Brookhaven National Laboratory

Workshop on...

Characterization of Advanced Materials Under

Extreme Environments for the Next Generation Energy Systems

Event Date Meeting Locations
September 25-26, 2009
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Times for all meetings will be posted on the Agenda
Berkner Hall (Bldg 488), CFN (Bldg 735), NSLS (Bldg 725)

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Workshop Talks



Workshop Poster
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Hi-Res Poster (.pdf)

With the role of materials supporting next generation energy systems identified as central and the need to better understand the research needs and directions both in the near and long term and help streamline material research, a series of workshops have been organized by DOE/BES on the subject. One of the workshops, "Basic Research Needs for Materials under Extreme Environments," addressed the role of materials in a variety of emerging energy technologies and identified desired material performance that will enable these energy systems to function under the required extreme conditions of radiation, temperature, pressure and chemical reactivity.

This was followed by a workshop on "Basic Research Needs for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems" with focus on the development on new materials and chemical processes that can meet the demanding performance of these systems that are accompanied by extreme conditions of radiation, temperature, corrosive environments and non-equilibrium thermodynamics. More...

While the need for new material development was a common theme of these workshops, the ability to characterize materials exposed to extreme conditions was deemed equally important. In particular, the linking of the atomic and macro-scales in characterizing material behavior and the need for advanced computational models to capture the evolution of multi-scale damage was identified as the path towards manipulating atomic and molecular structures with predictable and enhanced resilience to extreme conditions.

To capitalize on the enormous progress made in materials characterization techniques enabled by the continuously optimized beam parameters of new light sources and on the promise rendered by the next generation synchrotron sources (NSLS II), this specialized workshop is proposed to take place at BNL. This workshop, envisioned to be the first of a series of workshops each focusing on a particular energy system (i.e. nuclear, solar, geothermal, etc.) will address the material characterization needs for the next generation nuclear energy systems. It will seek to establish a bridge between material scientists focusing on the extreme conditions of energy systems in general and nuclear systems in particular with scientists from the fields of material characterization and atomic-level simulations. Its focus will be the characterization of material behavior and the evolution of damage from atomic to macro-scale under the influence of extreme operating conditions. BNL is undertaking this initiative because of the unique circumstances that form a very conducive environment for this critically important effort.

The combination of (a) characterization techniques in use at the existing light source NSLS, (b) the potential by the integration of the Center for Functional Materials and the BNL Supercomputer, (c) the emergence of Joint Photon Science Institute as a dedicated center for advanced studies including next generation materials, (d) the availability of experimental facilities facilitating extreme conditions on materials which include radiation, high temperature and corrosive environments through the use of the BNL particle accelerator complex, and (e) the prospects for breakthroughs linked to NSLS II as the most powerful probe, render Brookhaven as an ideal place to initiate this effort.

This workshop, with its primary emphasis on characterization of materials under extreme conditions of next generation energy systems in general and nuclear energy systems in particular, can be viewed as a natural progression both to the DOE/BES workshops that have prompted the overall materials for energy systems-related effort and to other workshops that are following as a result (i.e. the ORNL workshop on “BES National Materials Irradiation Science User Facility” held in April 15-17, 2009 and the “Research Needs and Opportunities for Activated Samples at X-Ray and Neutron User Facilities” workshop organized by LANL on September 20-22, 2009). The ORNL workshop focused on the accessibility and use of state of the art irradiation and post-irradiation examination facilities and infrastructure which already exists either within the Office of Science complex or elsewhere and has been quite limited and often not possible for most material scientists.

Goals and Expected Outcome

With the primary theme of this first in a series workshop identified as characterization of materials under extreme conditions of the next generation nuclear energy systems (nuclear fuels and nuclear materials) or materials under similar extreme conditions of other energy systems, the aim of the proposed workshop will be to reach a consensus and a delineated path forward on:

  • What constitutes short-term and long-term endeavors in material development and characterization so research on materials under extreme conditions attends to the needs of the next generation energy systems.
  • What are the dominant bottlenecks impeding the development of future energy technologies and/or the upgrading of conventional energy systems thus limiting their functionality under more demanding conditions.
  • Which energy areas are expected to continue to play a major role or are emerging and how are they influenced by material characterization advancements.
  • What are the most promising characterization methods (i.e. PDF, phase/strain mapping) that are best suited to address material issues of the next generation energy systems.
  • What role can the next generation probes (i.e. NSLS II) characterized by high energy and spatial resolution of photons and what parameters need to improve that will enhance the ability to study the effects of extreme environments on materials and in particular the understanding of damage at ever decreasing scale.
  • How do advancements in computation and material behavior simulation can aid, along with the characterization efforts, in predicting the behavior of materials under the effect of extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, radiation and corrosive environments.
  • How can the interaction offered by such focused workshop become the springboard for collaborative efforts that will address key materials issues in a coherent and target-specific approach.


There will be an optional Banquet Dinner on Friday, September 25, 2009 directly after the meeting.

Scientific Committee

Organizing Committee

Dr. Qun Shen, BNL/NSLS II
Dr. Y. Zhu, BNL/CFN
Prof. T. Tsakalakos, Rutgers U
Prof. K. Czerwinski, UNLV
Prof. J. B. Parise, SBU
Dr. L. Snead, ORNL
Dr. M. Stan, LANL
Dr. Nick Simos, BNL
Dr. Lynne Ecker, BNL
Dr. Lars Ehm, BNL/SBU
Dr. M. Todosow, BNL
Dr. C-C Kao, BNL

Sponsored Jointly By:

Joint Photon Science Institute (JPSI)
National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS)
National Synchrotron Light Source II
Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)
Energy Sciences & Technology Department (EST)

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Last Modified: April 27, 2012

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