Materials Scientist
Materials Scientist


Brian Riley, PhD, joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2003 and is a senior materials scientist. Riley’s work focuses on the development of waste forms, such as glass and glass-ceramics, for a variety of nuclear waste streams, such as Department of Energy (DOE) legacy wastes and used nuclear fuel reprocessing wastes; off-gas management, such as iodine and noble gases; and materials exploration, such as non-oxide materials. His primary professional focus is on the development of materials for a variety of applications.

Research Interest

  • Non-oxide materials synthesis and characterization (e.g., chalcogenides, zinc blende, chalcopyrites)
  • Glass waste form development (e.g., tellurite, phosphate, lanthanide borosilicate, high-level waste)
  • Metal-exchanged aerogel and xerogel development for gaseous radionuclide capture (e.g., non-oxide chalcogels, metal-exchanged aluminosilicates)
  • Metal-exchanged zeolites for gaseous radionuclide capture
  • Molten salt reactor waste and effluent management
  • Liquidus temperature measurements of waste and simulated nuclear waste glasses
  • Glass-ceramic waste form development (e.g., mixed MoO3 and lanthanide waste streams)

Disciplines and Skills

  • Applied Materials Science and Engineering
  • Chalcogenides
  • Crystal Growth
  • Materials Characterization
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Materials Science
  • Non-Oxide Materials
  • Powder X-ray Diffraction
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Wasteform Development
  • Zinc-Blende Materials


  • PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Washington State University
  • BS, Chemistry, Eastern Washington University
  • BS, Biology, Eastern Washington University

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society, Member
  • American Nuclear Society, Member

Awards and Recognitions

  • PNNL Of the Year (OTY) Award for Nuclear Sciences Division Mentor of the Year, 2020
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of exception contributions to The Radiological Materials Group Leadership
  • PNNL OTY Award for Energy and Environment Directorate (EED) Nuclear Sciences Division Publication of the Year, 2019
  • PNNL OTY Award for EED Publication of the Year, 2016
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of outstanding contributions and collaboration with the National Security Directorate, 2016
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of five lead author publications in FY 2013, 2013
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition for outstanding efforts for infrared glass ceramics, 2013
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for licensing the IncubATRTMTM technology to Simplex Scientific, 2011
  • R&D 100 Award for IncubATRTMTM, The Live Cell Monitor, 2011
  • PNNL Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of support for the cybersecurity roll-out in FY 2009, 2009
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of contributions to the ASGARD project’s success, 2008
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of excellent work ethic and support for the EM-21 glass matrix test work, 2008
  • R&D 100 Award for Multi-Scale Materials Integrated Processing Method, 2008
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of contribution to education made during the 2008 Bring Your Kids To Work Day, 2008
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in support of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant's Anti-Foam testing, 2008
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of the discovery of a new metastable crystalline phase in the Cd-Ge-As system, which ended up on the cover of the February 2008 Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 2007
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of contribution and dedication to the completion of the Large-Scale Test Evaluation (38D Test) for the AMEC Bulk Vitrification Process, 2007
  • First Place Award at the American Ceramics Society Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) Ceramographic Competition for New Cd-Ge-As Phase Found, 2007
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in appreciation for support to the AMEC Earth and Environmental’s Bulk Vitrification Project, 2007
  • Nominated for a PNNL Stretch Assignment Award at the PS&E FY 2004 Awards Ceremony, 2004
  • Nominated for a PNNL Mentoring Award at the PS&E FY 2004 Awards Ceremony, 2004
  • PNNL Shining Star Award for Going Above and Beyond, 2004
  • Nuclear and Environmental Technology Division Best Paper Award at the American Ceramics Society MS&T 2000 Conference, 2001
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award in recognition of support to the Americium/Curium Support Project, 1999





