Thermodynamic and kinetic properties of Fe-Cr and TiC-ZrC alloys from Density Functional Theory

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: The complete and accurate thermodynamic and kinetic description of any systemis crucialfor understanding and predicting its properties. A particular interest is in systemsthat are used for some practical applications and have to be constantly improved usingmodification of their composition and structure. This task can be quite accuratelysolved at a fundamental level by density functional theory methods. Thesemethods areapplied to two practically important systems Fe-Cr and TiC-ZrC.The elastic properties of pure iron and substitutionally disordered Fe-Cr alloy are investigatedas a function of temperature and concentration using first-principles electronicstructurecalculations by the exact muffin-tin orbitals method. The temperature effectson the elastic properties are included via the electronic, magnetic, and lattice expansioncontributions. It is shown that the degree of magnetic order in both pure iron andFe90Cr10 alloy mainly determines the dramatic change of the elastic anisotropy of thesematerials at elevated temperatures. A peculiarity in the concentration dependence ofthe elastic constants in Fe-rich alloys is demonstrated and related to a change in theFermi surface topology.A thermodynamic model for the magnetic alloys is developed from first principles andapplied to the calculation of bcc Fe-Cr phase diagram. Various contributions to the freeenergy (magnetic, electronic, and phonon) are estimated and included in the model. Inparticular, it is found that magnetic short range order effects are important just abovethe Curie temperature. The model is applied for calculating phase equilibria in disorderedbcc Fe-Cr alloys. Model calculations reproduce a feature known as a Nishizawahorn for the Fe-rich high-temperature part of the phase diagram.The investigation of the TiC-ZrC system includes a detailed study of the defect formationenergies and migration barriers of point defects and defect complexes involvedin the diffusion process. It is found, using ab initio atomistic simulations of vacancymediateddiffusion processes in TiC and ZrC, that a special self-diffusion mechanism isoperative for metal atom diffusion in sub-stoichiometric carbides. It involves a noveltype of a stable point defect, a metal vacancy ”dressed” in a shell of carbon vacancies.It is shown that this vacancy cluster is strongly bound and can propagate through thelattice without dissociating.