Insight Into disorder, stress and strain of radiation damaged pyrochlores: a possible mechanism for the appearance of defect fluorite
Frontiers Media S.A.
We have examined the irradiation response of a titanate and zirconate pyrochlore—both of which are well studied in the literature individually—in an attempt to define the appearance of defect fluorite in zirconate pyrochlores. To our knowledge this study is unique in that it attempts to discover the mechanism of formation by a comparison of the different systems exposed to the same conditions and then examined via a range of techniques that cover a wide length scale. The conditions of approximately 1 displacement per atom via He2+ ions were used to simulate long term waste storage conditions as outlined by previous results from Ewing in a large enough sample volume to allow for neutron diffraction, as not attempted previously. The titanate sample, used as a baseline comparison since it readily becomes amorphous under these conditions behaved as expected. In contrast, the zirconate sample accumulates tensile stress in the absence of detectable strain. We propose this is analogous to the lanthanide zirconate pyrochlores examined by Simeone et al. where they reported the appearance of defect fluorite diffraction patterns due to a reduction in grain size. Radiation damage and stress results in the grains breaking into even smaller crystallites, thus creating even smaller coherent diffraction domains. An (ErNd)2(ZrTi)2O7 pyrochlore was synthesized to examine which mechanism might dominate, amorphization or stress/strain build up. Although strain was detected in the pristine sample via Synchrotron X-ray diffraction it was not of sufficient quality to perform a full analysis on. Copyright © 2021 Finkeldei, Chang, Ionescu, Oldfield, Davis, Lumpkin, Simeone, Avdeev, Brandt, Bosbach, Klinkenberg and Thorogood.
Pyrochlore, Stresses, Neutron diffraction, Transmission electron microscopy, Radioactive wastes, Physical radiation effects, Order-disorder transformations, Fluorite
Finkeldei, S. C., Chang, S., Ionescu, M., Oldfield, D., Davis, J., Lumpkin, G. R., Simeone, D., Avdeev, M., Brandt, F., Bosbach, D., Klinkenberg, M. & Thorogood, G. J. (2021). Insight Into disorder, stress and strain of radiation damaged pyrochlores: a possible mechanism for the appearance of defect fluorite. Frontiers in Chemistry, 9, 706736. doi:10.3389/fchem.2021.706736