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Interfacial Phenomena in Nanostructured Materials under Irradiation

EMSL Project ID


Nanostructured materials provide the opportunity for tailoring physical, electronic, optical, and biological properties for a variety of technological applications, including novel catalysis, sensors, membranes, bioimaging, solar cells, and advanced nuclear energy systems. As the world increases its reliance on nuclear energy, there is an ever-increasing demand for new radiation tolerant materials that can withstand the extreme radiation environments in reactors, accelerators, and even geologic repositories for nuclear waste. Understanding the response of nanostructured materials to energy deposition is an urgent challenge, since it may hold the key to unlock the design of new materials for advanced nuclear energy systems, solar energy conversion, sensors, space exploration, and national security.
Significant progress has been made in understanding energy transfer to atomic nuclei; however, the dynamics of processes driven by energy transfer to the electronic structure are much less understood. The objective of this proposed work is to develop fundamental understanding on the response of model nanostructured materials to the partitioning of energy deposition to the electronic and atomic structures under separate ion and electron irradiation. Model nanograined materials and nanostructured composites will be studied under a wide range of irradiation conditions. Explicitly included in this work is developing a fundamental understanding of ion-solid interactions, partitioning of energy between electronic and atomic processes, and the coupling of electronic and atomic processes. Specifically, the proposed work will employ novel ion irradiation (accelerator-based) and electron irradiation (electron-microscope based) approaches, complementary characterization techniques, and advanced computer simulation methods to perform separate and integrated effects studies to develop fundamental understanding and predictive models of the evolution of lattice defects, interfacial defects, nanostructures, interfaces and phase transformations in nanostructured materials under irradiation.
The response of nanostructured ceramics to irradiation at multiple energy levels and rates will provide an improved science basis beyond applications in the field of nuclear energy, such as environmental restoration, energy production, and national security. The proposed work aligns well with the EMSL theme on Science of Interfacial Phenomena related to both (1) developing and verifying predictive models for interfacial processes, and 2) advancing the understanding of structure-function relationships in complex multi-component interfacial systems.

Project Details

Project type
Large-Scale EMSL Research
Start Date
End Date


Principal Investigator

William Weber
University of Tennessee


Yanwen Zhang
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Team Members

Fenglin Yuan
University of Tennessee

Dilpuneet Aidhy
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Ke Jin
University of Tennessee

