Formation of radiation damage and helium release in yttria-stabilized zirconia

Formation of radiation damage and helium release in yttria-stabilized zirconia

Ou, X.; Kögler, R.; Zhou, H.; Anwand, W.; Grenzer, J.; Hübner, R.; Voelskow, M.; Butterling, M.; Zhou, S.; Skorupa, W.

The radiation damage induced by neutrons and α-decay in YSZ (yttria-stabilized zirconia) was simulated using synchronized Zr+ & He+ dual ion beam implantation. [1] The measured damage profiles consist of two peaks which agree well with the calculated profiles of excess point defects generated by the collision cascade. The spatial separation of vacancy and interstitial defects is known as the “½Rp” effect describing the vacancy accumulation in the region at half of the projected ion range. This special implantation-related effect has to be considered carefully during the evaluation of experimental investigations which simulate isotropic irradiation effects caused by α-decay. Comparing the amount and type of radiation defects in single and dual beam implanted YSZ reveals that the implanted helium is released from the sample during simultaneous dual beam irradiation instead to be trapped by the created open volume defects at ½Rp region. According to first-principles total energy calculations, helium is mobilized and released via a vacancy-assisted trapping/detrapping mechanism induced by the simultaneous Zr+ ion implantation. The release of helium during room temperature dual beam irradiation demonstrates one of the suitable characteristics of YSZ that contributes to its excellent radiation hardness, since helium in YSZ can accumulate in undesirable helium bubbles and results in local surface swelling and lift-off.
[1] Xin Ou et al. PHYSICAL REVIEW B 86, 224103 (2012)

Keywords: radiation damage; dual ion beam implantation

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Publ.-Id: 19582