Theoretical studies of Ir<sub>5</sub>Th and Ir<sub>5</sub>Ce nanoscale precipitates in Ir

<div><p>Experimentally, it is known that very small amounts of thorium and/or cerium added to iridium metal form a precipitate, Ir<sub>5</sub>Th/Ir<sub>5</sub>Ce, which improves the high-temperature mechanical properties of the resulting alloys. We demonstrate that there are low-energy configurations for nanoscale precipitates of these phases in Ir, and that these coherent arrangements may assist in producing improved mechanical properties. One precipitate/matrix orientation gives a particularly low interfacial energy, and a low lattice misfit. Nanolayer precipitates with this orientation are found to be likely to form with little driving force to coarsen. The predicted morphology of the precipitates and their orientation with the matrix phase provide a potential experiment that could be used to test these predictions.</p></div>