Depth distribution analysis of Martensitic transformations in Xe implanted austenitic stainless steel

E. Johnson, E. Gerritsen, N.G. Chechenin, A. Johansen, L. Sarholt-Kristensen, H.A.A. Keetels, L. Gråbæk, J. Bohr

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    In recent years the implantation of noble gases in metals has been found to induce some exciting phenomena such as formation of inclusions containing solid gas at extremely high pressures. In stainless steels these inclusions are the origin of a stress-induced martensitic fcc → bcc phase transformation in the implanted layer.

    In this work we present results from a depth distribution analysis of the martensitic phase change occurring in Xe implanted single crystals of austenitic stainless steel. Analysis was done by in situ RBS/channeling analysis, X-ray diffraction and cross-section transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) of the implanted surface. It is found that the martensitic transformation of the surface layer occurs for fluences above 1 × 1020 m−2. The thickness of the transformed layer increases with fluence to ≈ 150 nm at 1 × 10 21 m−2, which far exceeds the range plus straggling of the implanted Xe as calculated by the TRIM computer simulation code. Simulations using the MARLOWE code indicate that the thickness of the transformed layer coincides with the range of the small fraction of ions channeled under random implantation conditions.

    Using cross sectional TEM on the Xe implanted crystals, the depth distribution of gas inclusions and defects can be directly observed. Besides microstructural details of the near surface region, this technique offers a well calibrated depth scale to be compared with that derived by RBS.

    Using X-ray diffraction on implanted single crystals, the solid epitaxial nature of the Xe inclusions, induced prior to the martensitic transformation, was established. The lattice constant obtained from the broad diffraction peak indicates that the pressure in the inclusions is ≈ 5 GPa.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Issue number1-4
    Pages (from-to)573-577
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1989

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