The consequences of the interaction of energetic ions with solids are often defects that are of the order of nanometres in size or smaller – in part due to the fact that the so-called “collision cascade” of moving atoms produced by an impinging ion is typically of order 5 nm in size.
The transmission electron microscope (TEM) offers the ability to image and analyse the internal (and in some cases surface) structure of thin solid foils at the nanoscale.
The use of transmission electron microscopy with in-situ ion irradiation is therefore a powerful combination that enables the build-up of ion-induced radiation damage to be monitored as it develops, offering significant insights into the details of the development and growth of various types of defect.
By operating at low ion fluxes, radiation damage events due to individual ion impacts can be studied. By irradiating at higher fluxes the build-up of high levels of damage can be studied in order to emulate the effects of many years of neutron irradiation in potential materials for both fission and fusion reactors.
As well as to the nuclear industry, fundamental studies of ion-beam interactions with solids also have relevance to semiconductor processing, materials for applications in space and nanotechnology, where ion beams are being used to fabricate and modify nanostructures.
Around the world, there are approximately ten facilities that combine ion accelerators and TEMs (of which the majority are in Japan) offering a range of available ion energies and fluxes and types of microscope.
The newest of these facilities has recently been constructed, with EPSRC support, in the UK and is now at the University of Huddersfield.
The presentation will provide an overview of work carried out over the last decade by the author using in-situ facilities at Argonne National Laboratory in the US and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan as well as some recent results from the new UK facility and will also include a description of the Huddersfield system which is known as MIAMI (Microscope and Ion Accelerator for Materials Investigations).
Coffee will be served from18:00, before the start of the presentations.