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The goal of our project is to investigate interface corrosion processes in TRISO nuclear fuel particles. For this purpose, we are undertaking a detailed study of the interface formation between potential candidates for metallic fission products (Pd, Ag, and Cs), likely to diffuse from the kernel of the TRISO particles, with the TRISO coating layers. As a starting point, we are investigating the Pd/SiC interface and will extend our studies to Ag/SiC during our current summer research campaign. The experimental approach comprises the preparation of metal/SiC interfaces in-situ in our ultra-high vacuum system by electron-beam deposition. In order to understand the impact of the SiC surface on the interface formation properties, we employ a variety of surface preparation and modification schemes. In the past quarter, we were able to obtain a specialized low-energy ion source as a long-term loan from the Hahn-Meitner-Institute, Berlin, Germany.

Accomplishments this quarter include:

• Further optimization of the experimental set-up: commissioning and optimization of the UPS mode, installation of a low-energy ion source, optimization of communication between electron spectrometer and measurement electronics

• Experimental campaign at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (3 graduate students, one undergraduate student, PI)

• Implementation of fit routines for data analysis, in particular the Doniach-Sunjic line profile for metal photoemission peaks

• Presentation of results at two conferences (G. Gajjala) and one international symposium (PI)


Chemical structure; Electronic structure; Palladium; Silicon carbide; X-ray spectroscopy


Chemistry | Materials Science and Engineering | Metallurgy | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Physical Chemistry