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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The crystal structure, orientation relationships and interfaces of the nanoscale oxides in nanostructured ferritic alloys

  • Author(s): Wu, Y
  • Ciston, J
  • Kräemer, S
  • Bailey, N
  • Odette, GR
  • Hosemann, P
  • et al.

© 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. The capability of nanostructured ferritic alloys (NFAs) to manage high levels of transmutation product helium will help resolve one of the grand challenges to transforming the promise of C-free fusion energy into a reality. NFAs are dispersion strengthened by an ultrahigh density of Y-Ti-O nano-oxides (NOs), which result in both high strength and temperature limits, as well as unique irradiation tolerance. Here, aberration-corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to characterize the NOs in four NFA conditions, including following severe deformation and extreme neutron radiation exposure. Fast Fourier Transform analysis of focal series images revealed the NO crystal structure, including the smallest at < 2 nm in diameter, to be Y2Ti2O7pyrochlore in all cases, consistent with both exit wave analysis and scanning transmission Z-contrast imaging of the atomic columns in a larger feature. The faceted NOs exhibit a quasi-epitaxial orientation relationship with the ferrite matrix: [110]YTO||[100]Feand [001]YTO||[010]Fe, forming a 5 × 7 near coincidence site interface. The NOs also exhibit size-dependent strains in both the oxide and matrix ferrite phases.

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