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Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM)

Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM)

Latest Announcements

Diagram showing water interact with surface and microscopy image

Wet Aluminum Hydroxide and Oxyhydroxide Particles Release Hydrogen When Irradiated

Insights into metal's radiolytic behavior could ease final processing of nuclear waste

(June  2018)

Vitrifying nuclear waste for final storage is complicated by aluminum. Knowing how aluminum particles behave is vital. New research suggests that upon radiolysis, the bulk properties of humid aluminum particles do not change substantially but hydrogen is formed.

Elias Nakouzi, portrait

Elias Nakouzi Joins the 2017 Class of Pauling Fellows

(April  2018)

Congratulations to Dr. Elias Nakouzi on receiving one of PNNL's Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowships. Known for his wide-ranging research into material formation, Nakouzi studies crystallization, growth aggregation, and assembly. With his colleagues at IDREAM, he is developing the tools needed to visualize and analyze the water-based layers that form where minerals meet liquids.

Tiecheng Zhou, portrait

Tiecheng Zhou Earns Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering

(March  2018)

Congratulations to Dr. Tiecheng Zhou, an IDREAM early career scientist, on receiving his doctorate in materials science and engineering from Washington State University. With IDREAM, Zhou focuses on quantifying the structural transition between tetrahedral and octahedral aluminum species in solution using a popular network analysis algorithm.

Paul Dabbar looks into a hot cell at the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory

IDREAM Center Discusses Nuclear Waste with DOE Under Secretary for Science

(March  2018)

Under Secretary Paul Dabbar and Chief of Staff Kristen Ellis toured Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and met with Sue Clark, Director of the IDREAM EFRC, to discuss interfacial chemistry in radioactive wastes.

Alkaline solutions of aluminum and sodium ions form complex gels

Tracking Mechanisms of Crystallization in Real Time

Aluminum's coordination change occurs in extreme environments

(March  2018)

Researchers quantified transient penta-coordinated Al3+ species during the crystallization of gibbsite from hydrous aluminum gels in solutions of concentrated sodium hydroxide. The research shows that concentrated electrolytes in solution affect hydrogen bonding, ion interactions, and coordination geometries in currently unpredictable ways.

Aurora Clark

Aurora Clark Joins National Academies' Committee

(February  2018)

Dr. Aurora Clark joined a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's committee that will develop the agenda for basic research in separations science. Through this agenda, they will lay the groundwork for a new era in separations focusing on fundamental science.

Sue Clark

Sue Clark to Help Evaluate DOE's Environmental Cleanup Technology Development

(February  2018)

Sue Clark, an internationally known leader in nuclear science, has been appointed to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee to evaluate the U.S. Department of Energy’s cleanup technology development efforts.

Kevin Rosso and Patricia Huestis talk about poster

Ambitious IDREAM Meeting Nets Insights and Ideas

(February  2018)

Congratulations to the IDREAM team on their latest all-hands meeting. At this 3-day event, researchers and advisors discussed how the Energy Frontier Research Center is answering tough questions about complex radioactive environments. Throughout the gathering, scientists from two national labs and four universities presented their research and shared ideas.

Kevin Rosso

Kevin Rosso Joins National Academies' Committee

(February  2018)

Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Rosso at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on his appointment to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's committee. The committee will develop the agenda for basic research in separations science.

Anthony Krzysko portrait

Anthony Krzysko Joins National School for Neutron and X-Ray Scattering

(January  2018)

Congratulations to Anthony J. Krzysko, IDREAM early career member and graduate student at Washington State University, on participating in the National School for Neutron and X-Ray Scattering, a competitive opportunity for early career scientists.

Atomic force microscopy set up

Measuring Small Forces that Lead to Large Effects

Technique offers details on forces between crystal faces, enabling predictions of complex behaviors

(December  2017)

Forces between individual particles in slurries are responsible for their rheological behavior. Direct quantification of physical forces between mineral faces is now possible with atomic force microscopy, thanks to work at IDREAM, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by DOE's Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences.

Gibbsite synthesized at different pH values

Mastering Tailored Design of Aluminum Nanomaterials

New methodology is cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than other approaches

(December  2017)

Industrial processing of aluminum requires understanding its behavior in highly alkaline solutions. Processing slurries and precipitates from these solutions is aided by controlling the shape of tiny particles that are produced. Researchers at the IDREAM Energy Frontier Research Center developed a synthesis route. The team’s work provides a methodology that is cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than other approaches.

IDREAM Research Center


Master molecular-to-mesoscale chemical and physical phenomena at interfaces in complex environments characterized by extremes in alkalinity and low-water activity, and driven far from equilibrium by ionizing radiation.

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