Tritium adsorption, absorption and desorption are important processes in tritium technology, which can lead to unwanted effects, in particular the so-called memory effect. A history dependent background signal, which limits the achievable accuracy of high-sensitivity tritium analytical systems. Furthermore, it leads to unwanted stored inventories (safety risk) in tritium processing systems and with that, increased effort during disposal.
To study the process of tritium surface contamination during and after gas exposure, a specialized instrument was built at TLK: the TRIADE (Tritium Adsorption Desorption) facility. TRIADE is a versatile system for the investigation of gas-wall interactions of arbitrary solid sample materials. With a detection limit of less than 0.1 monolayer equivalent tritium, surface contaminations can be investigated under ultra-high vacuum conditions from 10-9 mbar to up to 103 mbar. While beta induced x-ray spectroscopy is used to detect remaining surface contaminations, mass spectroscopy is used to detect desorbed gas species.
With that, new materials can be investigated for the use in KATRIN or fusion technology. In the focus, is the search for materials with negligible tritium interaction and negligible inventories after tritium exposure.