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Yanwen Zhang

In the search to create materials that can withstand extreme radiation, Yanwen Zhang, a researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, says that materials scientists must think outside the box.

Scanning probe microscopes use an atom-sharp tip—only a few nanometers thick—to image materials on a nanometer length scale. The probe tip, invisible to the eye, is attached to a cantilever (pictured) that moves across material surfaces like the tone arm on a record player. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory; U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Liam Collins was drawn to study physics to understand “hidden things” and honed his expertise in microscopy so that he could bring them to light.

In ORNL’s Low Activation Materials Development and Analysis Laboratory, Field makes use of a transmission electron microscope to examine a sample made with a focused ion beam. He investigates the defects produced in a FeCrAl alloy bombarded with neutrons in HFIR. Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Kevin Field at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory synthesizes and scrutinizes materials for nuclear power systems that must perform safely and efficiently over decades of irradiation.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory entrance sign

The unique process of accepting a new supercomputer is one of the most challenging projects a programmer may take on during a career. When the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s (OLCF’s) Verónica Melesse Vergara came to the United States from Ecuador in 2005, she never would have dreamed of being part of such an endeavor. But just last fall, she was.

To develop complex materials with superior properties, Vera Bocharova uses diverse methods including broadband dielectric spectroscopy. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; photographer Jason Richards

Vera Bocharova at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigates the structure and dynamics of soft materials—polymer nanocomposites, polymer electrolytes and biological macromolecules—to advance materials and technologies for energy, medicine and other applications.

Jon Poplawsky of Oak Ridge National Laboratory combines atom probe tomography (revealed by this LEAP 4000XHR instrument) with electron microscopy to characterize the compositions, structures, and functions of materials for energy and information technolog

Jon Poplawsky, a materials scientist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, develops and links advanced characterization techniques that improve our ability to see and understand atomic-scale features of diverse materials

Sergei Kalinin, director of the Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, convenes experts in microscopy and computing to gain scientific insights that will inform design of advanced materials for energy and informati

Sergei Kalinin of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory knows that seeing something is not the same as understanding it. As director of ORNL’s Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials, he convenes experts in microscopy and computing to gain scientific insigh...

Lauren Garrison

The materials inside a fusion reactor must withstand one of the most extreme environments in science, with temperatures in the thousands of degrees Celsius and a constant bombardment of neutron radiation and deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen, from the volatile plasma at th...

Arjun Shankar

The field of “Big Data” has exploded in the blink of an eye, growing exponentially into almost every branch of science in just a few decades. Sectors such as energy, manufacturing, healthcare and many others depend on scalable data processing and analysis for continued in...