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Surface Characterization of Depleted Uranium–Molybdenum to Determine Surface Coating Compatibility

Terry A. Ring, Byung Sang Choi, J. Paulo Perez, Brian Van Devener, Randy C. Polson, Douglas Crawford, Dennis Keiser, Daniel Wachs

Nuclear Technology / Volume 205 / Number 6 / June 2019 / Pages 801-818

Technical Paper /

Received:June 12, 2018
Accepted:October 26, 2018
Published:May 13, 2019

Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy have been used to characterize the surface of depleted uranium molybdenum (DU-Mo) alloys as a chemical surrogate to determine potential challenges with the surfaces of manufactured and stored U-Mo foils and powders. Even when stored and shipped in an inert atmosphere, U-Mo has a tenacious surface contamination of oxygen and carbon. The 8 at. % molybdenum (DU-8Mo) powder and 10 at. % molybdenum (DU-10Mo) foil samples have surface contamination of oxygen and carbon in different ratios that is hundreds to thousands of nanometers thick. The DU-8Mo powder sample has been stored in an inert atmosphere and as a result has a lower carbon-to-oxygen ratio at the surface than the DU-10Mo foil sample that was stored in air. This surface contamination has not been removed by up to 20 min of argon ion sputtering nor with 5% hydrogen in argon heat treatment for up to 96 h at 950°C.

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