Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 3975–3993 | Cite as

Atomistic modeling of interfacial segregation and structural transitions in ternary alloys

  • Yang Hu
  • Timothy J. RupertEmail author


Grain boundary engineering via dopant segregation can dramatically change the properties of a material. For metallic systems, most current studies concerning interfacial segregation and subsequent transitions of grain boundary structure are limited to binary alloys, yet many important alloy systems contain more than one type of dopant. In this work, hybrid Monte Carlo/molecular dynamics simulations are performed to investigate the behavior of dopants at interfaces in two model ternary alloy systems: Cu–Zr–Ag and Al–Zr–Cu. Trends in boundary segregation are studied, as well as the propensity for the grain boundary structure to become disordered at high temperature and doping concentration. For Al–Zr–Cu, we find that the two solutes prefer to occupy different sites at the grain boundary, leading to a synergistic doping effect. Alternatively, for Cu–Zr–Ag, there is site competition because the preferred segregation sites are the same. Finally, we find that thicker amorphous intergranular films can be formed in ternary systems by controlling the concentration ratio of different solute elements.



This research was supported by US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering Division under Award No. DE-SC0014232.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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