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Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM)

Particle Interactions

particle interactions image

Research objective:

Quantify the chemical and physical phenomena leading to hierarchical microstructures of aggregates and other response dynamics that couple across scales.

Science questions:

  • What are the unique roles of interfacial chemistry and structure in dictating particle–particle and particle–solvent interactions in complex chemical environments?
  • How do particle interactions couple to hydrodynamics to create the aggregate microstructure, given the added complexities of flow polydispersity, irregular geometry, and surface roughness of particles, and what are the relative roles of aggregation and fusion vs. Ostwald-type coarsening in defining particle size distributions and aggregate microstructure?

Research progress:

The behavior of boehmite particles in solutions of high ionic strength and high pH at different scales has been studied using a combination of correlated experimental and theoretical/numerical studies. Experimental methods included frequency- and amplitude-modulated atomic force microscopy (FM/AM-AFM) along with AFM-equipped dynamic force spectroscopy, theories/simulations for particle interactions, cryo- and liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy (cryo- and LP-TEM), and dynamic light/(ultra)small angle x-ray/(ultra)small angle neutron scattering (DLS/(U)SAXS/(U)SANS).

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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