A sharp interface model for void growth in irradiated materials

Thomas Hochrainer, A. El-Azab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A thermodynamic formalism for the interaction of point defects with free surfaces in single-component solids has been developed and applied to the problem of void growth by absorption of point defects in irradiated metals. This formalism consists of two parts, a detailed description of the dynamics of defects within the non-equilibrium thermodynamic frame, and the application of the second law of thermodynamics to provide closure relations for all kinetic equations. Enforcing the principle of non-negative entropy production showed that the description of the problem of void evolution under irradiation must include a relationship between the normal fluxes of defects into the void surface and the driving thermodynamic forces for the void surface motion; these thermodynamic forces are identified for both vacancies and interstitials and the relationships between these forces and the normal point defect fluxes are established using the concepts of transition state theory. The latter theory implies that the defect accommodation into the surface is a thermally activated process. Numerical examples are given to illustrate void growth dynamics in this new formalism and to investigate the effect of the surface energy barriers on void growth. Consequences for phase field models of void growth are discussed. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948-972
JournalPhilosophical Magazine / Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • defect kinetics
  • defect thermodynamics
  • radiation effects
  • void growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials

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