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  • Quantitative analysis of microstructure in nuclear materials by week-beam scanning transmission electron microscopy

Quantitative analysis of microstructure in nuclear materials by week-beam scanning transmission electron microscopy

Overview of Technology

We have developed a technique for quantitative analysis of microstructures (e.g., dislocations and irradiation defect aggregates) of activated and nuclear-burned specimens in the context of the Week Beam Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (WB-STEM) method, which boasts extremely high measurement accuracy as a quantitative analysis method for lattice defects.
In combination with a dedicated heated sample holder with fully automated temperature measurement and current control in a cartridge-type heating furnace, changes in dislocation microstructure can be dynamically measured in-situ along with a highly reliable temperature history.

Comparison with Conventional Technology

Conventional TEM methods require expertise in reciprocal space and dislocation theory, but our WB-STEM method is equipped with automatic analysis software for film thickness measurement and dislocation loop feature extraction, making it possible to analyze irradiation defects easily and precisely.

Features and Uniqueness
  • Since its design, the WB-STEM method has been developed for implementation and on-site repair in radiation controlled areas where nuclear materials are handled, with special aperture and diffraction disc selection equipment, control and analysis software.
  • WB-STEM accepts irradiation defect analysis of activated specimens from all over the world, including RPV monitoring specimens from European reactors and neutron-irradiated materials from US research reactors.
  • It is also used to analyze the properties of iron-containing nuclear fuel simulated debris in decommissioning projects.
Practical Application

We support research organizations that currently use transmission electron microscopy to observe microstructures to introduce the WB-STEM method by special modification. We will instruct researchers who have no experience using transmission electron microscopy in the procedure for dislocation analysis.



Institute for Materials Research

Kenta Yoshida, Associate Professor
MSc.(Engineering)(Nagoya Univ.)/Ph. D.(Engineering)(Nagoya Univ.)