Xe Precipitates in Aluminum

Robert C. Birtcher, Stephen E. Donnelly, Ian Morrison, Charles W. Allen, Kazuo Furuya, Minghui Song, Kazutaka Mitsuishi, Ulrich Dahmen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Real space, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy observations of Xe confined in nanometer size faceted cavities in Al yield information on both the inert gas and the matrix in which it is confined. At room temperature, Xe in such cavities can be liquid or an fee solid. In larger cavities, Xe within can undergo melting and recrystallization. The Al surface energy can be deduced from the largest Xe nanocrystal at 300 K by setting the corresponding calculated Laplace pressure equal to the equilibrium pressure for melting of Xe, obtained from empirical bulk compression data. These surface energy values are 1.05 J m-2 for {111} facets and 1.10 J m-2 for {200} facets. Because of the weak interactions, these values correspond to the surface tensions for Al at 300 K. At room temperature, fluid Xe confined in small faceted cavities in aluminum has up to three ordered layers of Xe atoms at the Al interface. Conceptually in a three-dimensionally confined system of sufficiently small size, complete three-dimensional ordering of the fluid may occur. Molecular dynamics simulations have revealed that such ordering would result in fluid Xe confined to a small tetragonal volume solidifying as a body-centered cubic phase on compression.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventRadiation Effects and Ion-Beam Processing of Materials - Boston, United States
Duration: 1 Dec 20035 Dec 2003


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