Characterization of Irradiation Damage Using X-Ray Diffraction Line-Profile Analysis

Rhys Thomas, Ömer Koç, Henrik Tamas Ungar, Gyula Zilahi, Zoltan Hegedues, Ulrich Lienert, Gábor Ribárik, Hemant Sharma, Peter Kenesei, Michael Preuss, Philipp Frankel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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During operation, structural components made of zirconium alloys are subject to
neutron irradiation, which leads to the displacement of zirconium atoms from
their lattice sites, the production of self-interstitials and vacancies, and eventually dislocation loops. This process can lead to deleterious effects such as irradiation growth, creep, and embrittlement as well as accelerated aqueous corrosion. Quantitative analysis of dislocation line densities is seen as an important
pathway for distinguishing between the irradiation response of different alloys.
The analysis of irradiation damage using X-ray diffraction (XRD) line-profile analysis has proven to be a powerful complementary technique to transmission
electron microscopy, which samples a comparatively large volume and is less
affected by the subjectivity of image analysis. In this paper we present and
analyze three different types of XRD experiments, describing their purpose and
the new insight achieved using each technique. First, we present work carried
out on neutron-irradiated samples, comparing dislocation line densities measured by XRD with macroscopic growth measurements. A second experiment
using a synchrotron-based X-ray microbeam enabled the mapping of dislocation
line densities as a function of depth from the surface of proton-irradiated zirconium alloys. These data are compared with calculated damage profiles, providing
new insight into the early saturation of damage. Finally, the last example presented here focuses on synchrotron-based 3D XRD measurements, for which
dislocation-loop line densities were analyzed in hundreds of individual grains,
providing excellent statistics about the grain-to-grain variability of line densities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZirconium in the Nuclear Industry: 20th International Symposium
EditorsSuresh Yagnik, Michael Preuss
Place of Publication100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959 USA
PublisherASTM International
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • zirconium
  • line-profile analysis
  • irradiation
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)


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