Effect of ion irradiation on the thermal conductivity of UO2 and U3O8 epitaxial layers

Patricia B. Weisensee, Joseph P. Feser, David G Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of 2 MeV Ar+-ion irradiation on the thermal conductivity of epitaxial layers of UO2 and U3O 8 was studied with time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR) at temperatures between 323 and 658 K. The thermal conductivity of unirradiated UO2 is 10.2 W m-1 K-1 at 323 K and scales with temperature like 1/T. Upon irradiation with doses >0.7 × 10 15 Ar+ cm-2, the thermal conductivity decreases to a nearly constant value <4 W m-1 K. By comparing the data to an analytic model, we report the point-scattering strength of irradiation induced defects in UO2. Unirradiated U3O8 has a thermal conductivity of 1.6 W m-1 K-1 at 333 K. Low and medium doses of Ar-ion irradiation decrease the thermal conductivity of U 3O8 to <1.0 W m-1 K-1. Unexpectedly, it is found that higher doses of Ar+ irradiation increased the conductivity of U3O8 to ∼2.0 W m -1 K-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Aug 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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