Grain boundaries in uranium dioxide: Scanning electron microscopy experiments and atomistic simulations

Pankaj V. Nerikar, Karin Rudman, Tapan G. Desai, Darrin Byler, Cetin Unal, Kenneth J. McClellan, Simon R. Phillpot, Susan B. Sinnott, Pedro Peralta, Blas P. Uberuaga, Christopher R. Stanek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

The distribution and atomic structure of grain boundaries has been investigated in UO2. Our scanning electron microscopic/electron backscatter diffraction experiments on a depleted UO2 sample showed real nuclear fuels contain a combination of special coincident site lattice (CSL) and general boundaries. The experimental data indicated that ∼16% of the boundaries were CSL boundaries and the CSL distribution was dominated by low ∑ boundaries; namely ∑9, ∑3, and ∑5 Based on our experimental observations, the structures of select low ∑ (∑5 tilt, ∑5 twist, ∑3 tilt) and a random boundary were analyzed in greater detail using empirical potential atomic-scale calculations. Our calculations indicate that the boundaries have very different structures and each CSL boundary had multiple minima on the γ-surface. The presence of a significant fraction of CSL boundaries and the differences in their structures are expected to have important consequences on fuel properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1893-1900
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Volume94
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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    Nerikar, P. V., Rudman, K., Desai, T. G., Byler, D., Unal, C., McClellan, K. J., Phillpot, S. R., Sinnott, S. B., Peralta, P., Uberuaga, B. P., & Stanek, C. R. (2011). Grain boundaries in uranium dioxide: Scanning electron microscopy experiments and atomistic simulations. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 94(6), 1893-1900. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1551-2916.2010.04295.x