Effects of hydrogen and impurities on void nucleation in copper: Simulation point of view

M. G. Ganchenkova*, Y. N. Yagodzinskyy, V. A. Borodin, Hannu Hänninen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanisms of hydrogen influence on vacancy cluster formation in copper are studied using numerical simulations. Vacancy agglomeration in clusters larger than divacancies is found to be energetically favourable, but in pure copper the cluster creation is prevented by the lack of binding between single vacancies. Hydrogen dissolved in the lattice readily accumulates in vacancy-type defects, changing their properties. A single vacancy can accommodate up to six hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen stabilizes divacancies and promotes vacancy cluster nucleation. In larger vacancy clusters, accumulated hydrogen prevents cluster collapse into stacking fault tetrahedra. In small voids, hydrogen prefers to remain in atomic form at the void surface, but when voids become sufficiently large, hydrogen molecules in the void interior can also be formed. Some common impurities in copper (O, S, P and Ag) contribute to void formation by capturing vacancies in their vicinity. In contrast, substitutional Ni has little effect on vacancy clustering but tends to capture interstitial hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3522-3548
Number of pages27
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • copper
  • hydrogen
  • impurity
  • modelling
  • void

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