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Chin. Phys. B, 2014, Vol. 23(3): 036101    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/23/3/036101

Mechanical properties of self-irradiated single-crystal copper

Li Wei-Na (李维娜)a, Xue Jian-Ming (薛建明)b c, Wang Jian-Xiang (王建祥)a, Duan Hui-Ling (段慧玲)a c
a State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex System, Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
b State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
c Key Laboratory of High Energy Density Physics Simulation, Center for Applied Physics and Technology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Abstract  Molecular dynamics simulations are performed to investigate the influence of irradiation damage on the mechanical properties of copper. In the simulation, the energy of primary knocked-on atoms (PKAs) ranges from 1 to 10 keV, and the results indicate that the number of point defects (vacancies and interstitials) increases linearly with the PKA energy. We choose three kinds of simulation samples: un-irradiated and irradiated samples, and comparison samples. The un-irradiated samples are defect-free, while irradiation induces vacancies and interstitials in the irradiated samples. It is found that due to the presence of the irradiation-induced defects, the compressive Young modulus of the single-crystal Cu increases, while the tensile Young modulus decreases, and that both the tensile and compressive yield stresses experience a dramatic decrease. To analyze the effects of vacancies and interstitials independently, the mechanical properties of the comparison samples, which only contain randomly distributed vacancies, are investigated. The results indicate that the vacancies are responsible for the change of Young modulus, while the interstitials determine the yield strain.
Keywords:  irradiation damage      single crystal      mechanical property      molecular dynamics simulation  
Received:  10 May 2013      Revised:  04 August 2013      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  61.80.-x (Physical radiation effects, radiation damage)  
  61.82.Bg (Metals and alloys)  
  62.20.-x (Mechanical properties of solids)  
  02.70.Ns (Molecular dynamics and particle methods)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2011CB013101) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11172001, 91226202, and 11225208).
Corresponding Authors:  Xue Jian-Ming, Duan Hui-Ling     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Li Wei-Na (李维娜), Xue Jian-Ming (薛建明), Wang Jian-Xiang (王建祥), Duan Hui-Ling (段慧玲) Mechanical properties of self-irradiated single-crystal copper 2014 Chin. Phys. B 23 036101

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