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Application of In Situ TEM to Investigate Irradiation Creep in Nanocrystalline Zirconium

  • New Developments in Nanomechanical Methods
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This work characterizes the irradiation creep response of nanocrystalline zirconium by nanoscale quantitative tensile loading and ion irradiation experiments performed simultaneously in situ inside a transmission electron microscope. Microfabricated devices consisting of a freestanding Zr tensile specimen 100 nm in thickness on an elastic Si test frame were produced, and subsequent ex situ ion irradiations were performed on devices with 1.4 MeV Zr ions to a nominal damage level of 0.26 displacement per atom. Subsequent in situ creep experiments performed with and without 1.4 MeV Zr ion irradiation at different applied tensile loads revealed that creep rates were enhanced by the simultaneous radiation damage. This coupled in situ nanomechanical and irradiation methodology enables rapid quantification of both the irradiation creep compliance and associated microstructural evolution.

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The authors would like to thank E. Hintsala, D. Stauffer, (Bruker/Hysitron, Inc.), M. Kathleen Alam, T. Clark, B.L. Boyce, D.L. Buller, J. Dellinger, T.A. Furnish, W.M. Mook, R. Sisson, and S. Van Deusen (Sandia National Laboratories) for their assistance with this work. B.W. and A.H. acknowledge the support from the National Science Foundation (DMR 1609060). Work performed by D.C.B., C.M.B., and K.H. was fully supported by the Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy. This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA-0003525. The views expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. DOE or the United States Government.

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Bufford, D.C., Barr, C.M., Wang, B. et al. Application of In Situ TEM to Investigate Irradiation Creep in Nanocrystalline Zirconium. JOM 71, 3350–3357 (2019).

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