Location

Virtual

Start Date

5-10-2021 9:55 AM

End Date

5-10-2021 10:05 AM

Description

Uranium, a nuclear fuel material, can oxidize and degrade in reactor conditions. Previous studies have shown oxidation resistance in a uranium-niobium alloy, U-6Nb (six weight percent niobium in uranium). The nature of the oxides that form on sputtered U-6Nb thin films after long exposure to air was previously explored using neutron diffraction at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the present work, we deposited thin films of uranium-niobium alloys for oxidation studies. We used ellipsometry to quantify the oxide growth over time as a function of niobium content. We found that the oxide thickness increases linearly with the logarithmic of time. This study also supports the hypothesis that uranium and niobium oxides form a protective passivation layer on a uranium alloy, preventing oxidation and extending the life of the fuel.

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May 10th, 9:55 AM May 10th, 10:05 AM

A Study of Oxidation in Thin-Film Uranium-Niobium Alloys

Virtual

Uranium, a nuclear fuel material, can oxidize and degrade in reactor conditions. Previous studies have shown oxidation resistance in a uranium-niobium alloy, U-6Nb (six weight percent niobium in uranium). The nature of the oxides that form on sputtered U-6Nb thin films after long exposure to air was previously explored using neutron diffraction at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the present work, we deposited thin films of uranium-niobium alloys for oxidation studies. We used ellipsometry to quantify the oxide growth over time as a function of niobium content. We found that the oxide thickness increases linearly with the logarithmic of time. This study also supports the hypothesis that uranium and niobium oxides form a protective passivation layer on a uranium alloy, preventing oxidation and extending the life of the fuel.