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 3: Interfacial Transport/Reaction

Advancing experimental techniques to study irradiation and corrosion concurrently, and interrogate the interfacial reactions that drive corrosion response.

FUTURE will advance experimental techniques to study irradiation and corrosion concurrently as well as interrogate the interfacial reactions that drive corrosion response.

Context: Corrosion is inherently a surface phenomenon, in which a corrosive medium (in the case of FUTURE, liquid environments) comes in contact with a material. Think rust. The rates of corrosion are thus significantly impacted by surface processes, which in turn are governed by defects. Irradiation naturally and dramatically changes the defect content of a material. To understand how corrosion couples with irradiation, we must also understand how irradiation changes the reactions occurring at interfaces.

Motivating Scientific Question: How do coupled extremes affect transport and reactions at solid/liquid interfaces?

Approach: FUTURE will expand on the Irradiation and Corrosion Experiment -- also known as ICE -- which is a unique facility combining a corrosion cell with ion beam irradiation. Past work has shown that irradiation can change the thickness of the corroded layer by a factor of ten or more. FUTURE will add new capabilities to this experiment to probe how different corrosive environments -- liquid metals versus molten salts -- impact material evolution in an irradiation environment. These coupled effects studies will be complemented by detailed electrochemical impedance spectroscopy which targets the rates of reactions occurring at these interfaces that dictate the overall corrosive behavior.

Thrust Lead: Peter Hosemann of the University of California, Berkeley