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Title: Implementation of focused ion beam (FIB) system in characterization of nuclear fuels and materials

Beginning in 2007, a program was established at the Idaho National Laboratory to update key capabilities enabling microstructural and micro-chemical characterization of highly irradiated and/or radiologically contaminated nuclear fuels and materials at scales that previously had not been achieved for these types of materials. Such materials typically cannot be contact handled and pose unique hazards to instrument operators, facilities, and associated personnel. One of the first instruments to be acquired was a Dual Beam focused ion beam (FIB)-scanning electron microscope (SEM) to support preparation of transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography samples. Over the ensuing years, techniques have been developed and operational experience gained that has enabled significant advancement in the ability to characterize a variety of fuel types including metallic, ceramic, and coated particle fuels, obtaining insights into in-reactor degradation phenomena not obtainable by any other means. The following article describes insights gained, challenges encountered, and provides examples of unique results obtained in adapting Dual Beam FIB technology to nuclear fuels characterization.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Micron; Journal Volume: 67
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE contamination; Focused ion beam (FIB); nuclear materials; radioactivity