NSUF Article

NSUF Facility Highlight: University of Michigan

Wednesday, October 09, 2019 - Facility Highlight, Newsletter

The University of Michigan's two NSUF partner facilities offers NSUF users access to extensive capabilities to study the effects of radiation as well as conduct high temperature mechanical property, corrosion, and stress corrosion cracking experiments on neutron irradiated materials in an aqueous environment to characterize the fracture surfaces after failure.

Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory

The Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan has developed extensive capabilities in the use of accelerators directed towards the study of radiation effects by emulating neutron damage in nuclear reactor materials. 

The laboratory also provides a wide range of capabilities for both surface modification and analysis.  

Facilities include:

  • A 3 MV Pelletron Tandem accelerator that can provide ion energies up to 6 MeV for single charged ions and to higher energies that depend on the ion charge state. Ion sources include a Torvis high current proton source, an Alphatross source and a sputter source for solid targets. 
  • A 1.7 MV Tandetron accelerator provides ions at energies above 3.4 MeV and to a maximum energy that depends on the ion charge state. Ion sources include a SNICS source and an ECR source for high currents of He.
  • The 400 kV implanter can produce over 40 different ions at energies from 20 to 400 keV for singly charged ions and at higher energies depending on the charge state, with a Danfysik model 921 ion source that has the capability of producing ions from gases, vapor, or sputtered targets.
  • A total of nine beam lines link the three accelerators to five end stations.
  • The Multi-Beam Chamber (MBC) located in the South Target Room (STR) of the lab can be used for dual or triple ion irradiations at target temperatures from -200 to 1100°C. H and/or He can be implanted in a user-defined concentration profile in the target.
  • Special sample stages for irradiation provide for additional conditions to be imposed on the sample. These include a dedicated beamline and corrosion cell to perform in situ irradiation-corrosion of samples in contact with liquid environments including high temperature, high pressure water, and an irradiation creep system that can be used to conduct irradiation of samples under load at temperatures up to 1100°C. 
  • The 400 kV accelerator and a 30 kV He source are interfaced with a 300 kV Tecnai G2 F30 transmission electron microscope to provide dual beam irradiation of samples in situ. The 400 kV accelerator provides singly charged ions up to 400 keV, and 0.8, 1.2 and 1.6 MeV (2+, 3+ and 4+ respectively) for multiply ionized states of certain ions. The accelerator can deliver specific ion species, such as Kr, Xe and others as required by users. The He source implants He into the sample simultaneously with damage from the implanter across a wide range of He/dpa. The beamline delivery system consists of sophisticated beam tuning devices capable of sending ion beams to the TEM with a wide range of fluences as required by the users. This microscope is equipped with a DENSsolutions wildfire in situ heating stage that provides for irradiation temperatures of up to 1300°C with constant monitoring and control of sample temperature to within a fraction of a degree. In addition to this new capability, MIBL users have the opportunity to conduct both dual ion irradiation on bulk samples and dual ion irradiation in situ in the TEM.

Protons Heavy Ions (Ni, Fe, etc)
Max. beam current on target
60 mA 10 mA
Dose Rate ~10^-5  dpa/s ~10^-2 dpa/s
Energy Up to 3 MeV Up to 5 MeV (charge state dependent)
Temperature 200-800° C
200-800° C

Irradiated Materials Complex

The Irradiated Materials Laboratory provides the capability to conduct high temperature mechanical property and corrosion and stress corrosion cracking experiments on neutron irradiated materials in an aqueous environment, including supercritical water, and to characterize the fracture surfaces after failure. The facility utilizes two laboratories in the Phoenix Memorial Laboratory at the University of Michigan. They are the Irradiated Materials Laboratory (IML) and the hot cells, which together comprise the Irradiated Materials Complex (IMC). 

IML currently has five systems. Each of them consists of 

  • a high temperature autoclave
  • recirculating water loop
  • load frame and servomotor for conducting constant extension rate tensile (CERT) or crack growth rate (CRG) tests in high temperature water 

One system has the capability to provide supercritical water at a temperature of 600°C and a pressure of 30 MPa. The other four facilities are rated at 365°C and 20 MPa. Each of the facilities is equipped with two autoclave heads. One is used to test up to four samples simultaneously in CERT mode, and one is for CGR testing using the DC potential drop (DCPD) technique. System IM5 is a mobile water supply and control system that can be moved next to the hot cell manipulators and connected to the autoclave in the hot cell for testing of very high activity samples. All of the test frames are on wheels to permit loading and unloading in the hot cell and testing in IML.

For more information about these facilities, contact Gary Was