Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Applied Physics






AIP Publishing

Publication Date



Using complementary thermal wave methods, the irradiation damaged region of zirconium carbide (ZrC) is characterized by quantifiably profiling the thermophysical property degradation. The ZrC sample was irradiated by a 2.6 MeV proton beam at 600 °C to a dose of 1.75 displacements per atom. Spatial scanning techniques including scanning thermal microscopy (SThM), lock-in infrared thermography (lock-in IRT), and photothermal radiometry (PTR) were used to directly map the in-depth profile of thermal conductivity on a cross section of the ZrC sample. The advantages and limitations of each system are discussed and compared, finding consistent results from all techniques. SThM provides the best resolution finding a very uniform thermal conductivity envelope in the damaged region measuring ∼52 ± 2 μm deep. Frequency-based scanning PTR provides quantification of the thermal parameters of the sample using the SThM measured profile to provide validation of a heating model. Measured irradiated and virgin thermal conductivities are found to be 11.9 ± 0.5 W m−1 K−1 and 26.7 ±1 W m−1 K−1, respectively. A thermal resistance evidenced in the frequency spectra of the PTR results was calculated to be (1.58 ± 0.1) × 10−6 m2 K W−1. The measured thermal conductivity values compare well with the thermal conductivity extracted from the SThM calibrated signal and the spatially scanned PTR. Combined spatial and frequency scanning techniques are shown to provide a valuable, complementary combination for thermal property characterization of proton-irradiated ZrC. Such methodology could be useful for other studies of ion-irradiated materials.


Publisher's version can be accessed at: