For the first time, voiding mechanisms resulting from the condensation of atomic vacancies injected at oxide/ alloy interfaces by the growth of oxide layers have been studied by means of periodic density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Several interfaces were built by superimposing ultrathin films of alumina on the γ-TiAl(111) surface, and their relative stabilities were compared by calculating the interface energy variation. The formation energy of single Ti or Al vacancies and clustered and dispersed ensembles of 2Ti + 1Al or 2Al + 1Ti vacancies injected into the alloy were calculated. The results show that it is easier to inject the vacancies into the oxide/alloy interface than into the bare alloy surface and into the bulk alloy. The injected vacancies, trapped at the oxide/alloy interface, condense in the topmost plane of the alloy to form 2D clusters. The minimization of the coordination number of the vacancies with metal atoms of the alloy and O atoms of the overlaying oxide favors vacancy condensation and interfacial voiding. The data are relevant for a detailed understanding of the adherence and breakdown of protective oxide films and the lifetime of metallic materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films