Post-irradiation analysis of the tantalum container of an ISOLDE LBE target
CERN-ISOLDE operates a range of oxides, carbides, refractory metal foils and liquid metal targets for the production of radioactive ion beams. Following irradiation with a pulsed beam of 1 GeV and 1.4 GeV protons at temperatures reaching 600 degrees C, the tantalum container of a liquid lead bismuth eutectic (LBE) target was examined. A thin layer of Pb/Bi was observed on the inner surface of the container. A sample of the surface prepared using the focused ion beam technique was investigated using SEM and EDX. Results show a higher concentration of bismuth at the interface with tantalum and micron-sized cracks in the tantalum filled with LBE. Implications of these results for the lifetime of the target container which has been known to fail under pulsed beam operation are discussed. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.