Self-ion irradiation of pure tungsten with 2 MeV W ions provides a way of simulating microstructures generated by neutron irradiation in tungsten components of a fusion reactor. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been used to characterize defects formed in tungsten samples by ion irradiation. It was found that tungsten irradiated to 0.85 dpa at relatively low temperatures develops a characteristic microstructure dominated by dislocation loops and black dots. The density and size distribution of these defects were estimated. Some of the samples exposed to self-ion irradiation were then implanted with deuterium. Thermal Desorption Spectrometry (TDS) analysis was performed to estimate the deuterium inventory as a function of irradiation damage and deuterium release as a function of temperature. Increase of inventory with increasing irradiation dose followed by slight decrease above 0.1 dpa was found. Application of Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy (PAS) to self-irradiated but not deuterium implanted samples enabled an assessment of the density of irradiation defects as a function of exposure to high-energy ions. The PAS results show that the density of defects saturates at doses in the interval from 0.085 to 0.425 displacements per atom (dpa). These results are discussed in the context of recent theoretical simulations exhibiting the saturation of defect microstructure in the high irradiation exposure limit. The saturation of damage found in PAS agrees with the simulation data described in the paper.
- Irradiated tungsten