Energetics of cobalt alloys and compounds and solute–vacancy binding in fcc cobalt: A first-principles database

S. Shahab Naghavi, Vinay I. Hegde, Abhinav Saboo, C. Wolverton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Using extensive first-principles density functional calculations, we calculate thermodynamic properties of binary fcc cobalt-based alloys with 25 different solute elements. For each solute element X, we calculate its (a) nearest- and next-nearest-neighbor solute–vacancy binding energy, (b) dilute impurity mixing energy with respect to the equilibrium and hypothetical fcc-based reference states of the solute, (c) enthalpy of formation of cobalt-rich binary ordered compounds in the Co–X system, (d) solubility enthalpy, and other derived quantities. We find that the solute–vacancy binding energies of all the studied solutes in fcc cobalt are positive (indicating favorable binding), in contrast to nickel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper-based alloys, where mid 3d transition metal solutes have unfavorable solute–vacancy binding. We study the physical and chemical effects influencing solute–vacancy binding energy, and find that (a) it correlates broadly with solute size—larger solute atoms possess stronger binding with vacancies—and this is understood in terms of strain relief and secondary next-nearest-neighbor interactions, and (b) it follows a parabolic trend as a function of d-occupancy across the transition metal series—falling to a minimum at the middle of the series—and this is understood in terms of a d-band filling effect. We also find this d-band filling effect in other calculated quantities such as the dilute impurity volumes and dilute impurity mixing energies. To aid in building thermodynamic databases, we tabulate all the calculated thermodynamic quantities, and compare them with experimental phase diagrams data and previous literature, and find good agreement where such data is available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Cobalt-based superalloys
  • First-principles calculations
  • Solute-vacancy binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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