The effect of N 2 + and C + implantation on uranium hydride nucleation and growth kinetics

R. Arkush, M. Brill, S. Zalkind, M. Mintz, N. Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Hydrogen attack on uranium and uranium alloys may cause embrittlement and hydride formation that are undesirable in nuclear fuel technology. Implantation of the uranium surface by a high dose of energetic ions modifies the surface in a way that delays the hydrogen attack and slows the growth rate of the hydride. The implanted surfaces also exhibited better passivation to air oxidation. In the present study, 45 keV N 2 + and C + ions with a dose of 6·10 17 ions/cm 2 were implanted (separately) in pure uranium. The incipient hydriding nucleation and growth kinetics of the implanted uranium samples were measured in a hot-stage microscopy system. The surface was continuously monitored, during the hydrogenation process, by a TV camera and recorded on videotape. The reaction was stopped, for various experiments, at different reaction steps by pumping the hydrogen out. SEM micrographs revealed, especially for the C + implanted samples, a morphology in which the hydride appears as blisters, seemingly under the implanted layer. The hot-stage micrographs were analyzed by image-analysis procedures yielding the nucleation and growth rates for the implanted vs. unimplanted specimens. Possible explanations are suggested for the passivation effects imparted by ion implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-475
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
StatePublished - 17 Jan 2002
EventProceedings of the International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen (MH 2000) - Noosa Heads, QLD, Australia
Duration: 1 Oct 20006 Oct 2000


  • Growth kinetics
  • Ion implantation
  • Nucleation
  • Passivation
  • Uranium hydride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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