Post-mortem analysis of tungsten plasma facing components in tokamaks: Raman microscopy measurements on compact, porous oxide and nitride films and nanoparticles

C. Pardanaud, D. Dellasega, M. Passoni, C. Martin, P. Roubin, Y. Addab, C. Arnas, L. Couëdel, M. Minissale, E. Salomon, G. Giacometti, A. Merlen, E. Bernard, R. Mateus, E. Alves, Z. Siketic, I. Bogdanovic Radovic, Antti Hakola

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Raman microscopy is one of the methods that could be used for future post-mortem analyses of samples extracted from ITER plasma facing components. This study shows that this technique is useful for studying tungsten-based materials containing impurities including oxides and nitrides. Here, we apply pulsed laser deposition and DC argon glow discharges to produce tungsten-containing synthetic films (compact, and porous), and nanoparticles, and investigate the influence of their morphology on the measured Raman spectra. The amounts of oxygen and/or nitrogen in the films are also investigated. Comparative data are obtained via x-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, Electron Microscopies (Scanning and Transmission), Energy Dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and Time-of-Flight Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis. The power density of the laser beam used to perform the Raman microscopy is varied by up to 4 orders of magnitude (0.01-20 mW μm-2) so as to investigate the thermal stability of films and nanoparticles. As a first result, we give evidence that Raman microscopy is sensitive enough to detect surface native oxides. Secondly, more tungsten oxides are detected in porous materials and nanoparticles than in compact films, and the intensities of the Raman band correlate to their oxygen content. Thirdly, the thermal stability of these films (i.e. structural and chemical modification under laser heating) is poor when compact films contain a sufficiently large amount of nitrogen. This finding suggests that nitrogen can be substituted by oxygen during Raman laser induced heating occurring in ambient air. Finally, our methodology can be used to rapidly characterize the morphology and chemistry of the samples analyzed, and also to create oxides at the micrometer scale.
Original languageEnglish
Article number086004
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This work has been carried out within the framework of the EUROfusion Consortium and has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 and 2019-2020 under grant agreement No 633053.


  • laser heating
  • plasma wall interaction
  • PLD
  • post-mortem analysis
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • tungsten nitride
  • tungsten oxide


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