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Kapton films are widely utilized in harsh radiation environments where radiation resistant insulating materials are required. For space applications, Kapton polymers are used on satellites as substrates for solar arrays and outer layers of thermal systems. Kapton is also used in nuclear power plants as wire insulation. Kapton materials can be exposed in nuclear reactors to a reactive chemical environment in addition to severe radiation. It is of utmost important to understand how Kapton materials behave under high irradiation conditions and mitigate radiation damage effects. High-energy electrons can deposit ionizing dose and electric charge deeply inside Kapton materials. The charge accumulation grows over time and may exceed the dielectric strength of Kapton resulting in the electrostatic discharge that may cause extensive material damage. The dose deposition and electrostatic charging of Kapton irradiated with electrons has been studied using the Monte Carlo stepping model implemented in the Geant4 software toolkit. The secondary radiation emission (photo-, Auger-, Compton-electrons, and fluorescence photons) generated by primary electrons is taken into account in the redistribution of dose and charge deposition within a Kapton film. The results of this study are the profiles of dose and charge deposited by primary and generated secondary electrons and photons within a thin film of Kapton as a function of its depth. The results also provide insights into distributions of dose and charge in Kapton films under various incidence angles and energies of electrons.

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Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

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VCU Graduate Research Posters

Dose Deposition and Electrostatic Charging of Kapton Films Irradiated with Electrons