Radiation tolerant nanocrystalline ZrN films under high dose heavy-ion irradiations Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. ZrN, a refractory ceramic material, finds many potential applications in advanced nuclear reactors. However, the grain size dependent radiation response in nanocrystalline (nc) ZrN under high dose heavy ion irradiation has not yet been studied to date. Here, we compare the radiation response of nc-ZrN films (with a respective average grain size of ∼9 and 31nm) to Fe2+ ion irradiations up to a damage level of 10 displacements-per-atom (dpa). The ZrN film with the average grain size of 9nm shows prominently enhanced radiation tolerance as evidenced by suppressed grain growth, alleviated radiation softening, as well as reduced variation in electrical resistivity. In contrast, ZrN with the larger average grain size of 31nm shows prominent radiation softening and resistivity increase, attributed to the high density of defect cluster formed inside the grains. The influence of grain boundaries on enhanced irradiation tolerance in nc-ZrN is discussed.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jiao, L., Yu, K. Y., Chen, D., Jacob, C., Shao, L., Zhang, X., & Wang, H.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • April 2015