XMAT Beamline Goals

Couple new materials synthesis, predictive modeling, and accelerated ion-beam testing to enable transformative breakthroughs in advanced nuclear fuels and materials, waste forms, and separation technologies.

Remove uncertainties, to the extent possible, for understanding differences between ion and neutron radiation. This is accomplished by:

  • Energetic heavy ions, which produce damage deep in the sample, enabling the role of surfaces as damage sinks to be understood.
  • Damage rates to 25 displacements per atom per hour (DPAs/hr) with minimal sample heating allows rapid materials testing and an assessment of the damage rate dependence of a materials response.

Provide insights into the extended response of materials radiation damage for the first time by employing a large damage rate/surface erosion rate of high-energy, heavy ions. This allows total damage doses to exceed several hundred thousand DPAs.

Provide physical parameters to accurately model nuclear fuels.

Provide for the first time both in situ X-ray scattering and three-dimensional characterization of defect dynamics. This will provide validation for computer simulations which will be needed to predict defect evolution under extreme irradiation.

Enable study of a wide range of nuclear materials, including actinides and claddings, by the:
1) penetrating nature of both X-rays and ions;
2) small sample size required (radioactive samples can be handled safely); and
3) low sputtering yield of ions (100-nm films can provide sample containment).

Improve understanding of damage and irradiation effects such as point defects and clusters, voids and gas bubbles, and dislocations needed to enable improved material design.

Enhance the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) materials and facility by enabling further (higher dose) study of ATR's current materials library, as well as screening materials that would otherwise require extended testing.