This paper presents results on the micro structure and physical properties of SiC amorphized by both ion and neutron irradiation. Specifically, 0.56 MeV Si ions have been implanted in single crystal 6H-SiC from ambient through >200°C and the critical threshold for amorphization was measured as a function of the irradiation temperature. From a high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) study of the crystalline to amorphous transition region in these materials, elongated pockets of amorphous material oriented parallel to the free surface are observed. Single crystal 6H-SiC and hot pressed and sintered 6H and 3C SiC were neutron irradiated at approximately 70°C to a dose of ∼2.56 dpa causing complete amorphization. Property changes resulting from the crystal to amorphous transition in SiC include a density decrease of 10.8%, a hardness decrease from 38.7 to 21.0 GPa, and a decrease in elastic modulus from 528 to 292 GPa. Recrystallization of the amorphized, single crystal 6H-SiC appears to occur in two stages. In the temperature range of ∼800-1000°C, crystallites nucleate and slowly grow. In the temperature range of 1125-1150°C spontaneous nucleation and rapid growth of crystallites occur. It is further noted that amorphized 6H (alpha) SiC recrystallizes to highly faulted fee (beta) SiC. © 1998 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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