Sputter-deposited Zr/Nb nanometric multilayer films with a periodicity (L) in the range from 6 to 167 nm were subjected to carbon, silicon and copper ion irradiation with low and high fluences at room temperature. The ion profiles, mechanical proprieties, and disordering behavior have been investigated by using a variety of experimental techniques (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry - SIMS, nanoindentation, X-ray diffraction - XRD, and scanning transmission electron microscopy - STEM). On the STEM bright field micrographs there is damage clearly visible on the surface side of the multilayer; deeper, the most damaged and disordered zone, located close to the maximum ion concentration, was observed. The in-depth C and Si concentration profiles obtained from SIMS were not affected by the periodicity of the nanolayers. This is in accordance with SRIM simulations. XRD and electron diffraction analyses suggest a structural evolution in relation to L. After irradiation, Zr (0002) and Nb (110) reflexions overlap for L=6 nm. For the periodicity L> 6 nm the Zr (0002) peak is shifted to higher angles and Nb (110) peak is shifted to lower angles.Keywords: Zr/Nb multilayers, ion irradiation, strain, XRD, SIMS
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