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.
A typhoon strikes an island in the Pacific Ocean, downing power lines and cell towers. An earthquake hits a remote mountainous region, destroying structures and leaving no communication infrastructure behind.
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.
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...