Dispersion of carbon nanotubes in aluminum improves radiation resistance

Kang Pyo So, Di Chen, Akihiro Kushima, Mingda Li, Sangtae Kim, Yang Yang, Ziqiang Wang, Jong Gil Park, Young Hee Lee, Rafael I. Gonzalez, Miguel Kiwi, Eduardo M. Bringa, Lin Shao, Ju Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We can mass-produce metal/carbon nanotube (CNT) composites that show improved radiation tolerance. The 0.5 wt% Al+CNT composite showed improved tensile strength without reduction of tensile ductility before radiation, and reduced void/pore generation and radiation embrittlement at high displacements per atom (DPA). Under helium ion irradiation up to 72 DPA, the 1D carbon nanostructures survive, while sp2 bonded graphene transforms to sp3 tetrahedral amorphous carbon. Self-ion (Al) irradiation converts CNTs to a metastable form of Al4C3, but still as slender 1D nanorods with prolific internal interfaces that catalyze recombination of radiation defects, reducing radiation hardening and porosity generation. The 1D fillers may also form percolating paths of "nano-chimneys" that outgas the accumulated helium and other fission gases, providing an essential solution to the gas accumulation problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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