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"Point defects in thorium nitride: A first-principles study"
D. Pérez Daroca, A.M. Llois and H.O. Mosca
J. Nucl. Mater. 480 (2016) 1-6
Thorium and its compounds (carbides and nitrides) are being investigated as possible materials to be used as nuclear fuels for Generation-IV reactors. As a first step in the research of these materials under irradiation, we study the formation energies and stability of point defects in thorium nitride by means of first-principles calculations within the framework of density functional theory. We focus on vacancies, interstitials, Frenkel pairs and Schottky defects. We found that N and Th vacancies have almost the same formation energy and that the most energetically favorable defects of all studied in this work are N interstitials. These kind of results for ThN, to the best authors' knowledge, have not been obtained previously, neither experimentally, nor theoretically.
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