The response of nanocrystalline, stabilizer-free cubic zirconia thin films on a Si substrate to electron beam irradiation with energies of 4, 110 and 200 keV and fluences up to ∼1.5 × 10 22 e m -2 has been studied to determine the displacement energies. The 110 and 200 keV irradiations were performed in situ using a transmission electron microscope; the 4 keV irradiations were performed ex situ using an electron gun. In all three irradiations, no structural modification of the zirconia was observed, despite the high fluxes and fluences. However the Si substrate on which the zirconia film was deposited was amorphized under the 200 keV electron irradiation. Examination of the electron-solid interactions reveals that the kinetic energy transfer from the 200 keV electrons to the silicon lattice is sufficient to cause atomic displacements, resulting in amorphization. The kinetic energy transfer from the 200 keV electrons to the oxygen sub-lattice of the zirconia may be sufficient to induce defect production, however, no evidence of defect production was observed. The displacement cross-section value of Zr was found to be ∼400 times greater than that of O indicating that the O atoms are effectively screened from the electrons by the Zr atoms, and, therefore, the displacement of O is inefficient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering