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Title: Radiation tolerance of piezoelectric bulk single-crystal aluminum nitride

For practical use in harsh radiation environments, we pose selection criteria for piezoelectric materials for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and material characterization. Using these criteria, piezoelectric aluminum nitride is shown to be an excellent candidate. The results of tests on an aluminumnitride-based transducer operating in a nuclear reactor are also presented. We demonstrate the tolerance of single-crystal piezoelectric aluminum nitride after fast and thermal neutron fluences of 1.85 × 1018 neutron/cm2 and 5.8 × 1018 neutron/cm2, respectively, and a gamma dose of 26.8 MGy. The radiation hardness of AlN is most evident from the unaltered piezoelectric coefficient d33, which measured 5.5 pC/N after a fast and thermal neutron exposure in a nuclear reactor core for over 120 MWh, in agreement with the published literature value. The results offer potential for improving reactor safety and furthering the understanding of radiation effects on materials by enabling structural health monitoring and NDE in spite of the high levels of radiation and high temperatures, which are known to destroy typical commercial ultrasonic transducers.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0885--3010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control; Journal Volume: 61; Journal Issue: 7
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; aluminum nitride; tolerance