Homogeneous near surface activity distribution by double energy activation for TLA

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Thin layer activation (TLA) is a versatile tool for activating thin surface layers in order to study real-time the surface loss by wear, corrosion or erosion processes of the activated parts, without disassembling or stopping running mechanical structures or equipment. The research problem is the determination of the irradiation parameters to produce point-like or large area optimal activity-depth distribution in the sample. Different activity-depth profiles can be produced depending on the type of the investigated material and the nuclear reaction used. To produce activity that is independent of the depth up to a certain depth is desirable when the material removed from the surface by wear, corrosion or erosion can be collected completely. By applying dual energy irradiation the thickness of this quasi-constant activity layer can be increased or the deviation of the activity distribution from a constant value can be minimized. In the main, parts made of metals and alloys are suitable for direct activation, but by using secondary particle implantation the wear of other materials can also be studied in a surface range a few micrometers thick. In most practical cases activation of a point-like spot (several mm2) is enough to monitor the wear, corrosion or erosion, but for special problems relatively large surfaces areas of complicated spatial geometry need to be activated uniformly. Two ways are available for fulfilling this task, (1) production of large area beam spot or scanning the beam over the surface in question from the accelerator side, or (2) a programmed 3D movement of the sample from the target side. Taking into account the large variability of tasks occurring in practice, the latter method was chosen as the routine solution in our cyclotron laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-143
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Double energy activation
  • Thin layer activation (TLA)
  • Wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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