Effects of helium ion implantation on the surface morphology of tungsten at high temperature for the first wall armor and divertor plates of fusion reactors
Three devices at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (UW IEC) laboratory were used to implant W and W alloys with helium ions at high temperatures. These devices were HOMER, HELIOS, and the Materials Irradiation Experiment (MITE-E). The research presented in this thesis will focus on the experiments carried out utilizing the MITE-E. Early UW work in HOMER and HELIOS on silicon carbide, carbon velvet, W-coated carbon velvet, fine-grain W, nano-grain W, W needles, and single- and polycrystalline W showed that these materials were not resistant to He+ implantation above ∼800 °C. Unalloyed W developed a "coral-like" surface morphology after He+ implantation, but appeared to be the most robust material investigated. The MITE-E used an ion gun technology to implant tungsten with 30 keV He+. Tungsten specimens were implanted at 900 °C to total average fluences of 6x1016 -- 6x1018 He +/cm2. Other specimens were implanted to a total average fluence of 5x1018 He+/cm2 at temperatures between 500 and 900 °C. Micrographs of the implanted W specimens revealed the development of three distinct surface morphologies. These morphologies are classified as "blistering", "pitting", and "orientated ridges". Preferential sputtering of the W by the energetic He+ appears to be responsible for pitting and orientated ridges which developed at high fluences (1019 He+/cm2) in the MITE-E. While the orientated ridges were the dominant morphology on the W surface above 700 °C, the pitting was prevalent below 700 °C. The blister morphology was observed at all of the examined temperatures at fluences ≥5x1017 He+/cm2 but disappeared above fluences of 1019 He+/cm 2. The "coral-like" surface morphology on W inherent to He + implantation experiments in HOMER and HELIOS developed from a combination of sources: multiangular ion incidence, ion energy spread (softening), and electron field emission from nano-scale surface features induced by He + implantation. The HOMER and HELIOS devices were found to be better suited for simulation of magnetic fusion environments with off-normal particle incidences, and the MITE-E was found to be more suited for simulating the normal particle incidence of inertial fusion environments.
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- Engineering, Nuclear;Physics, Nuclear;Engineering, Materials Science