Volume 85, Number 2, January 2009
Article Number 26001
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 22 January 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 26001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/26001

From multiply twinned to fcc nanoparticles via irradiation-induced transient amorphization

T. T. Järvi1, D. Pohl2, K. Albe3, B. Rellinghaus2, L. Schultz2, J. Fassbender4, A. Kuronen1 and K. Nordlund1

1   Department of Physics, University of Helsinki - P.O. Box 43, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland, EU
2   IFW Dresden, Institute for Metallic Materials - P.O. Box 270116, D-01171 Dresden, Germany, EU
3   Institut für Materialwissenschaft, Technische Universität Darmstadt - Petersenstr. 23, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany, EU
4   Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research, Forschungszentrum Rossendorf - P.O. Box 510119, D-01314 Dresden, Germany, EU

received 14 August 2008; accepted in final form 13 December 2008; published January 2009
published online 22 January 2009

We present experimental evidence for structural transformation of multiply twinned CuAu nanoparticles to single-crystalline morphology by 0.5 keV helium irradiation. This finding is unexpected as the stability of twin boundaries should not be affected by ion-beam–induced Frenkel pairs. Molecular-dynamics simulations reveal, however, a new transformation mechanism based on transient amorphization of the particle. By comparing with irradiation simulations of elemental nanoparticles, as well as alloyed bulk samples and surface cascades, we show that this transformation route is only present in alloyed particles. Moreover, the observed amorphization is more efficient for twinned than single-crystalline particles. This, together with the fast recrystallization kinetics in CuAu, explains the experimentally observed untwinning process.

64.70.Nd - Structural transitions in nanoscale materials.
61.43.Dq - Amorphous semiconductors, metals, and alloys.
61.80.-x - Physical radiation effects, radiation damage.

© EPLA 2009