Heavy ion irradiation effects in zirconium nitride

G.W. Egeland, J.A. Valdez, J.G. Swadener, B. Oliver, K.J. McClellan, S.A. Maloy, K.E. Sickafus, G.M. Bond

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Polycrystalline zirconium nitride (ZrN) samples were irradiated with He +, Kr ++, and Xe ++ ions to high (>1·10 16 ions/cm 2) fluences at ∼100 K. Following ion irradiation, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD) were used to analyze the microstructure and crystal structure of the post-irradiated material. For ion doses equivalent to approximately 200 displacements per atom (dpa), ZrN was found to resist any amorphization transformation, based on TEM observations. At very high displacement damage doses, GIXRD measurements revealed tetragonal splitting of some of the diffraction maxima (maxima which are associated with cubic ZrN prior to irradiation). In addition to TEM and GIXRD, mechanical property changes were characterized using nanoindentation. Nanoindentation revealed no change in elastic modulus of ZrN with increasing ion dose, while the hardness of the irradiated ZrN was found to increase significantly with ion dose. Finally, He + ion implanted ZrN samples were annealed to examine He gas retention properties of ZrN as a function of annealing temperature. He gas release was measured using a residual gas analysis (RGA) spectrometer. RGA measurements were performed on He-implanted ZrN samples and on ZrN samples that had also been irradiated with Xe ++ ions, in order to introduce high levels of displacive radiation damage into the matrix. He evolution studies revealed that ZrN samples with high levels of displacement damage due to Xe implantation, show a lower temperature threshold for He release than do pristine ZrN samples.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2004 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants--ICAPP '04
Subtitle of host publicationembedded topical meeting, June 13-17, 2004, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
PublisherAmerican Nuclear Society
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)0-89448-680-2, 978-0-8944-8680-7
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event2004 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: 13 Jun 200417 Jun 2004


Conference2004 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants
Abbreviated titleICAPP'04
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA

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