Structural Evolution of Tungsten Surface Exposed to Sequential Low-Energy Helium Ion Irradiation and Transient Heat Loading
Structural damage due to high flux particle irradiation can result in significant changes to the thermal strength of the plasma facing component surface (PFC) during off-normal events in a tokamak. Low-energy He+ ion irradiation of tungsten (W), which is currently the leading candidate material for future PFCs, can result in the development of a fiber form nanostructure, known as “fuzz”. In the current study, mirror-finished W foils were exposed to 100 eV He+ ion irradiation at a fluence of 2.6 × 1024 ions m−2 and a temperature of 1200 K. Then, samples were exposed to two different types of pulsed heat loading meant to replicate type-I edge-localized mode (ELM) heating at varying energy densities and base temperatures. Millisecond (ms) laser exposure done at 1200 K revealed a reduction in fuzz density with increasing energy density due to the conglomeration and local melting of W fibers. At higher energy densities (∼ 1.5 MJ m−2), RT exposures resulted in surface cracking, while 1200 K exposures resulted in surface roughening, demonstrating the role of base temperature on the crack formation in W. Electron beam heating presented similar trends in surface morphology evolution; a higher penetration depth led to reduced melt motion and plasticity. In situ mass loss measurements obtained via a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) found an exponential increase in particle emission for RT exposures, while the prevalence of melting from 1200 K exposures yielded no observable trend.
Plasma facing materials, fuzz formation, tungsten, ELMITER, transient heat loading
Date of this Version
Sinclair, Gregory & Tripathi, Jitendra & Diwakar, Prasoon & Wirtz, Marius & Linke, Jochen & Hassanein, A.. (2017). Structural evolution of tungsten surface exposed to sequential low-energy helium ion irradiation and transient heat loading. Nuclear Materials and Energy. 12. 10.1016/j.nme.2017.03.003.
This is the publishers version of Sinclair, Gregory & Tripathi, Jitendra & Diwakar, Prasoon & Wirtz, Marius & Linke, Jochen & Hassanein, A.. (2017). Structural evolution of tungsten surface exposed to sequential low-energy helium ion irradiation and transient heat loading. Nuclear Materials and Energy. 12. 10.1016/j.nme.2017.03.003.