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Structural damage response of lanthanum and yttrium aluminate crystals to nuclear collisions and electronic excitation: Thres...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Materials Science & Technology
Publication Date
Page Numbers
95 to 107

A comparative analysis is performed on the structural damage response and associated mechanisms in lanthanum aluminate and yttrium aluminate crystals under various irradiation conditions by a combination of experimental and theoretical approaches. Under low-energy Au+ irradiation, the damage accumulation curve shows a higher damage rate for LaAlO3 crystals than YAlO3 crystals. The relatively low irradiation tolerance of LaAlO3 to the action of nuclear collisions is ascribed to the large amorphization cross-section and effective cross-section for defect-stimulated amorphization. Under swift Ar12+, Ni19+ and Kr17+ irradiation with different ion energies and velocities, the formed highly-disordered/amorphous latent tracks with different morphologies in pristine and predamaged crystals are discussed, and the corresponding electronic energy loss and lattice temperature thresholds are quantitatively determined. Compared to YAlO3, LaAlO3 exhibits lower sensitivity and higher damage tolerance to the electronic energy loss process, attributing to its relatively high recrystallization efficiency during the rapid quenching process. Furthermore, the introduction of lattice defects into LaAlO3 and YAlO3 crystals considerably enhances the sensitivity and intensity of thermal spike response to the electronic energy loss, and the induced effective modification of track morphologies demonstrates the synergistic effect between the electronic energy loss and pre-existing defects created by nuclear collisions. In this case, even under the action of electronic energy loss below the threshold, the lattice temperature in the nuclear-collision damaged crystalline system could still meet the criterion for track production. The irradiation energy deposited to atoms and induced lattice temperature evolution discussed in this work provide a deeper insight into the complex processes involved in irradiation-induced latent track behaviors.