Atomic-scale insights into the precipitation behaviors of copper atoms in liquid lithium

C Xu and ZY Li and LG Chen and YJ Ji and WY Hu and BW Huang, FUSION ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, 194, 113901 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.fusengdes.2023.113901

The precipitation of corrosion products in liquid lithium (Li) is one of the concerns in the compatibility of liquid Li with solid materials. In this work, molecular dynamics simulations are employed to investigate the precipitation behavior of copper (Cu) atoms in liquid Li at different temperatures. It is found that Cu atoms combine with Li atoms to form CuLix nanoalloy clusters during the precipitation process. The cluster analysis revealed that the low temperature environment not only facilitates the formation of large clusters but also promotes their transformation from amorphous structure to ordered Cu-Li solid solution. The phase transition occurs because the merger and growth of clusters reduces the potential energy of the internal atoms. In addition, the CuLix nanoalloy clusters bind the Li atoms through internal alloying and surface adsorption, which in turn increases the viscosity of liquid Li. The larger the cluster size, the greater the viscosity increment.

Return to Publications page