Improved high temperature radiation damage tolerance in a three-phase ceramic with heterointerfaces.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31721-x
Radiation damage tolerance for a variety of ceramics at high temperatures depends on the material's resistance to nucleation and growth of extended defects. Such processes are prevalent in ceramics employed for space, nuclear fission/fusion and nuclear waste environments. This report shows that random heterointerfaces in materials with sub-micron grains can act as highly efficient sinks for point defects compared to grain boundaries in single-phase materials. The concentration of dislocation loops in a radiation damage-prone phase (Al2O3) is significantly reduced when Al2O3 is a component of a composite system as opposed to a single-phase system. These results present a novel method for designing exceptionally radiation damage tolerant ceramics at high temperatures with a stable grain size, without requiring extensive interfacial engineering or production of nanocrystalline materials.