The present contribution highlights results of the recent irradiation campaigns applied to screen mechanical properties of advanced tungsten and copper-based materials—main candidates for the application in the plasma-facing components (PFC) in the European DEMO, which has also been presented at 28th IAEA fusion energy conference. The main challenges in the formulated irradiation programme were linked to: (I) assessment of the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature of newly developed tungsten-based materials; (ii) investigation of an industrial pure tungsten grade under high temperature irradiation,
reflecting operational conditions in the high flux divertor region; (iii) assessment of the high temperature strength of CuCrZr-based alloys and composites developed to enable the extension of the operational window for the heat sink materials. The development and choice of the advanced materials is driven naturally by the need to extend the operation temperature/fluence window thereby enlarging the design space for PFCs. The obtained results helped identifying the prospective tungsten and copper-based material grades as well as yielded a number of unexpected results pointing at severe degradation of the mechanical properties due to the irradiation. The results are discussed along with the highlights of the microstructural examination. An outlook for near future investigations involving in-depth post-irradiation examination and further irradiation campaigns is provided.