Cr diffusion in trilayer thin films of 100 nm Fe-18Cr/125 nm TiO2-x/100 nm Fe-18Cr deposited on MgO substrates at 500 °C was studied by either annealing at 500 °C or Ni3+ ion irradiation at 500 °C. Microchemistry and microstructure evolution at the metal/oxide interfaces were investigated using (high-resolution) transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. Diffusion of Cr into the O-deficient TiO2 layer, with negligible segregation to the FeCr/TiO2-x interface itself, was observed under both annealing and irradiation. Cr diffusion into TiO2-x was enhanced in ion-irradiated samples as compared to annealed. Irradiation-induced voids and amorphization of TiO2-x was also observed. The experimental results are rationalized using first-principles calculations that suggest an energetic preference for substituting Ti with Cr in sub-stoichiometric TiO2. The implications of these results on the irradiation stability of oxide-dispersed ferritic alloys are discussed.
Xu, Y., Aguiar, J. A., Yadav, S. K., Anderoglu, O., Baldwin, J. K., Wang, Y. Q., … Li, N. (2015). Solute redistribution and phase stability at FeCr/TiO2-x interfaces under ion irradiation. Acta Materialia, 89, 364–373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2015.01.071