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Modeling Helium Segregation to the Surfaces of Plasma-Exposed Tungsten as a Function of Temperature and Surface Orientation

Sophie Blondel, Karl D. Hammond, Lin Hu, Dimitrios Maroudas, Brian D. Wirth

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 71 / Number 1 / January 2017 / Pages 22-35

Technical Paper /

First Online Publication:December 3, 2016
Updated:January 18, 2017

We provide a description of the dependence on surface crystallographic orientation and temperature of the segregation of helium implanted with energies consistent with low-energy plasma exposure to tungsten surfaces. Here, we describe multiscale modeling results based on a hierarchical approach to scale bridging that incorporates atomistic studies based on a reliable interatomic potential to parameterize a spatially dependent drift-diffusion-reaction cluster-dynamics code. An extensive set of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations has been performed at 933 K and/or 1200 K to determine the probabilities of desorption and modified trap mutation that occurs as small, mobile Hen (1 ≤ n ≤ 7) clusters diffuse from the near-surface region toward surfaces of varying crystallographic orientation due to an elastic interaction force that provides the thermodynamic driving force for surface segregation. These near-surface cluster dynamics have significant effects on the surface morphology, the near-surface defect structures, and the amount of helium retained in the material upon plasma exposure, for which we have developed an extensive MD database of cumulative evolution during high-flux helium implantation at 933 K, which we compare to our properly parameterized cluster-dynamics model. This validated model is then used to evaluate the effects of temperature on helium retention and subsurface helium clustering.

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