NUKLEONIKA 2012, 57(3):337-343



Ludwik Dąbrowski, Marcin Szuta

National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ),
7 Andrzeja Sołtana Str., 05-400 Otwock/Świerk, Poland

We present density functional theory (DFT) calculation results concerning the uranium dioxide crystals with a helium atom incorporated in the octahedral interstitial position. “Ab initio” calculations were performed using the Wien2k program package. For comparison, a pseudo-potential approach in the generalized gradient approximation was applied using the ABINIT program package. To compute the unit cell parameters 13 atom super-cell was chosen. Parameters of the potential barrier, which the helium atom has to overcome while jumping to the next octahedral interstitial position, were calculated by the help of both the program packages. The results, obtained using two different program packages, are shown in the table and presented graphically. For the so described parameters, the quantum mechanical movement of the helium atom around the equilibrium position is considered. The parameters of Schrödinger’s equation are collected in Table 2, while the results of mean square deviation and thermal occupation of energetic levels are presented in a graph. It is established that the helium atoms are located (with an accuracy of several percent of lattice constant) nearby the equilibrium position and form a local bound state. Applying a two site-model, we evaluated the time for an over-barrier jump. Graphically presented results show that the helium atom over-barrier jump is not possible even for temperatures as high as 1200 K. Influence of potential barrier height on the jump time was also considered.

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