AUTHORS: R.A. Rymzhanov, A. Zhalmagambetova, A. Ibrayeva, A. Janse van Vuuren, J.H. O’Connell, V.A. Skuratov
PAGES: 363 - 370
As known silicon nitride ceramics is considered as a candidate material for inert matrix fuel hosts used for transmutation of minor actinides. Unfortunately, by now very limited data is devoted to investigate of its stability under high energy heavy ion irradiation simulating fission fragment impact. Aim of our present study is a comparative analysis of parameters of latent tracks induced with swift Xe ion irradiation in polycrystalline Si3N4 using molecular dynamic (MD) simulation and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Silicon nitride samples were irradiated with 220 MeV xenon ions at room temperature to fluence 5 × 1011 cm−2 that correspond to ion track non overlapping regime and allows to analyze single ion track regions. The calculated MD and experimental TEM values of track diameter for 220 MeV Xe irradiation are found to be in a good agreement and equal about 2 nm, whereas the threshold ionizing energy loss for track formation predicted by MD is lower than threshold value from TEM measurements (11.5 keV/nm vs 15 keV/nm). The averaging of all presented data gives the threshold energy loss level ~ 13 ± 2 keV/nm.
swift heavy ions, latent tracks, threshold energy loss, silicon nitride, MD, TEM
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