Previously we reported a substantial (∼ 50 %) decrease in shear modulus prior to amorphization in Kr irradiated Zr3Al, and proposed that amorphization is triggered when the crystalline lattice becomes unstable against shear stress. In the present work, the relation between amorphization and shear elastic instability has been investigated in two additional compounds (FeTi and NiAl) during room temperature irradiation with 1.7-MeV Kr+. A shear modulus was measured using Brillouin scattering; structural information was obtained in situ in a high voltage electron microscope interfaced to a tandem accelerator.
During irradiation of FeTi, chemical disordering and a large (∼40 %) decrease of shear modulus were observed, and an amorphous phase developed subsequently. In contrast, NiAl remained crystalline and chemically ordered during irradiation, and exhibited only a ∼ 10 % decrease in shear modulus. Hence, these two results provide further support that a shear instability triggers irradiation-induced amorphization. The shear instability mechanism may also apply to other solid-state amorphization techniques, e.g. hydrogen charging and mechanical deformation.