Characterization of the dynamic formation of nano-tendril surface morphology on tungsten while exposed to helium plasma
Author(s)Woller, Kevin Benjamin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Dennis G. Whyte.
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Tungsten undergoes surface morphology changes on the nanometer scale when subjected to low energy helium ion bombardment. This is due in part to the ion bombardment causing tungsten atoms to move on the surface, but also because of helium implantation and bubble development in the near surface at a depth < 30 nm. At high enough surface temperatures, T/TM >/~ 0.2, where TM is the melting temperature, nanoscale tendrils form on the surface and grow longer with additional bombardment by helium, but will decompose at the same temperature without helium bombardment. A tungsten surface that develops a densely packed layer of nano-tendrils over macroscopic areas greater than the grain size is referred to as tungsten fuzz, and is under intense study in fusion energy research, both for better understanding of how tungsten fuzz forms and of how tungsten fuzz affects the performance of plasma-facing components. The necessity of helium irradiation of the surface to induce nano-tendril growth motivates investigation into the dynamic process of helium implantation and accumulation in the surface. In this thesis, in situ elastic recoil detection is developed and used to measure the dynamic concentration of helium within a tungsten surface during the active growth of tungsten fuzz. During the development of in situ elastic recoil detection analysis, a variant of tungsten nano-tendril growth was discovered featuring drastically isolated bundles of nano-tendrils that grow at a higher rate than tungsten fuzz. The variation in nano-tendril morphology is correlated with incident helium ion energy modulation. The dependence on ion energy modulation and isolated nature of the nano-tendril bundles reveals clearly that nano-tendril growth is sensitive to surface kinetic effects. In this thesis, the structure and parameter space of the newly discovered nano-tendril bundle growth is analyzed with a suite of electron-based surface science techniques.
Thesis: Sc. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2017.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-140).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Science and Engineering.