Senior Electron Microscopy Scientist
UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Tungsten is one of the main plasma materials to be used in a fusion reactor because of its excellent high thermal conductivity, low physical sputtering rate, low fuel retention, and low neutron activation. However, oxidation of tungsten lead to the formation of volatile oxides, that could occur during maintenance and in case of accident (loss of vacuum or loss of coolant). This will result in loss of first wall materials and cause the release of airborne radioactive materials, which will have detrimental commercial consequences. To address this issue, tungsten-based alloys with improved oxidation resistance are being developed. Recent progress in the understanding of environment-sensitive behaviour of materials used in nuclear power systems has been possible thanks to tremendous advances in electron microscopy and microanalysis. In this presentation, recent progress of in situ S/TEM and its implementation to understand the oxidation mechanisms taking place in self-passivating tungsten alloy will be presented.
Eric Prestat is Senior Electron Microscopy Scientist in the Materials Department of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) since 2021. Following his completing his doctoral studies in Physics in 2013 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and the Grenoble Alpes University in France, he joined the Department of Materials at the University of Manchester as a Post-doctoral Research Associate and in 2017 was appointed Lecturer in Materials Characterisation, as part of a joint-appointment with the SuperSTEM Laboratory, the EPSRC National Research Facility for Advanced Electron Microscopy. He has over 10 years’ experience in the application of (S/)TEM techniques to challenging characterisation of a variety of materials at the nanoscale, in particular with the use of analytical, aberration corrected or in situ gas environmental (S/)TEM techniques to uncover the structure-property relationships of materials. He is a lead-developer of the HyperSpy framework – a community-driven open-source python eco-system, which is world leading processing and analysis of hyperspectral and multidimensional electron microscopy data. His current research focused on gaining mechanistic understanding of materials degradation in fusion relevant environment to inform the design of fusion energy power plant and support the materials qualification used in future fusion reactor.