CMAM PhD Student defends the Thesis about Ion-Irradiation-Induced in Nuclear Materials
21.06.2016 - 21.06.2016
Faculty of Sciences of the Universidad Autónoma de - Madrid


Diana Bachiller Perea, CMAM Ph.D. Student, presents her thesis "Ion-Irradiation-Induced Damage in Nuclear Materials – Case Study of  a-SiO2 and MgO" at the metting room, Module C-8 (Instituto Nicolás Cabrera), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, on 21th June at 11:00.

Summary: One of the most important challenges in Physics today is the development of a clean, sustainable, and efficient energy source that can satisfy the needs of the actual and future society producing the minimum impact on the environment. For this purpose, a huge international research effort is being devoted to the study of new systems of energy production; in particular, Generation IV fission reactors and nuclear fusion reactors are being developed. The materials used in these reactors will be subjected to high levels of radiation, making necessary the study of their behavior under irradiation to achieve a successful development of these new technologies.

In this thesis two materials have been studied: amorphous silica (a-SiO2) and magnesium oxide (MgO). Both materials are insulating oxides with applications in the nuclear energy industry. High-energy ion irradiations have been carried out at different accelerator facilities to induce the irradiation damage in these two materials; then, the mechanisms of damage have been characterized using principally Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) techniques.

One of the challenges of this thesis was to develop the Ion Beam Induced Luminescence or ionoluminescence (which is not a widely known IBA technique) and to apply it to the study of the mechanisms of irradiation damage in materials, proving the power of this technique. For this purpose, the ionoluminescence of three different types of silica (containing different amounts of OH groups) has been studied in detail and used to describe the creation and evolution of point defects under irradiation. In the case of MgO, the damage produced under 1.2 MeV Au+ irradiation has been characterized using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry in channeling configuration and X-ray diffraction. Finally, the ionoluminescence of MgO under different irradiation conditions has also been studied.

The results obtained in this thesis help to understand the irradiation-damage processes in materials, which is essential for the development of new nuclear energy sources.



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The Thesis takes place in Faculty of Sciences of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid - "Módulo 8 - Sala de Grados"