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Interphase Energies and Nonequilibrium Growth of γ-precipitates in Al-Ag: A DFT Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2011

D. J. Watts
Affiliation:
Physics Department, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland 21402, U.S.A.
D. D. Johnson
Affiliation:
Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, U.S.A.
Daniel Finkenstadt
Affiliation:
Physics Department, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland 21402, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Density-functional theory (DFT) calculations of interphase boundary energies provide useful input for many precipitate growth models in alloy systems [1]. One example is Al-Ag, where a rich variety of precipitate types exist, and the sizes and shapes are determined roughly by a Wulff construction, namely, minimizing surface free energies with respect to geometry. This is only a first approximation, however, as kinetic-considerations and crystallography do not allow for a uniform, isotropic growth. Consequently, a nonequilibrium growth model is developed for γ-plates [2], which attempts to connect semi-coherent (ledge) and incoherent (edge) interface growth rates in a way that incorporates shape and interface energies. Through this connection, we make a DFT model with approximate unit cells that mirror experimental conditions, which gives accurate predictions for precipitate aspect ratios and time-development of nonequilibrium shapes. Starting from an explicit calculation of Suzuki segregation of solute to stacking-faults, we find a mechanism for nucleation of nanoscale γ-plates on quenched defects, identify a bulk structure from a calculated phase diagram that gives the relevant HCP equilibrium precipitate structure occurring at 50 at.% Ag and calculate critical nucleation parameters for γ-precipitate formation. Applications to island-coarsening and lath morphology are also discussed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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References

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Interphase Energies and Nonequilibrium Growth of γ-precipitates in Al-Ag: A DFT Study
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