In situ and tomographic characterization of damage and dislocation processes in irradiated metallic alloys by transmission electron microscopy
Progress toward combining time-resolved experiments with periodic three-dimensional analysis of the evolved microstructural state has been made recently. In situ electron microscopy is used to observe in real time the development of irradiation defects and the influence of these defects on dislocation behavior. Three-dimensional characterization provides information on the true spatial distribution of defects and clarifies effects of the free surfaces in thin films. This quasi-four dimensional analysis approach has been applied to understand the formation of channels in irradiated alloys, the depth distribution of ion damage in an electron transparent foil, and the dislocation channel interactions with grain boundaries. The new insight obtained from these experiments is highlighted and contrasted with findings from simulations.