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Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 21;6:24785. doi: 10.1038/srep24785.

Radiation Resistant Vanadium-Graphene Nanolayered Composite.

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Graduate School of Energy, Environment, Water and Sustainability, Korea Advanced Institute of Science &Technology, Daejeon 305-338, Korea.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Graphene Research Center of KI for the NanoCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science &Technology, Daejeon 305-338, Korea.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science &Technology, Daejeon 305-338, Korea.


Ultra high strength V-graphene nanolayers were developed for the first time that was demonstrated to have an excellent radiation tolerance as revealed by the He(+) irradiation study. Radiation induced hardening, evaluated via nanopillar compressions before and after He(+) irradiation, is significantly reduced with the inclusion of graphene layers; the flow stresses of V-graphene nanolayers with 110 nm repeat layer spacing showed an increase of 25% while pure V showed an increase of 88% after He(+) dosage of 13.5 dpa. The molecular dynamics simulations confirmed that the graphene interface can spontaneously absorb the nearby crystalline defects that are produced from a collision cascade, thereby enhancing the lifetime of the V-graphene nanolayers via this self-healing effect. In addition, the impermeability of He gas through the graphene resulted in suppression of He bubble agglomerations that in turn reduced embrittlement. In-situ SEM compression also showed the ability of graphene to hinder crack propagation that suppressed the failure.

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