Irradiation-induced β to α SiC transformation at low temperature

Chad M. Parish, Takaaki Koyanagi, Sosuke Kondo, Yutai Katoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We observed that β-SiC, neutron irradiated to 9 dpa (displacements per atom) at ≈1440 °C, began transforming to α-SiC, with radiation-induced Frank dislocation loops serving as the apparent nucleation sites. 1440 °C is a far lower temperature than usual β → α phase transformations in SiC. SiC is considered for applications in advanced nuclear systems, as well as for electronic or spintronic applications requiring ion irradiation processing. β-SiC, preferred for nuclear applications, is metastable and undergoes a phase transformation at high temperatures (typically 2000 °C and above). Nuclear reactor concepts are not expected to reach the very high temperatures for thermal transformation. However, our results indicate incipient β → α phase transformation, in the form of small (∼5-10 nm) pockets of α-SiC forming in the β matrix. In service transformation could degrade structural stability and fuel integrity for SiC-based materials operated in this regime. However, engineering this transformation deliberately using ion irradiation could enable new electronic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1198
JournalScientific reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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