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Annual Report

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The goal of this project is to elucidate the chemical bonding and interface formation of metal fission products with the coating materials used in state-of-the-art TRISO fuel particles. Particular emphasis is placed on an analysis of intermediate chemical phases at the interface, the intermixing/diffusion behavior, and the electronic interface structure as a function of material choice (metal and coating materials), temperature, and external stress. Furthermore, the chemical state of some of the metal fission products will be assessed.

This project studies the interface formation of Pd, Ag, and Cs with SiC and pyrolytic carbon. Using the TRISO coating materials (and single crystal references) as substrates, interfaces will be prepared under controlled conditions in an ultra-high vacuum environment and will be studied with a variety of different spectroscopic and (when applicable) structural methods. In addition, realistic microstructures will be studied.

The research objectives of this project are as follows:

  • To give valuable information about failure mechanisms of TRISO particles and fission product transport.
  • To give, through simulating experiments, indications for optimized irradiation testing and post-irradiation examinations within the AFCI effort at ORNL.
  • To derive strategies to tailor the interface properties for an optimization of TRISO particles in terms of, e.g., chemical and long-term stability.


Chemical structure; Electronic structure; Metal-base fuel; Metal coating; Nuclear chemistry; Nuclear fuels; Palladium; Silicon carbide; X-ray spectroscopy

Controlled Subject

Chemistry; Metallurgy; Nuclear chemistry--Research;


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

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218 KB