Conditions Extrêmes et Matériaux : Haute Température et Irradiation

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L.Pentecoste, A.L.Thomann, A.Melhem, A.Caillard, S.Cuynet, T.Lecas, P.Brault, P.Desgardin, M.F.Barthe, 'Low flux and low energy helium ion implantation into tungsten using a dedicated plasma source', Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. B 383 38–46 (2016) doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2016.06.011

The aim of this work is to investigate the first stages of defect formation in tungsten (W) due to the accumulation of helium (He) atoms inside the crystal lattice. To reach the required implantation conditions, i.e. low He ion fluxes and kinetic energies below the W atom displacement threshold (about 500 eV for He+), an ICP source has been designed and connected to a diffusion chamber. Implantation conditions have been characterized by means of complementary diagnostics modified for measurements in this very low density helium plasma. It was shown that lowest ion fluxes could only be reached for the discharge working in capacitive mode either in alpha or gamma regime. Special attention was paid to control the energy gained by the ions by acceleration through the sheath at the direct current biased substrate. At very low helium pressure, in alpha regime, a broad ion energy distribution function was evidenced, whereas a peak centered on the potential difference between the plasma and the biased substrate was found at higher pressures in the gamma mode. Polycrystalline tungsten samples were exposed to the helium plasma in both regimes of the discharge and characterized by positron annihilation spectroscopy in order to detect the formed vacancy defects. It was found that W vacancies are able to be formed just by helium accumulation and that the same final implanted state is reached, whatever the operating mode of the capacitive discharge.