Buckle, ruck and tuck: A proposed new model for the response of graphite to neutron irradiation
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The default theory of radiation damage in graphite invokes Frenkel pair formation as the principal cause of physical property changes. We set out its inadequacies and present two new mechanisms that contribute to a better account for changes in dimension and stored energy. Damage depends on the substrate temperature, undergoing a change at approximately 250 C. Below this temperature particle radiation imparts a permanent, nano-buckling to the layers. Above it, layers fold, forming what we describe as a ruck and tuck defect. We present first principles and molecular mechanics calculations of energies and structures to support these claims. Necessarily we extend the dislocation theory of layered materials. We cite good experimental evidence for these features from the literature on radiation damage in graphite.
NOTICE: This is the author's version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Nuclear Materials. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Nuclear Materials, 413, 3, 2011. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2011.04.015