Irradiation of materials by energetic particles causes significant degradation of the mechanical properties, most notably an increased yield stress and decrease ductility, thus limiting lifetime of materials used in nuclear reactors. The microstructure of irradiated materials evolves over a wide range of length and time scales, making radiation damage and inherently multi-scale phenomenon. At atomic length scale, the principal sources of radiation damage are the primary knock-on atoms that recoil under collision from energetic particles such as neutrons or ions. These knock-on atoms in turn produce vacancies and self-interstitial atoms, and stacking fault tetrahedra. At higher length scale, these defect clusters form loops around existing dislocations, leading to their decoration and immobilization, which ultimately leads to radiation hardening in most of the materials. All these defects finally effect the macroscopic mechanical and other properties. An attempt is made to understand these phenomena using molecular dynamics studies and discrete dislocation dynamics modelling.

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