In situ study of heavy ion irradiation response of immiscible Cu/Fe multilayers

Y. Chen, N. Li, D. C. Bufford, J. Li, K. Hattar, H. Wang, X. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Recent studies show that immiscible metallic multilayers with incoherent interfaces can effectively reduce defect density in ion irradiated metals by providing active defect sinks that capture and annihilate radiation induced defect clusters. Although it is anticipated that defect density within the layers should vary as a function of distance to the layer interface, there is, to date, little in situ TEM evidence to validate this hypothesis. In this study monolithic Cu films and Cu/Fe multilayers with individual layer thickness, h, of 100 and 5 nm were subjected to in situ Cu ion irradiation at room temperature to nominally 1 displacement-per-atom inside a transmission electron microscope. Rapid formation and propagation of defect clusters were observed in monolithic Cu, whereas fewer defects with smaller dimensions were generated in Cu/Fe multilayers with smaller h. Furthermore in situ video shows that the cumulative defect density in Cu/Fe 100 nm multilayers indeed varies, as a function of distance to the layer interfaces, supporting a long postulated hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support by NSF DMR-1304101 . Michael Marshall and Daniel Buller (Sandia National Laboratories) are acknowledged for their assistance with the TEM and ion beam. Work performed by KH and DCB was fully supported by the Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy . Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 . Access to microscopy and imaging center (MIC) at Texas A&M University is also acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Cu/Fe multilayers
  • Heavy ion irradiation
  • Immiscible interfaces
  • In situ ion irradiation
  • Size effect

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