Up to now, analyzing the production of dislocation-type defects in the subsurface region of plasma or ion-exposed tungsten samples has been hampered by the challenging production of suitable cross-section samples for transmission electron microscopy. We present two reliable methods based on precision electropolishing to prepare cross-sections of tungsten that allow direct imaging of dislocation-type defects by scanning as well as by transmission electron microscopy. Using these methods, we are able to demonstrate a clear enhancement of the dislocation density in the caps of blisters on tungsten exposed to H isotope plasma, i.e., of surface morphologies that are correlated to subsurface cavities. As a benchmark, we also show a cross-section of tungsten irradiated by 20 MeV W6+ ions.
Manhard, A., von Toussaint, U., Balden, M., Elgeti, S., Schwarz-Selinger, T., Gao, L., … Ciupiński. (2017). Microstructure and defect analysis in the vicinity of blisters in polycrystalline tungsten. Nuclear Materials and Energy, 12, 714–719. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nme.2016.10.014