Scientists of the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) are developing a unique nanocoating to be used for protection against radiation, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the research results published in the journal Metals. It is expected that such a coating will help protect electronics and significantly improve the radiation resistance of various materials in the nuclear and space industries.
The authors of the study claim that radiation-resistant materials will not only improve many nuclear facilities but also effectively protect electronics from radiation damage. Such protection is especially relevant for cosmonautics, where radiation can disable electronics outside the protection of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Russian scientists have experimentally confirmed that the multilayer composite nanocoating of zirconium and niobium they create is capable of independently “healing” defects arising under the influence of charged particles and neutrons.
“After long-term irradiation of our coating with a proton beam, the concentration of defects either remains unchanged or decreases due to the drain of defects to the boundaries of the layers, where they cancel each other,” the Associate Professor of the Department of Experimental Physics of the TPU School of Nuclear Technologies, Roman Laptev, said.
It is specified that the composite obtained by magnetron sputtering consists of five layers of each material with a thickness of about 100 nm. Transmission microscopy and X-ray structural analysis showed that after irradiation, stresses arise in the structure due to the accumulation of protons. Both calculations and experiments revealed a displacement of zirconium atoms from the optimal position with the formation of regions of low electron density, near which implanted ions accumulate and positrons annihilate during analysis.