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Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability


MaRIE is an experimental facility for time-dependent control of dynamic properties of materials for national security science missions. It is capable of developing qualified, certifiable, flexible, and low-cost product-based solutions to many materials problems.

marie facility

A Facility for Discovery of Next-Generation Materials

The Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes (MaRIE) experimental facility will be used to discover and design the advanced materials needed to meet 21st century national security and energy security challenges.

Specifically, MaRIE will provide the tools scientists need to develop and manufacture next-generation materials that will perform predictably and with controlled functionality in extreme environments.

MaRIE's Capabilities

MaRIE will provide the scientific community with unique capabilities to

  • Provide unprecedented time- and space-resolved measurements on multiple scales needed for modeling and simulation, especially in the middle- or mesoscale between atomic structure and integral system tests;
  • Create extreme conditions of relevance, particularly stress, temperature, and processing environments; and
  • Create synthesis and characterization tools needed to design, discover, and control materials on these scales.
MaRIE 1.0

MaRIE 1.0 is the most nuclear weapons-relevant subset of MaRIE

MaRIE 1.0 (Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes 1.0) is designed to support key National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) goals to understand the condition of the nuclear stockpile and to extend the life of U.S. nuclear warheads. When combined with the emerging computational capability to simulate materials at ultrahigh resolution, MaRIE 1.0 will fill the gap in the understanding of micro- and mesoscale materials phenomena and how they affect weapon performance. MaRIE 1.0 will specifically provide two major new capabilities: (1) the ability to predict how micro- and mesoscale materials properties evolve under weapons-relevant extreme conditions (including aging) and impact performance, and (2) the ability to predict the microstructure of new materials (or those resulting from new manufacturing processes) and how this microstructure will affect weapons performance.

Facility Overview

Leveraging LANSCE’s existing 1-MW, 0.8-GeV proton accelerator, MaRIE 1.0 will provide

  • The world’s highest energy hard (42-keV) XFEL with gigahertz repetition of a few pulses; 
  • A new multi-probe diagnostic hall (MPDH), coupling hard, coherent, brilliant x-ray photons with 12-GeV electron and 0.8-GeV proton radiographic tools in dynamic extremes; and
  • A unique making, measuring, and modeling materials (M4) facility for materials synthesis and characterization, with colocated high-performance computational co-design and data visualization tools focused on the mesoscale.
NA-11’s Summary of MaRIE Capabilities

Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes (MaRIE) Mission Need

Current mission need/capability gap:  Defense programs require the ability to provide validated predictive models of materials behavior in weapons-relevant regimes to support stockpile assessments and life extension program (LEP) certification in the absence of nuclear testing.  Defense programs do not currently have a capability that probes real-time materials response in weapons-relevant dynamic regimes at length scales that would provide the linkages between materials microstructure and performance (the “mesoscale”). MaRIE:

  • Addresses the “knowledge gap” for stockpile stewardship science tools between the atomic scale of materials addressed by facilities such as NIF and Z and the integral scale addressed by DARHT and U1a;
  • Provides flexible and reduced-cost stockpile materials options for the nuclear weapons complex through accelerated qualification, certification, and assessment, including advanced/additive manufacturing opportunities;
  • Reduces the uncertainty of physics-based predictions of performance in order to provide sufficient confidence for the material over the life cycle of the system;
  • Provides a recruiting and retention tool for future generations of nuclear weapons stewards;
  • Leverages advances in computational architectures, including exascale opportunities, to provide better, high fidelity materials models in the simulation codes supporting stockpile stewardship; and
  • Develops the ability to predict and control from materials and devices to manufacturing processes.

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