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Physical & Computational Sciences Directorate

Materials Science Research Area

Materials Science photo

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has outstanding materials science capabilities, including

  • Physics and chemistry of epitaxial oxides
  • Nanomaterials synthesis and self-assembly
  • Defect formation and the effect on material behavior
  • Material response to extreme environments.

Our experimental and theoretical analysis draws upon advanced synthesis and characterization tools at the national laboratory and user facilities. We conduct studies at the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, which houses specialized labs for research with microgram-to-kilogram quantities of fissionable materials and megacurie activities of other radionuclides. Also, we conduct research in EMSL, using transmission electron microscopes, nuclear magnetic spectrometers, molecular beam epitaxy, and other tools all located under one roof. When the tools do not exist, we create them.

We succeed because of our teams, which include chemists, physicists, biologists, and materials scientists. Our team members are selected for their ability to solve the problem, regardless of where they work. This allows us to bring together different scientific perspectives for our clients.

Our work also benefits from Laboratory Directed Research and Development investments, including our Transformational Materials Science Initiative, which was completed in fiscal year 2012, and our Chemical Imaging Initiative, which is building state-of-the-art imaging tools for materials science.

The U.S. Department of Energy is our chief client. We conduct work for DOE"s Office of Science, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, and Office of Nuclear Energy. We also have clients in the national security arena, focusing on sensors, and with industry.

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