Los Alamos National LaboratoryFUTURE: Fundamental Understanding of Transport Under Reactor Extremes
An Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences

Thrust 2: Coupled Transport

Using state-of-the-art microscopy techniques to characterize irradiated and corroded materials, including isotopic sensitive atom probe tomography to trace species transport in complex microstructures.

FUTURE will use state-of-the-art microscopy techniques to characterize irradiated and corroded materials, including isotopic sensitive atom probe tomography to trace species transport in complex microstructures.

Context: The defects produced via irradiation move through the material and, as a consequence, move the atoms in the material. Further, these defects and atoms interact with the microstructure -- grain boundaries and dislocations. This can cause significant changes in the elemental composition of the material that will impact how the material interacts with a corrosive environment. To understand how corrosion is impact by irradiation, we must first understand how the chemical make-up of the material changes with irradiation.

Motivating Scientific Question: How is species transport impacted by non-equilibrium defect populations?

Approach: FUTURE will utilize the cutting edge in strain mapping and four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy to examine materials exposed to a combination of corrosive and irradiation environments. FUTURE will advance the use of isotopes to understand detailed transport mechanisms in materials. Coupled with atom probe tomography, the use of isotopes will allow us to examine how transport differs in different parts of the material, for example at grain boundaries. By examining corrosive behavior before and after irradiation, we will elucidate the means by which irradiation impacts corrosion.

Thrust Leads: Daniel Schreiber and Sandra Taylor of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory