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Reduced activation ferritic/martensitic and ferritic steels strengthened by a dispersion of oxide nanoparticles have been considered viable structural materials for fusion applications above 550 degrees C. However, the microstructural stability and mechanical behaviour of these steels subjected to the aggressive operating conditions of these reactors are not well known. An accelerated development of these materials is crucial if they are going to be used in future power reactors. Then, it is indispensable to understand their atomic scale evolution under high temperature and irradiation conditions. The present paper reviews how the combination of transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography has been successfully applied for the characterisation of these steels at the near atomic scale, to reveal the nanoparticle structure, grain boundary chemistry and void distribution.
ods steel ; nanoparticles ; transmission electron microscopy ; atom probe tomography ; ferritic steels ; martensitic steels ; irradiation