ferritic alloys (NFAs), here 14YWT is taken as an example. Elements that exhibit significant binding (attraction) with an interstitial He are Y (binding energy = 0.46 eV), Mg (0.32), O (0.33), Ti (0.16), and C (0.15). Those that provide significant binding to a substitutional He are O (1.44), Y (1.24), N (0.73), H (0.56), Mg (0.52), Ti (0.34), Si (0.34), C (0.33), Al (0.32), Ni (0.26), Ta (0.23), and Mn (0.16). The presence of these elements in Fe matrix could reduce the transport of He towards oxide particles, dislocations, and internal boundaries, and could promote He bubble nucleation in the matrix. For convenience, we compile existing binding energy data of He with Hen and HenV (He-vacancy) clusters. Dissociation pathway analysis reveals that, in general, the most likely dissociation of a HenV cluster is by a sequential emission of individual He atoms. Furthermore, larger bubbles are more prone to dissociation than smaller ones. In addition, we estimate the binding energy (segregation energy) of He in bulk Y2Ti2O7 (YTO) single crystal, YTO/Fe interface, and YTO particle embedded in Fe, with respect to interstitial He in Fe, from existing formation energies of He in these structures. We also compile available data of He binding with Fe self-interstitial atom (SIA), SIA clusters, and edge and screw dislocations. Note that given the absence of DFT data, the binding with SIA clusters and dislocations are gathered from simulations with empirical potentials. The data presented in this paper is important to inform multiscale simulations of He bubble accumulation.

Published: May 27, 2022

Citation

Pitike K., H. Ke, D.J. Edwards, and W. Setyawan. 2022. Helium interaction with solutes and impurities in neutron-irradiated nanostructured ferritic alloys: A first principles study. Journal of Nuclear Materials 566. PNNL-SA-169716. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2022.153771

Research topics