Publications / Journal Article

Investigations of irradiation effects in crystalline and amorphous SiC

Cowen, Benjamin J.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Hattar, Khalid M.; Briggs, Samuel A.

The effects of irradiation on 3C-silicon carbide (SiC) and amorphous SiC (a-SiC) are investigated using both in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and complementary molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The single ion strikes identified in the in situ TEM irradiation experiments, utilizing a 1.7 MeV Au3+ ion beam with nanosecond resolution, are contrasted to MD simulation results of the defect cascades produced by 10-100 keV Si primary knock-on atoms (PKAs). The MD simulations also investigated defect structures that could possibly be responsible for the observed strain fields produced by single ion strikes in the TEM ion beam irradiation experiments. Both MD simulations and in situ TEM experiments show evidence of radiation damage in 3C-SiC but none in a-SiC. Selected area electron diffraction patterns, based on the results of MD simulations and in situ TEM irradiation experiments, show no evidence of structural changes in either 3C-SiC or a-SiC.