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GREENCDT Characterisation of advanced fusion materials to understand fusion fuel retention properties

   EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy - GREEN

  , , Dr Rosemary Brown  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

We are now entering an exciting period for fusion with a corresponding need to increase industrial fusion and hence advanced materials. This project will investigate the evolution of hydrogen isotope retention and release properties as a function of irradiation induced microstructural damage in various fusion relevant materials. Plasma facing and breeder-blanket materials such as tungsten, molybdenum, Eurofer 97, iron-chrome alloys, zirconium and high nickel content alloys will be loaded with ions of hydrogen isotopes with both electrochemical and ion exposure methods.

Materials of interest will be exposed to hydrogen isotopes (deuterium and tritium) using the UKAEA’s Hydrogen-3 Advanced Technology (H3AT) infrastructure using DELPHI (Device for Exposure to Low-energy Plasma of Hydrogen Isotopes). Hydrogen analysis will be conducted using advanced characterisation techniques such as thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS), Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and electron microscopy. Experiments will be conducted at both UKAEA and the University of Manchester depending on the need to analyse tritium contaminated or active neutron irradiated samples. Sample preparation and irradiation will be carried out at the UKAEA, University of Oxford, Helsinki University (for self-ion damage), the Dalton Nuclear Institute (for proton damage) and SCK.CEN (for neutron damage).

NanoSIMS analysis will be used to map the surface distribution of deuterium and linked to various surface features and microstructural defects providing new insight into the effects of surface defects, inclusions, grains and other material properties on the hydrogen isotope retention in damaged materials with a view to determine the expected fuel retention of fusion reactors over their lifetime.

Funding Notes

50% funded by UKAEA and 50% by GREEN CDT

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