Methods for Determining Vacancy Formation Thermodynamic


The vacancy formation thermodynamics in six fcc metals Ag, Au, Cu, Ni, Pd and Pt are determined from atomistic simulations as a function of temperature. This investigation is performed using the Embedded Atom Method interatomic potentials and the finite temperature properties are determined within the local harmonic and the quasiharmonic frameworks. We find that the temperature dependence of the vacancy formation energy can make a significant contribution to the vacancy concentration at high temperatures. An additional goal of the present study is to evaluate the accuracy of the local harmonic method under circumstances in which the excess entropy associated with the formation of a defect is very small. Our data demonstrate that while the errors associated with determining the vacancy formation entropy in the local harmonic model are large, a simple extension to the local harmonic method yields thermodynamic properties comparable to that obtained in the quasiharmonic model, but with much higher computational efficiency.

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This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency through the Office of Naval Research, Grant No. N00014-91-J-4019.

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Correspondence to L. Zhao.

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Zhao, L., Najafabadl, R. & Srolovitz, D.J. Methods for Determining Vacancy Formation Thermodynamic. MRS Online Proceedings Library 291, 455–460 (1992).

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