Blistering on tungsten surface exposed to high flux deuterium plasma

H.Y. Xu, Wei Liu, G.N. Luo, Y. Yuan, Y.Z. Jia, B.Q. Fu, G.C. De Temmerman

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The blistering behaviour of tungsten surfaces exposed to very high fluxes (1–2 × 1024/m2/s) of low energy (38 eV) deuterium plasmas was investigated as a function of ion fluence (0.2–7 × 1026 D/m2) and surface temperature (423–873 K). Blisters were observed under all conditions, especially up to temperatures of 873 K. The blister parameters are evaluated with blister size, blister density and surface coverage. The blister size always peaked at less than 0.5 μm and no blister larger than 10 μm is observed even at high fluence. The blister densities are found in high magnitude of 106 blisters/m2, with the surface coverages lower than 2%. The formation of cracks in the sub-surface region was observed by cross-section imaging. Changes in blister size and shape with fluence and temperature suggest processes of predominantly nucleation and subsequent growth of blisters. The smaller blister size is considered to be caused by a combination of flux-related effects such as enhanced defect formation in the near surface region, reduced deuterium diffusivity and relatively short exposure times.

Deuterium plasma;
Plasma surface interaction;
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Tungsten
  • Blistering
  • Deuterium plasma
  • Plasma surface interaction
  • Fusion


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