Effect of a nitrogen-rich surface layer on the sub-surface deuterium (hydrogen) concentration distribution in titanium

Corneliu I. Costescu, Brent J. Heuser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deuterium and nitrogen depth profiles in Ti with modified surfaces have been measured with Auger electron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, and D(3He,p)4He nuclear reaction analysis. Nitrogen-rich surfaces layers of varying thicknesses were created on Ti by exposure to N2 gas at 650 °C. Deuterium loading was performed by exposure to 1 Torr of D2 gas at 500 °C. The deuterium distribution was influenced by nitrogen in the near-surface regions of all samples. Specifically, deuterium solubility was suppressed in surface regions of high (greater than 1%) nitrogen concentration. The deuterium solubility also remained low within the first few microns, well beyond the region of high nitrogen concentration. This effect is attributed to internal elastic stresses imposed by the non-deuterium absorbing nitrogen-rich layer on the Ti. These stresses prohibit the volume expansion associated with deuterium absorption. We estimate stresses on the order of 3-4 GPa are required to suppress the deuterium solubility to the values observed. The deuterium absorption kinetics were observed to depend systematically on the thickness of the nitrogen-rich layer. This is consistent with limited solubility near the surface or a surface poisoning effect influencing the overall deuterium diffusion from the gas phase into the Ti bulk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalSurface Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 10 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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