Formation, migration, and clustering energies of interstitial He in alpha-quartz and beta-cristobalite Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 Elsevier B.V. Precipitation of implanted helium (He) is detrimental to many nuclear materials. A solid in which implanted He does not precipitate, but rather remains in solution and diffuses readily is potentially of interest for applications requiring resistance to He-induced damage. We use density functional theory (DFT) calculations to examine He interstitial formation, migration, and clustering energies in two SiO2 polymorphs: -quartz and -cristobalite. Our findings show greater He solubility and mobility in the latter than in the former. This difference appears to be due primarily to the unlike atomic-level structures of -quartz and -cristobalite, rather than their differing densities. Our findings also suggest that He is unlikely to cluster in either material. The behavior of He in -quartz and -cristobalite, and similar forms of silica make them promising materials for further investigation for potential use in applications requiring resistance to He-induced damage.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Lin, K., Ding, H., & Demkowicz, M. J.

complete list of authors

  • Lin, Kan-Ju||Ding, Hepeng||Demkowicz, Michael J

publication date

  • January 1, 2016 11:11 AM