Atomic-scale insights into damage produced by swift heavy ions in polyethylene

P Babaev and F Akhmetov and S Gorbunov and N Medvedev and R Rymzhanov and R Voronkov and AE Volkov, JOURNAL OF MATERIALS SCIENCE (2023).

DOI: 10.1007/s10853-023-09117-8

We describe the formation of swift heavy ion tracks in polyethylene (PE) by combining the Monte Carlo code TREKIS, which models electronic excitation in nanometric proximity of the ion trajectory, with the molecular dynamics simulating a response of the atomic system to the excitation. The model predicts circular tracks in amorphous PE but elliptical ones in crystalline PE caused by preferential propagation of excitation along polymer chains during the cooling stage. The obtained track sizes and shapes agree well with the high-resolution transmission microscopy of tracks in PE with colorant. The velocity effect in PE is shown: the track parameters differ for ions with the same linear energy losses but different velocities.

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