Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Resistance to Helium Bubble Formation in Amorphous SiOC/Crystalline Fe Nanocomposite

Qing Su, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Tianyao Wang, Texas A&M University
Jonathan Gigax, Texas A&M University
Lin Shao, Texas A&M University
Michael Nastasi, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Document Type Article

© 2018 by the authors.

Open access



The management of radiation defects and insoluble He atoms represent key challenges for structural materials in existing fission reactors and advanced reactor systems. To examine how crystalline/amorphous interface, together with the amorphous constituents affects radiation tolerance and He management, we studied helium bubble formation in helium ion implanted amorphous silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) and crystalline Fe composites by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The SiOC/Fe composites were grown via magnetron sputtering with controlled length scale on a surface oxidized Si (100) substrate. These composites were subjected to 50 keV He+ implantation with ion doses chosen to produce a 5 at% peak He concentration. TEM characterization shows no sign of helium bubbles in SiOC layers nor an indication of secondary phase formation after irradiation. Compared to pure Fe films, helium bubble density in Fe layers of SiOC/Fe composite is less and it decreases as the amorphous/crystalline SiOC/Fe interface density increases. Our findings suggest that the crystalline/amorphous interface can help to mitigate helium defect generated during implantation, and therefore enhance the resistance to helium bubble formation.