The migration mechanisms and the corresponding activation energies of Cr-vacancy (Cr-V) clusters and Cr interstitials in alpha-Fe have been investigated using the dimer and the nudged elastic-band methods. Dimer searches are employed to find the possible transition states of these defects and the lowest-energy paths are used to determine the energy barriers for migration. A substitutional Cr atom can migrate to a nearest-neighbor vacancy through an energy barrier of 0.56 eV but this simple mechanism alone is unlikely to lead to the long-distance migration of Cr unless there is a supersaturated concentration of vacancies in the system. The Cr-vacancy clusters can lead to long-distance migration of a Cr atom that is accomplished by Fe and Cr atoms successively jumping to nearest-neighbor vacancy positions, defined as a self-vacancy-assisted migration mechanism, with the migration energies ranging from 0.64 to 0.89 eV.
|Journal||Physical Review B|
|State||Published - 30 Jan 2010|