Helium behaviour in implanted boron carbide
CEA Saclay, DEN-DANS-DMN-SRMA-LA2M, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France
2 CEA Saclay, DEN-DANS-DMN-SRMP-JANNuS, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France
3 CEA Saclay, DSM-IRAMIS-LEEL, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France
4 CNRS-IN2P3, IPNL, Université Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex, France
* e-mail: email@example.com
Received in final form: 24 September 2015
Accepted: 5 November 2015
Published online: 16 December 2015
When boron carbide is used as a neutron absorber in nuclear power plants, large quantities of helium are produced. To simulate the gas behaviour, helium implantations were carried out in boron carbide. The samples were then annealed up to 1500 °C in order to observe the influence of temperature and duration of annealing. The determination of the helium diffusion coefficient was carried out using the 3He(d,p)4He nuclear reaction (NRA method). From the evolution of the width of implanted 3He helium profiles (fluence 1 × 1015/cm2, 3 MeV corresponding to a maximum helium concentration of about 1020/cm3) as a function of annealing temperatures, an Arrhenius diagram was plotted and an apparent diffusion coefficient was deduced (Ea = 0.52 ± 0.11 eV/atom). The dynamic of helium clusters was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of samples implanted with 1.5 × 1016/cm2, 2.8 to 3 MeV 4He ions, leading to an implanted slab about 1 μm wide with a maximum helium concentration of about 1021/cm3. After annealing at 900 °C and 1100 °C, small (5–20 nm) flat oriented bubbles appeared in the grain, then at the grain boundaries. At 1500 °C, due to long-range diffusion, intra-granular bubbles were no longer observed; helium segregates at the grain boundaries, either as bubbles or inducing grain boundaries opening.
© V. Motte et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2015
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.