David F. Coy

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

James C. Petrosky, PhD.


Pre and post irradiation resistivity and XAFS measurements have been conducted to examine the effects of 0.5 MeV electron irradiations on nickel-carbon composites. Results showed a decrease in surface resistivity in all sample types of 14-30% following irradiation with a total electron exposure of 4 x 10-16 cm-2. Results also showed a corresponding decrease in NiO content for the irradiated samples as compared to measurements of non-irradiated samples. Surface resistivity measurement capabilities were established and measurement techniques refined to produce repeatable results of sufficient precision to discern changes in resistivity for an exposure of 2 x 10-16 cm-2. Measured changes in surface resistivity were found to be consistent with previous studies of the radiation effects on electrical properties of polymers similar to the epoxies used in fabricating the composites studied here. Resistivity results also suggest that current flow close to the surface is a complex process not well modeled by simple Ohmic conduction. The materials examined showed surprisingly good radiation tolerance to 0.5 MeV electrons at total fluences up to 4 x 1016 cm-2. The data showed no discernable link between irradiation changes to surface resistivity and epoxy type used.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number