The effects of varying the pulse energy of a picosecond laser used in the pulsed-laser atom-probe (PLAP) tomography of an as-quenched Ni-6.5 Al-9.5 Cr at.% alloy are assessed based on the quality of the mass spectra and the compositional accuracy of the technique. Compared to pulsed-voltage atom-probe tomography, PLAP tomography improves mass resolving power, decreases noise levels, and improves compositional accuracy. Experimental evidence suggests that Ni2+, Al2+, and Cr2+ ions are formed primarily by a thermally activated evaporation process, and not by post-ionization of the ions in the 1+ charge state. An analysis of the detected noise levels reveals that for properly chosen instrument parameters, there is no significant steady-state heating of the Ni-6.5 Al-9.5 Cr at.% tips during PLAP tomography.
- Nickel-based superalloys
- Preferential evaporation
- Pulsed-laser atom-probe tomography
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