Effect of dual ion beam irradiation (helium and deuterium) on tungsten–tantalum alloys under fusion relevant conditions

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Abstract

The selection of tungsten (W) as a divertor material in ITER is based on its high melting point, low erosion, and strong mechanical properties. However, continued investigation has shown W to undergo severe morphology changes in fusion-like conditions. Recent literature suggests alloying W with other ductile refractory metals, viz. tantalum (Ta) may resolve some of these issues. These results provide further motivation for investigating W–Ta alloys as a plasma-facing component (PFC) for ITER and future DEMO reactors. Specifically, how these alloy materials respond to simultaneous He+ and D+ ion irradiation, and what is the effect on the surface morphology when exposed to fusion relevant conditions. In the present study, the surface morphology changes are investigated in several W–Ta targets (pure W, W-1%Ta, W-3%Ta, and W-5% Ta) due to simultaneous He+ and D+ ion irradiations. This comprehensive work allows for deeper understanding of the synergistic effects induced by dual ion irradiation on W and W–Ta alloy surface morphology. Pure W and W–Ta alloys were irradiated simultaneously by 100 eV He+ and/or D+ ions at various mixture ratios (100% He+, 60% D+ + 40% He+, 90% D+ + 10% He+ ions and 100% D+ ions), having a total constant He fluence of 6 × 1024 ion m−2, and at a target temperature of 1223 K. This work shows that slight changes in materials composition and He/D content have significant impact on surface morphology evolution and performance. While both the pure W and W–Ta alloys exhibit very damaged surfaces under the He+ only irradiations, there is a clear suppression of the surface morphology evolution as the ratio of D+/He+ ions is increased.

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Gonderman, S., Tripathi, J. K., Novakowski, T. J., Sizyuk, T., & Hassanein, A. (2017). Effect of dual ion beam irradiation (helium and deuterium) on tungsten–tantalum alloys under fusion relevant conditions. Nuclear Materials and Energy, 12, 346–352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nme.2017.02.011

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