- Conference date: 23-27 August 2004
- Location: Bajina Basta (Serbia and Montenegro)
The deposition of carbon on metals is the unavoidable consequence of the application of different wall materials in present and future fusion experiments like ITER. Presently used and prospected materials besides carbon (CFC materials in high heat load areas) are tungsten and beryllium. The simultaneous application of different materials leads to the formation of surface compounds due to the erosion, transport and re‐deposition of material during plasma operations. The formation and erosion processes are governed by widely varying surface temperatures and kinetic energies as well as the spectrum of impinging particles from the plasma. The knowledge of the dependence on these parameters is crucial for the understanding and prediction of the compound formation on wall materials. The formation of surface layers is of great importance, since they not only determine erosion rates, but also influence the ability of the first wall for hydrogen isotope inventory accumulation and release. Surface compound formation, diffusion and erosion phenomena are studied under well‐controlled ultra‐high vacuum conditions using in‐situ X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ion beam analysis techniques available at a 3 MV tandem accelerator. XPS provides chemical information and allows distinguishing elemental and carbidic phases with high surface sensitivity. Accelerator‐based spectroscopies provide quantitative compositional analysis and sensitivity for deuterium in the surface layers. Using these techniques, the formation of carbidic layers on metals is studied from room temperature up to 1700 K. The formation of an interfacial carbide of several monolayers thickness is not only observed for metals with exothermic carbide formation enthalpies, but also in the cases of Ni and Fe which form endothermic carbides. Additional carbon deposited at 300 K remains elemental. Depending on the substrate, carbon diffusion into the bulk starts at elevated temperatures together with additional carbide formation. Depending on the bond nature in the carbide (metallic in the transition metal carbides, ionic e.g. in Be2C), the surface carbide layer is dissolved upon further increased temperatures or remains stable. Carbide formation can also be initiated by ion bombardment, both of chemically inert noble gas ions or C+ or CO+ ions. In the latter case, a deposition‐erosion equilibrium develops which leads to a ternary surface layer of constant thickness. A chemical erosion channel is also discussed for the enhanced erosion of thin carbon films on metals by deuterium ions.
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