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Understanding effects of chemical complexity on helium bubble formation in Ni-based concentrated solid solution alloys based ...

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Journal of Nuclear Materials
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Helium bubble formation and swelling were systematically studied in Ni-based concentrated solid solution alloys containing different numbers and types of elements. Our microscopy analysis showed that although increasing the alloy chemical complexity helps suppress bubble formation in general, there is no monotonic relationship between the bubble growth rate and the number of alloying elements. Certain elements (e.g., Fe and Pd) are more effective in suppressing bubble growth than others (e.g., Cr and Mn). Atom probe tomography was applied to accurately measure elemental segregation around bubbles, revealing unique effects of certain alloying elements on vacancy migration towards bubbles. More specifically, the high vacancy mobility via Cr sites leads to a large vacancy flux and an increased bubble size, while the high degree of atomic size mismatch introduced by Pd helps deflect vacancy flow away from bubbles and decrease the amount of swelling. The effects identified in this study provide new strategies to design concentrated solid solutions with superior resistance to swelling.