tungsten samples were heat-treated to achieve partial recrystallization and exposed to high ion flux deuterium plasma at different temperatures and fluences. Continuous stiffness nanoindentation measurements of near-surface hardness were performed in the grains of specific annealing states and of specific crystallographic orientation, determined by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD); indentation pile-up was investigated using surface profilometry. Bulk hardness of unexposed tungsten does not strongly depend on grain orientation, but depends on the annealing state of the grain, with values between ∼4.3 GPa for recrystallized grains and ∼5.5 for non-recrystallized ones. Grains with <111> surface normal orientation feature the least pile-up, while grains with <001> orientation the most; pile-up also depends on the annealing state, being generally lower in recrystallized grains. Plasma exposure leads to the increase of hardness, most significantly near the surface. The width of plasma-affected zone increases with the increase of exposure temperature and fluence, as well in recrystallized grains, correlating with the increase of diffusion depth. Plasma exposure does not lead to the emergence of orientation-dependence of hardness. Both indentation pile-up and near-surface indentation pop-ins are generally suppressed by plasma exposure.
- Deuterium plasma