Dr. Cornelia Kaden,
Phone: +49 351 260 3431

Dr. Frank Bergner
Phone: +49 351 260 3186

Ion irradiation to emulate neutron irradiation effects

Ion irradiation is a versatile tool to emulate neutron irradiation effects in structural materials for accelerated screening of innovative materials for irradiation tolerance as well as research towards basic understanding of damage mechanisms. The combination of the HZDR Ion Beam Center (IBC) and our Hot Cell Labs to study irradiation effects in materials offers unique opportunities.

Ion irradiation, while offering considerable advantages, including relatively easy access, savings of costs and time and avoidance of radioactive material, also poses a challenge in terms of transferability which originates from:

  • Small penetration depth of ions (~1 µm) and related experimental challenges,
  • Low (neutrons) versus high (ions) damage rates,
  • Steep gradients of damage for ion irradiations,
  • Injected self-interstitials (for Fe-ions) and chemical effects,
  • Possible artifacts caused by ion-induced carbon contamination.

Our work is focused on solutions to selected transferability issues.


  • Design of ion irradiation experiments
  • Post-irradiation examination of ion-irradiated materials (e.g. analytical (S)TEM, Nanoindentation)

Related projects

  • Multiscale modelling for fusion and fission materials
    (M4F, EU, HORIZON 2020, 2017-2021)
  • European Database for Multiscale Modelling of Radiation Damage
    (ENTENTE, EU, HORIZON 2020, 2020-2024)
  • Accelerator Simulation and Theoretical Modelling of Radiation Effects
    (SMoRE-II, IAEA Coordinated Research Project, 2016-2023)
  • Ion irradiation as a neutron irradiation surrogate – Potential, challenges and limits
    (IOANIS , EERA-JPNM Pilote Project, 2017 - 2020, coordinator HZDR)
  • Physical modelling and modelling-oriented experiments for structural materials 2
    (IOANIS2, EERA-JPNM Pilote Project, 2023 - 2027, coordinator HZDR)