  • Baskaran, K., M. Ali, B.J. Riley, J.S. Bates, I. Zharov, K. Carlson, “Xerogel membrane synthesis via in-situ pore formation in silica gels through dynamic immiscibility with vegetable oil,” Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 636, 128183 (Nov 2021); doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2021.128183.
  • Riley, B.J., S. Chong, C.L. Beck, “Iodine vapor reactions with pure metal wires at temperatures of 100°C to 139°C in air,” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 60(47), 17162-17173 (Nov 2021); doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.1c03902.
  • Kruska, K., W. Jiang, X. Wang, L. Shao, B.J. Riley, R. Devanathan, “Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy and Atom-probe Tomography Data Quantifying Component-Ratios of Multicomponent Nano-Precipitates in Ion-Irradiated Ceria,” Data in Brief 39, 107460 (Dec 2021); doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2021.107460.
  • Andrews, H.B., J. McFarlane, A.S. Chapel, N.D. Bull Ezell, D.E. Holcomb, D. de Wet, M.S. Greenwood, K.G. Myhre, S.A. Bryan, A. Lines, B.J. Riley, H.M. Felmy, P.W. Humrickhouse, “Review of molten salt reactor off-gas management considerations,” Nuclear Engineering and Design 385, 111529 (Dec 2021); doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2021.111529.
  • Riley, B.J., S. Chong, C.E. Lonergan, “Dechlorination apparatus for treating chloride salt wastes: System evaluation and scale-up,” ACS Omega 6(47), 32239-32252 (Nov 2021); doi: 10.1021/acsomega.1c05065.
  • Chong, S., B.J. Riley, E.T. Nienhuis, D. Lee, J.S. McCloy, “Syntheses and crystal structures of rare-earth oxyapatites Ca2RE8(SiO4)6O2 (RE = Pr, Tb, Ho, Tm),” Journal of Chemical Crystallography 51, 293-300 (Aug 2021); doi: 10.1007/s10870-020-00855-0.
  • Beck, C.L., B.J. Riley, N.P. Smith, S.B. Clark, “Adsorption of iodine on metal coupons in humid and dry environments,” Journal of Nuclear Materials 556, 153204 (April 2021); doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.153204.
  • Riley, B.J., S. Chong, R.M. Asmussen, A. Bourchy, M.H. Engelhard, “Polyacrylonitrile composites of Ag-Al-Si-O aerogels and xerogels as iodine and iodide sorbents,” ACS Applied Polymer Materials 3(7), 3344-3353 (Jun 2021); doi: 10.1021/acsapm.1c00237.
  • Yang, K., W. Zhu, B.J. Riley, J.D. Vienna, J. Lian, “Perovskite-derived Cs2SnCl6-silica composites as advanced waste forms for chloride salt waste streams,” Environmental Science and Technology 55(11), 7605-7614 (May 2021); doi: 10.1021/acs.est.0c07724.
  • Chong, S., B.J. Riley, W. Kuang, M.J. Olszta, “Iodine capture with mechanically robust heat-treated Ag-Al-Si-O xerogel sorbents,” ACS Omega 6(17), 11628-11638 (2021); doi: 10.1021/acsomega.1c00852.
  • Kissinger, R.M., J.V. Crum, B.J. Riley, “Single-component-at-a-time variation study for glass-ceramic waste forms,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society 104(7), 3738-3749 (2021); doi: 10.1111/jace.17746.
  • Wang, G., M.E. Bowden, S.A. Saslow, B.J. Riley, D.-S. Kim, W.C. Eaton, A.A. Kruger, “Micrometer-sized magnetite synthesis using Fe(OH)2(s) as a precursor for technetium sequestration from liquid nuclear waste streams,” Journal of Nuclear Materials 552, 152964 (2021); doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.152964.
  • Beck, C.L., B.J. Riley, S. Chong, N. Smithy, D.R. Seiner, B.N. Seiner, M.H. Engelhard, S.B. Clark, “Molecular iodine interactions with Fe, Ni, Cr, and stainless-steel alloys,” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 60(6), 2447-2454 (2021); doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.0c04590.
  • Riley, B.J., J.A. Peterson, S. Chong, J.D. Vienna, “Influence of ion site occupancies on the unit cell parameters, specific volumes, and densities of M8(AlSiO4)6X2 sodalites where M = Li, Na, K, Rb, and Ag and X = Cl, Br, and I,” Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 48, 3 (2021); doi: 10.1007/s00269-020-01124-4.
  • Beck, C.L., B.J. Riley, S. Chong, A.J. Karkamkar, D.R. Seiner, S.B. Clark, “Molecular iodine interactions with metal substrates: Towards the understanding of iodine interactions in the environment following a nuclear accident,” Journal of Nuclear Materials 546, 152771 (2021); doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152771.
  • Kruska, K., W. Jiang, X. Wang, L. Shao, B.J. Riley, R. Devanathan, “Formation of multicomponent alloy particles in doped ceria under I2+ ion irradiation and thermal annealing,” Journal of Nuclear Materials 545, 152638 (2021); doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152638.
  • Gardner, L., M. Wasnik, B.J. Riley, M. Simpson, K. Carlson, “Effect of reduced dehalogenation on the performance of Y zeolite-based sintered waste forms” Journal of Nuclear Materials 545, 152753 (2021); doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152753.












