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Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM)

Research News

Diagram showing water interact with surface and microscopy image

Wet Aluminum Hydroxide and Oxyhydroxide Particles Release Hydrogen When Irradiated

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.



Alkaline solutions of aluminum and sodium ions form complex gels

Tracking Mechanisms of Crystallization in Real Time

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.



Atomic force microscopy set up

Measuring Small Forces that Lead to Large Effects

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

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.



Chart with molecular models

Computing X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectra of Condensed Matter

Researchers at the IDREAM EFRC developed a new approach called Model Order Reduction that reduces computational complexity and speeds generation of results. MOR is a novel, adaptive algorithm that uses interpolation to reduce the computational complexity associated with predicting the absorption spectrum without a noticeable reduction in accuracy.



IDREAM Research Center

Vision

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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