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Advances in synchrotron x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy techniques for the investigation of microstructure evolution in proton- and neutron-irradiated zirconium alloys

DOI: 10.1557/jmr.2015.65 DOI Help

Authors: Allan Harte (University of Manchester) , Thomas Seymour (University of Manchester) , E M Francis (The University of Manchester) , Philipp Frankel (University of Manchester) , Stephen Thompson (Diamond Light Source) , D. Jädernäs (Studsvik Nuclear AB) , J. Romero (Westinghouse Electric Company) , L. Hallstadius (Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB) , Michael Preuss (University of Manchester)
Co-authored by industrial partner: Yes

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Materials Research , VOL 30 (9) , PAGES 1349 - 1365

State: Published (Approved)
Published: May 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9403

Abstract: Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies provide mechanistic understanding of nanoscale processes, whereas advanced synchrotron XRD (SXRD) enables precise measurements on volumes that are more representative of bulk materials. Therefore, the combined strengths of these techniques can provide new insight into irradiation-induced mechanistic processes. In the present study, their application to Zircaloy-2, proton-irradiated to 2.3, 4.7, and 7.0 dpa at 2 MeV and 350 °C and neutron-irradiated to 9.5 and 13.1 × 1025 n m−2 are exemplified. The application of correlative spectral imaging and structural TEM investigations to the phase transformation of Zr(Fe,Nb)2 precipitates in Low-Sn ZIRLO™, neutron-irradiated to 8.9–9 × 1025 n m−2, demonstrates the possibility of a Cr core nucleation site. Anomalous broadening is observed in SXRD profiles, which is believed to be caused by defect clusters and precursors to dislocation loop nucleation. The challenges to quantitative analysis of dislocations by SXRD are highlighted with reference to the segregation of Fe and Ni to basal planes and dislocation cores, observed by spectral imaging in the TEM.

Subject Areas: Energy, Materials, Physics


Instruments: I11-High Resolution Powder Diffraction