Impact of magnetic transition on Mn diffusion in α -iron: Correlative state-of-the-art theoretical and experimental study

Hegde, O. and Kulitckii, V. and Schneider, A. and Soisson, F. and Hickel, T. and Neugebauer, J. and Wilde, G. and Divinski, S. and Fu, C.-C.

Volume: 104 Pages:
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.104.184107
Published: 2021

An accurate prediction of atomic diffusion in Fe alloys is challenging due to thermal magnetic excitations and magnetic transitions. We investigate the diffusion of Mn in bcc Fe using an effective interaction model and first-principles based spin-space averaged relaxations in magnetically disordered systems. The theoretical results are compared with the dedicated radiotracer measurements of Mn54 diffusion in a wide temperature range of 773 to 1173 K, performed by combining the precision grinding (higher temperatures) and ion-beam sputtering (low temperatures) sectioning techniques. The temperature evolution of Mn diffusion coefficients in bcc iron in theory and experiment agree very well and consistently reveal a reduced acceleration of Mn solute diffusion around the Curie point. By analyzing the temperature dependencies of the ratio of Mn diffusion coefficients to self-diffusion coefficients we observe a dominance of magnetic disorder over chemical effects on high-temperature diffusion. Therefore, the missing acceleration mainly reflects an anomalous behavior of the Mn solute in the magnetically ordered low-temperature state of the Fe host, as compared to other transition metals. © 2021 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.

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