Ceramics with the perovskite structure are candidates for nuclear applications, including inert matrix fuels for the next generation of nuclear fission reactors and superconducting magnets for fusion. The key effects in next generation fission reactors are radiation damage, gas bubble formation and transmutation. These factors are difficult to predict at high burn ups, therefore model systems are studied for damage resistance and the effects of He bubble formation, predominantly to test existing models of damage accumulation and recovery. In this seminar I will discuss radiation damage accumulation and recovery mechanisms in ceramic materials and present recent results from the LaFe1-xAlxO3 system. This model system allows investigation of the effect of radiation damage and He bubble formation as a function of composition, whilst maintaining the perovskite structure across the compositional range. Radiation damage was induced in these materials by energetic Au ion implantation, and He bubble formation was observed using in-situ He ion implantation, within a Transmission Electron Microscope. Au ion implantation results in the formation of a 1μm thick damaged region extending from the surface. In order to examine only this surface damaged region, and determine radiation-induced structural modifications, the samples were examined by Grazing Incidence X-ray diffraction.
Dr Amy Gandy is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield, in the UK. She is currently working in the Immobilisation Science Laboratory (ISL) with Dr Karl Whittle, where she is developing perovskite related ceramic materials for Gen-IV fission technologies and Li-ceramics relevant to fusion.
Amy completed her Joint PhD at the University of Salford and the University of Poitiers, France, in 2009 for which she used transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to understand ion beam implantation induced defect formation and interactions during thermal annealing in crystalline and amorphous silicon, relevant to the semiconductor industry. Amy stayed in this research area whilst undertaking a postdoctoral position at the University of Manchester (2009-2011). Amy graduated from The University of Salford in 2003 with a First Class MPhys (Hons) degree in Physics and Space Technology.