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Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscope

The IVEM is used for in situ TEM studies of defect structures in materials under controlled ion irradiation and sample conditions.

The IVEM is a partner facility of the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE). It is a dual-ion beam facility for in situ TEM studies of defect structures in materials under controlled ion irradiation/implantation and sample conditions.

The IVEM Facility is unique in its ability to image the changes in atomic structure and defect formation during irradiation at high magnification. The IVEM’s important advantages include:

  • Real Time observation of defect formation and evolution during irradiation.
  • Well-controlled experimental conditions (constant specimen orientation and area, specimen temperature, ion type, ion energy, dose rate, dose, and applied strain).
  • Refine and validate computer model simulations of irradiation defect states.
  • High-dose ion damage is produced in hours, rather than the years such damage would require in a nuclear reactor, supporting studies of material response to high doses of particle (ion and neutron) irradiation.
  • In situ ion irradiation does not produce any radioactivity in samples.
The IVEM Facility is part transmission electron microscope and part ion beam accelerators. It’s also one of about a dozen instruments in the world that lets researchers look at material changes caused by ion irradiation as it happens.