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We have used a full-potential linear muffin-tin orbital method to calculate the effects of oxygen impurities on the electronic structure of NiAl. Using the supercell method with a 16-atom supercell we have investigated the cases where an oxygen atom is substitutionally placed at either a nickel or an aluminum site. Full relaxation of the atoms within the supercell was allowed. We found that oxygen prefers to occupy a nickel site over an aluminum site with a site selection energy of 138 mRy (21,370 K). An oxygen atom placed at an aluminum site is found to cause a substantial relaxation of its nickel neighbors away from it. In contrast, this steric repulsion is hardly present when the oxygen atom occupies the nickel site and is surrounded by aluminum neighbors. We comment on the possible relation of this effect to the pesting degradation phenomenon (essentially spontaneous disintegration in air) in nickel aluminides.

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Djajaputra, David., &Cooper, Bernard R. (2001). Oxygen Impurities In Nial: Relaxation Effects. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 64(8).