Helium Bubbles in metals present several challenges to the design of materials for
nuclear reactors. The high neutron flux causes displacement damage and Helium accumulation
via (n, alpha) reactions, and direct implantation in fusion environments. Fusion presents uniquely
difficult challenges, as PFC materials must withstand the combined thermal stresses and
multi-species bombardment. It is crucial to understand the fundamental nature of Helium in
metals to engineer materials that withstand these harsh environments.
In this work, Helium Ion Microscopy is employed to implant and characterize single
crystal Vanadium, building on previous research utilizing this method. HIM implantation allows
for precise control of irradiation conditions with rapid and reproducible variability to investigate
effects of temperature, fluence, flux, and irradiation area. AFM, TEM, and Nanoindentation are
employed to probe surface and microstructural phenomenon, blistering, swelling, hardening, and
embrittlement. FIB-DIC is further employed to characterize residual stresses from irradiation,
revealing strong correlation with dose.