First Advisor

John Dash

Term of Graduation

Winter 1990

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics






Iron -- Surfaces, Iron -- Reactivity, Hydrogen, Argon



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vii, 70 pages)


An experimental study of pure iron foil exposed to a hot, dense hydrogen and argon gas mixture in a ballistic compressor yielded evidence of structural and compositional changes of the metal due to the presence of the hydrogen gas. Three iron foils have been compared, one of unexposed pure iron, another of pure iron exposed to a mixture of hydrogen and argon gas, and the third of pure iron exposed to argon alone. Exposure to these high temperature, high pressure gases took place in a ballistic compressor.

Line formations were found on the surface of the iron foil exposed to both hydrogen and argon. These appeared as 'V'- or 'W'-shaped configurations, giving the appearance of a serrated edge. Such lines were not found for the other two iron foils. Characteristic peaks of energy dispersive x-ray spectra yield different surface concentrations of oxygen when each iron foil sample is compared. This concentration is much less for iron foil exposed to both hydrogen and argon gases than for the other two samples. Also a larger carbon peak was found for the former sample, when compared to the latter two. A shift in the 200 x-ray diffraction peak by one degree 2θ was observed for the sample exposed to hydrogen and argon, and a 'triple' peak was observed for the 310 plane for the same iron sample.


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