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Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscopy-Tandem

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

The IVEM-Tandem Facility 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-Tandem 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 Tandem 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.