Accelerated molecular dynamics simulations of dislocation climb in nickel

LTW Fey and AMZ Tan and TD Swinburne and D Perez and DR Trinkle, PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS, 5, 083603 (2021).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.083603

The mechanical behavior of materials operating under high temperatures is strongly influenced by creep mechanisms such as dislocation climb, which is controlled by the diffusion of vacancies. However, atomistic simulations of these mechanisms have traditionally been impractical due to the long time scales required. To overcome these time scale challenges, we use Parallel Trajectory Splicing (ParSplice), an accelerated molecular dynamics method, to simulate dislocation climb in nickel. We focus on modeling the activity of a vacancy near a jog on an edge dislocation in order to observe vacancy pipe diffusion and vacancy absorption at the jog. From rigorously constructed trajectories encompassing more than 2000 vacancy absorption events over a simulation time of more than 4 mu s at 900 K, a comprehensive sampling of available atomistic mechanisms is collated and analyzed further with molecular statics calculations. We estimate average rates for pipe diffusion and vacancy absorption into the jog using data from the dynamic and static calculations, finding very good agreement. Our results strongly suggest that the dominant mechanism for vacancy absorption by jogs is via biased diffusion to the dislocation core followed by fast pipe diffusion to the jog.

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