Molecular Dynamics as a tool to interpret macroscopic amorphization-induced swelling in silicon carbide
Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique, Direction de l'énergie nucléaire; DEC/SESC/LLCC, Bâtiment 151, CE Cadarache, 13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France
2 Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique, Direction de l'énergie nucléaire; DSOE/RB, Bâtiment 121, CE Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Published online: 31 July 2006
We present here an investigation of the irradiation-induced swelling of SiC using Classical Molecular Dynamics simulations. Heavy ion irradiation has been assumed to affect the material in two steps: (a) creation of local atomic disorder, modeled by the introduction of extended amorphous areas with various sizes and shapes in a crystalline SiC sample at constant volume (b) induced swelling, determined through relaxation using Molecular Dynamics at constant pressure. This swelling has been computed as a function of the amorphous fraction introduced. Two different definitions of the amorphous fraction were introduced to enable meaningful comparisons of our calculations with experiments and elastic modeling. One definition based on the displacements relative to the ideal lattice positions was used to compare the Molecular Dynamics results with data from experiments combining ion implantations and channeled Rutherford Backscattering analyses. A second definition based on atomic coordination was used to compare the Molecular Dynamics results to those yielded by a simplified elastic model. The simulation results using the lattice-based definition of the amorphous fraction compare very well with the experimental results. This proves that the modeling in two steps chosen for the creation of the amorphous regions is reasonable. Moreover, the results show very clearly that SiC swelling does not scale linearly with the amorphous fraction introduced. Two swelling regimes are observed relatively to the size of the amorphous area. Comparison of the elastic model with the Molecular Dynamics results using the coordination-based definition of the amorphous fraction has also enabled us to shed light on the swelling mechanisms and has shown that amorphization-induced swelling exhibits an elastic behavior. Furthermore, scalings for the swelling as a function of the two amorphous fractions considered, which can be used by larger scale models, have been determined. Finally, our study shows that classical Molecular Dynamics calculations enable one to connect the results of the available experiments with the elastic calculations and to get further insight into the swelling mechanisms.
PACS: 31.15.Qg – Molecular dynamics and other numerical methods / 61.80.Jh – Ion radiation effects / 62.20.Dc – Elasticity, elastic constants
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2006