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Thermal conductivity measurements via time-domain thermoreflectance for the characterization of radiation induced damage

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2015

Ramez Cheaito
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA
Caroline S. Gorham
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA
Amit Misra
Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA
Khalid Hattar*
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185, USA
Patrick E. Hopkins*
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA
a)Address all correspondence to these authors. e-mail:
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The progressive build up of fission products inside different nuclear reactor components can lead to significant damage of the constituent materials. We demonstrate the use of time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR), a nondestructive thermal measurement technique, to study the effects of radiation damage on material properties. We use TDTR to report on the thermal conductivity of optimized ZIRLO, a material used as fuel cladding in nuclear reactors. We find that the thermal conductivity of optimized ZIRLO is 10.7 ± 1.8 W m−1 K−1 at room temperature. Furthermore, we find that the thermal conductivities of copper–niobium nanostructured multilayers do not change with helium ion irradiation doses of 1015 cm−2 and ion energy of 200 keV, demonstrating the potential of heterogeneous multilayer materials for radiation tolerant coatings. Finally, we compare the effect of ion doses and ion beam energies on the measured thermal conductivity of bulk silicon. Our results demonstrate that TDTR can be used to quantify depth dependent damage.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2015 

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Current Address: Carnegie Mellon University, Mechanical Engineering, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Contributing Editor: Joel Ribis


This author was an editor of this focus issue during the review and decision stage. For the JMR policy on review and publication of manuscripts authored by editors, please refer to



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