Wigner defects bridge the graphite gap

Telling, Rob H, Ewels, Chris P, El-Barbary, Ahlam and Heggie, Malcolm I (2003) Wigner defects bridge the graphite gap. Nature Materials, 2 (5). pp. 333-337. ISSN 1476-1122

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Abstract

We present findings on the structure, energies and behaviour of defects in irradiated graphitic carbon materials. Defect production due to high-energy nuclear radiations experienced in graphite moderators is generally associated with undesirable changes in internal energy, microstructure and physical properties—the so-called Wigner effect. On the flip side, the controlled introduction and ability to handle such defects in the electron beam is considered a desirable way to engineer the properties of carbon nanostructures. In both cases, the atomic-level details of structure and interaction are only just beginning to be understood. Here, using a model system of crystalline graphite, we show from first-principles calculations, new details in the behaviour of vacancy and interstitial defects. We identify a prominent barrier-state to energy release, reveal a surprising ability of vacancy defects to bridge the widely spaced atomic layers, and discuss physical property and microstructure changes during irradiation, including interactions with dislocations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: MIH directed the research and contributed substantially to the authorship with co-authors from Sussex. This is the first statement that point defects cause cross linking of sheets of graphite. It includes the first serious DFT study of the spiro interstitial and of the interplanar divacancy in graphite. Cited 62 times.
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Chemistry
Depositing User: Malcolm Heggie
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:44
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 10:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27839
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