Self-ion irradiation effects on nanoindentation-induced plasticity of crystalline iron: A joint experimental and computational study

K Mulewska and F Rovaris and FJ Dominguez-Gutierrez and WY Huo and D Kalita and I Jozwik and S Papanikolaou and MJ Alava and L Kurpaska and J Jagielski, NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION B-BEAM INTERACTIONS WITH MATERIALS AND ATOMS, 539, 55 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.nimb.2023.03.004

In this paper, experimental work is supported by multi-scale numerical modeling to investigate nanomechanical response of pristine and ion irradiated with Fe2+ ions with energy 5 MeV high purity iron specimens by nanoindentation and Electron Backscatter Diffraction. The appearance of a sudden displacement burst that is observed during the loading process in the load-displacement curves is connected with increased shear stress in a small subsurface volume due to dislocation slip activation and mobilization of pre-existing dislocations by irradiation. The molecular dynamics (MD) and 3D-discrete dislocation dynamics (3D-DDD) simulations are applied to model geometrically necessary dislocations (GNDs) nucleation mechanisms at early stages of nanoindentation test; providing an insight to the mechanical response of the material and its plastic instability and are in a qualitative agreement with GNDs density mapping images. Finally, we noted that dislocations and defects nucleated are responsible the material hardness increase, as observed in recorded load-displacement curves and pop-ins analysis.

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