  • Golovchak, R., O. Shpotyuk, J. McCloy, B.J. Riley, C. Windisch, S. K. Sundaram, A. Kovalskiy, H. Jain, “Structural model of homogenous As-S glasses by combined Raman and XPS techniques,” Philosophical Magazine 90(34), 4489-4501 (2010).
  • McCloy, J.S., B.J. Riley, S.K. Sundaram, H. Qiao, J.V. Crum, B.R. Johnson. “Structure-optical properties correlations of arsenic sulfide glasses in visible, infrared, and sub-millimeter regions,” Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 356(25-27), 1288-1293 (2010).
  • McCloy, J.S., B.J. Riley, B.R. Johnson, M.J. Schweiger, H. Qiao. “The predictive power of electronic polarizability for tailoring the refractivity of high‐index glasses: Optical basicity versus the single oscillator model,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society 93(6), 1650-1662 (2010).
  • Schweiger, M.J., P. Hrma, C.J. Humrickhouse, J. Marcial, B.J. Riley, N.E. TeGrotenhuis. “Cluster formation of silica particles in glass batches during melting,” Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 356(25-27), 1359-1367 (2010).


  • Crum, J.V., B.J. Riley, J.D. Vienna. “Binary phase diagram of the Mn2O3-Fe2O3 system,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society 92(10), 2378-2384 (2009).
  • Johnson, B.R., B.J. Riley, S.K. Sundaram, J.V. Crum, C.H. Henager Jr., Y. Zhang, V. Shutthanandan, C.E. Seifert, R.M. Van Ginhoven, C.E. Chamberlin (PNNL), A.A. Rockett, D.N. Hebert, A.R. Aquino. “Synthesis and characterization of bulk vitreous cadmium germanium diarsenide,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society 92(6), 1236-1243 (2009).


  • Henager Jr., C.H., D.J. Edwards, A.L. Schemer-Kohrn, S.K. Sundaram, B.J. Riley, M. Bliss. “Electron backscatter diffraction of a Ge growth tip from a vertical gradient freeze furnace,” Journal of Crystal Growth, 311, 10-14 (2008).
  • Riley, B.J., S.K. Sundaram, B.R. Johnson, L.V. Saraf. “Differential etching of chalcogenides for infrared photonic waveguide structures,” Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 354(10-11), 813-816 (2008), doi: 10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2007.08.061.


  • Dutta, D., S.K. Sundaram, J.G. Teeguarden, B.J. Riley, L.S. Fifield, J.M. Jacobs, S.R. Addleman, G.A. Kaysen, B.M. Moudgil, T.J. Weber. “An important role for adsorbed proteins in directing nanomaterial disposition and toxicity,” Toxicological Sciences, 100(1), 303-315 (2007), doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfm217.




Selected Publications