Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2011
Polycrystalline δ-phase Sc4Zr3O12 was irradiated with 200 keV Ne+ ions at cryogenic temperature to fluences ranging from 2 × 1018 to 1 × 1021 Ne/m2. Irradiation-induced structural evolution was examined by using grazing incidence x-ray diffraction and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. An order-to-disorder (O-D) crystal structure transformation (from an ordered δ-phase to a disordered, fluorite phase) was observed to initiate by a fluence of 2 × 1018 Ne/m2, corresponding to a peak ballistic damage dose of ∼0.075 displacements per atom. This displacement damage dose is much lower than the O-D transformation dose threshold found in previous heavy ion irradiation experiments on δ-Sc4Zr3O12 [J.A. Valdez et al., Nucl. Instrum. Methods B250, 148 (2006); K.E. Sickafus et al., Nat. Mater.6, 217 (2007)]. In this study, we contrast the O-D transformation efficiency of the light Ne ions used in these experiments, to the heavy (Kr) ions used previously, and interpret the differences in terms of enhanced damage efficiency for light ions (greater fraction of surviving defects per defect produced). To better quantify this surviving defect phenomenon, we also present new, additional ion irradiation results on δ-Sc4Zr3O12, obtained from 300 keV Kr2+ and 100 keV He+ ion irradiation experiments.
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