Growth of beryllium oxide nano-structures during thermal treatment of neutron irradiated beryllium
Beryllium oxide nano-structures grown during high temperature oxidation of neutron irradiated beryllium has been investigated. Oxidation of non - irradiated and neutron irradiated beryllium was performed in differential thermal analyzer in an atmosphere of air and its mixture with helium at temperatures up to 1050°C. Structure of beryllium and its oxide was studied by the means of scanning electron microscopy. The growth of beryllium oxide nano-structures – “labyrinth type” layers and nano-rods on the inner surfaces of neutron irradiated beryllium were observed by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy. The size of the rods was 10-100 nm in diameter and up to few micrometers in length. There were no BeO nano-rods found on the surfaces of non-irradiated pebbles after similar treatment. Therefore, it might be concluded that neutron induced irradiation damages, such as dislocation loops, are responsible for the growth of BeO nano-structures.
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