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Application of small-scale testing for investigation of ion-beam-irradiated materials

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2012

Daniel Kiener*
Department of Materials Physics, Montanuniversität Leoben, 8700 Leoben, Austria; and Department of Materials Science, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720
Andrew M. Minor
Department of Materials Science, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720; and National Center for Electron Microscopy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720
Osman Anderoglu
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Materials Science and Technology Division, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545
Yongqiang Wang
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Materials Science and Technology Division, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545
Stuart A. Maloy
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Materials Science and Technology Division, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545
Peter Hosemann
Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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Small-scale testing techniques such as nanoindentation and micro-/nanocompression are promising methods for addressing mechanical properties of ion-beam-irradiated materials. We performed different proton irradiations and critically evaluated the results obtained from nanoindentation and pillar compression, both performed parallel and perpendicular to the irradiation direction. Experiments parallel to beam direction suffer from variation of material properties with penetration depth. This is improved by cross-sectional experiments, thereby probing the effect of different doses along the beam penetration depth on mechanical properties. Finally, we demonstrate that, compared with nanoindentation, miniaturized uniaxial compression experiments offer a more reliable and straightforward interpretation of the mechanical data, as they impose a nominally uniaxial stress on a well-defined volume at a specific position. Moreover, the exposed pillar geometry is not influenced by surface contamination and enables in situ observation of the governing mechanical processes, which is typically not possible during indentation experiments in a half-space geometry.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2012

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