Chien-Hung Chen
University of Tennessee

Marie Backman
University of Tennessee

Haizhou Xue
University of Tennessee

Haiyan Xiao
University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

Zihua Zhu
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

Takuji Oda
University of Tennessee

Related Publications

Aidhy DS, B Liu, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2015. "Chemical expansion affected oxygen vacancy stability in different oxide structures from first principles calculations." Computational Materials Science 99:298-305. doi:10.1016/j.commatsci.2014.12.030
Aidhy DS, R Sachan, E Zarkadoula, O Pakarinen, MF Chisholm, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2015. "Fast Ion Conductivity in Strained Defect-Fluorite Structure Created by Ion Tracks in Gd?Ti?O?." Scientific Reports 5:16297 . doi:10.1038/srep16297
Edmondson PD, NP Young, CM Parish, SJ Moll, F Namavar, WJ Weber, and Y Zhang. 2013. "Ion-Beam-Induced Chemical Mixing at a Nanocrystalline CeO2–Si Interface." Journal of the American Ceramic Society. doi:10.1111/jace.12214
Guedes S, P Moreira, R Devanathan, WJ Weber, and JC Hadler. 2013. "Improved zircon fission-track annealing model based on reevaluation of annealing data." Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 40(2):93-106. doi:10.1007/s00269-012-0550-8
Ishimaru M, IO Usov, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2011. "Superlattice-Like Stacking Fault Array in Ion-Irradiated GaN." Philosophical Magazine Letters 92(1):49-55. doi:10.1080/09500839.2011.630686
Jin K, Y Zhang, H Xue, Z Zhu, and WJ Weber. 2013. "Ion Distribution And Electronic Stopping Power For Au ions In Silicon Carbide." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 307:65-70. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2013.02.051
Jin K, Y Zhang, Z Zhu, DA Grove, H Xue, J Xue, and WJ Weber. 2014. "Electronic Stopping Powers For Heavy Ions In SiC And SiO2." Journal of Applied Physics 115(4):Article No. 044903. doi:10.1063/1.4861642
Jin K, Z Zhu, S Manandhar, J Liu, CH Chen, V Shutthanandan, S Thevuthasan, WJ Weber, and Y Zhang. 2014. "Angular Distribution and Recoil Effect for 1 MeV Au+ Ions through a Si3N4 Thin Foil ." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 332:346-350. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2014.02.093
Liu P, Y Zhang, HY Xiao, X Xiang, X Wang, and WJ Weber. 2014. "Nonlinear Luminescence Response of CaF2:Eu and YAlO3:Ce to Single-Ion Excitation." Journal of Applied Physics 115(3):, doi:10.1063/1.4861152
Liu P, Y Zhang, X Wang, X Xiang, and WJ Weber. 2013. "Response Properties of YAlO3:Ce Scintillation Crystal Under Ion Irradiation." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 307(15):49-54. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2013.01.018
Moll SJ, Y Zhang, Z Zhu, PD Edmondson, F Namavar, and WJ Weber. 2013. "Comparison Between Simulated And Experimental Au-ion Profiles Implanted in nanocrystalline ceria." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 307:93-97. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2012.12.119
Moll S, Y Zhang, A Debelle, L Thomé, JP Crocombette, Z Zihua, J Jagielski, and WJ Weber. 2015. "Damage processes in MgO irradiated with medium-energy heavy ions." Acta Materialia 88:314-322. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2015.01.011
Perez-Bergquist AG, Y Zhang, T Varga, S Moll, F Namavar, and WJ Weber. 2014. "Temperature-dependent Void Formation and Growth At Ion-irradiated Nanocrystalline CeO2–Si Interfaces." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 325:66-72. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2014.02.012
Qiao L, HY Xiao, HM Meyer, JN Sun, CM Rouleau, AA Puretzky, DB Geohegan, IN Ivanov, M Yoon, WJ Weber, and MD Biegalski. 2013. "Nature of the Band Gap and Origin of the Electro-/Photo-Activity of Co3O4." Journal of Materials Chemistry C 1(31):4628-4633. doi:10.1039/c3tc30861h
Qiao L, HY Xiao, SM Heald, ME Bowden, T Varga, GJ Exarhos, MD Biegalski, IN Ivanov, WJ Weber, TC Droubay, and SA Chambers. 2013. "The impact of crystal symmetry on the electronic structure and functional properties of complex lanthanum chromite oxides." Journal of Materials Chemistry C1(30): 4527-4535.
Qiao L, HY Xiao, WJ Weber, and MD Biegalski. 2014. "Coexistence of Epitaxial Lattice Rrotation and Twinning Tilt Induced by Surface Symmetry mismatch." Applied Physics Letters 104:221602. doi:10.1063/1.4881612
Wang XJ, HY Xiao, X Zu, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2012. "Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of ion–solid interactions in Gd2Zr2O7 and Gd2Ti2O7." Journal of Materials Chemistry 1(8):1665-1673. doi:10.1039/C2TC00192F
Wang Z, K Jin, Y Zhang, F Wang, and Z Zhu. 2014. "ToF-SIMS Depth Profiling Of Insulating Samples, Interlaced Mode Or Non-interlaced Mode? ." Surface and Interface Analysis. doi:10.1002/sia.5419
Xiao HY, WJ Weber, and Y Zhang. 2013. "First-principles study of the stability and migration of Kr, I and Xe in ZrO2." Journal of Nuclear Materials 446(1-3):172-177. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.11.044
Xiao HY, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2012. "Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Low-Energy Recoil Events in ThO2, CeO2, and ZrO2." Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics 86(5):054109. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.86.054109
Xiao HY, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2012. "Enhanced Electronic Conductivity by Controlled Self-Doping in Pyrochlores." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP 14(18):6556-6560. doi:10.1039/C2CP40744B
Xiao HY, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2012. "Thermodynamic properties of CexTh1-xO2 solid solution from first-principles calculations." Acta Materialia 61(2):467-476. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2012.09.050
Xiao HY, Y Zhang, and WJ Weber. 2013. "Stability and Migration of Charged Oxygen Interstitials in ThO2 and CeO2." Acta Materialia 61(20):7639-7645. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2013.09.001
Zhang Y, DS Aidhy, T Varga, S Moll, PD Edmondson, F Namavar, K Jin, CN Ostrouchov, and WJ Weber. 2014. "The Effect Of Electronic Energy Loss On Irradiation-induced Grain Growth In Nanocrystalline Oxides." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP 16(17):8051-8059. doi:10.1039/c4cp00392f
Zhang Y, T Varga, M Ishimaru, PD Edmondson, H Xue, P Liu, S Moll, F Namavar, CM Hardiman, S Shannon, and WJ Weber. 2014. "Competing Effects Of Electronic And Nuclear Energy Loss On Microstructural Evolution In Ionic-covalent Materials." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2013.10.095 [epub ahead of print]