We studied the irradiation effects on Ti and Zr surfaces in slightly oxidizing environment (rarefied dry air, 500°C) using multi-charged argon ions in the low MeV range (1 – 9 MeV) to the aim of determining the respective role of the electronic and nuclear stopping power in the operating oxidation process under irradiation. We have shown that ballistic collisions contribute significantly to the enhanced Ti and Zr oxidation under MeV argon bombardment. We have also shown that the projectile energy plays a significant role in the overall process.
A significant oxide film thickening is visible on titanium under irradiation, taking the form of a well-defined oxidation peak between 1 and 4 MeV, as a result of the Nuclear Backscattering Spectroscopy and Spectroscopic Ellipsometry studies.
A significant oxide film thickening is also visible on zirconium under same irradiation conditions, at 4 and 9 MeV, as a result of the NBS study. Work is in progress in order to determine how the modified oxidation process depends in this case on the projectile energy.