Ion-irradiation resistance of the orthorhombic Ln2TiO5 (Ln = La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb and Dy) series

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The response of Ln2TiO5 (where Ln is a lanthanide) compounds exposed to high-energy ions was used to test their suitability for nuclear-based applications, under two different but complementary conditions. Eight samples with nominal stoichiometry Ln2TiO5 (Ln = La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb and Dy), of orthorhombic (Pnma) structure were irradiated, at various temperatures, with 1 MeV Kr2+ ions in-situ within a transmission electron microscope. In each case, the fluence was increased until a phase transition from crystalline to amorphous was observed, termed critical dose Dc. At certain elevated temperatures, the crystallinity was maintained irrespective of fluence. The critical temperature for maintaining crystallinity, Tc, varied non-uniformly across the series. The Tc was consistently high for La, Pr, Nd and Sm2TiO5 before sequential improvement from Eu to Dy2TiO5 with Tc's dropping from 974 K to 712 K. In addition, bulk Dy2TiO5 was irradiated with 12 MeV Au+ ions at 300 K, 723 K and 823 K and monitored via grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD). At 300 K, only amorphisation is observed, with no transition to other structures, whilst at higher temperatures, specimens retained their original structure. The improved radiation tolerance of compounds containing smaller lanthanides has previously been attributed to their ability to form radiation-induced phase transitions. No such transitions were observed here. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
X-ray diffraction, Irradiation, Stoichiometry, Rare earths, Orthorhombic lattices, Electron microscopy, Amorphous state, Crystallization, Phase transformations
Aughterson, R. D., Lumpkin, G., R., Ionescu, M., de los Reyes, M., Gault, B., Whittle, K. R., Smith, K. L., & Cairney, J. M. (2015). Ion-irradiation resistance of the orthorhombic Ln2TiO5 (Ln = La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb and Dy) series. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 467, 683-691. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2015.10.028