Title : Helium irradiation damage effects in nanostructured materials
The mankind is facing an unprecedented challenge between increasingly growing energy demands for economic growth and social sustainability, and the resulting irreversible and detrimental impact on environment. Nuclear energy is considered an essential carbon-neutral energy source to help address this challenge. Fast neutron interactions with materials in advanced fission reactors and fusion devices produce not only atomic displacement damage but also incorporate helium atoms in lattice structure through nuclear reactions. Despite its chemical benignity, the small size of a helium atom combined with its near insolubility in almost every solid makes the helium–solid interaction extremely complex over multiple length and time scales. As a result, helium effects on microstructure evolution and thermo-mechanical properties can have a significant impact on the operation and lifetime of these nuclear systems.
This talk aims to first introduce fundamental irradiation damage process, in particular helium effects. Then I will provide a brief update on state-of-the-art irradiation capabilities to study helium effects. Finally, I will present examples of advanced nanomaterials research in mitigating helium impact on thermomechanical properties of materials in radiation extreme conditions.
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. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is managed by Triad National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s NNSA, under contract 89233218CNA000001.
Audience take away:
- Nuclear energy plays an important role in diverse clean energy sources.
- Fundamentals of radiation damage in materials, including helium effects.
- Nanostructured materials to control helium bubble growth.
- State of the art irradiation capabilities to investigate radiation damage and helium effects in materials.