Examination of nuclear materials with two-dimensional nanostructures

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physics


In this project, the student will use diffraction-based methods to study the 2D nanostructures in numerous types of materials and investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for their deformation in realistic industrial applications. A starting point of the study will be the characterisation of reference samples of virgin graphite for use in the muon target and Gen-IV reactors and novel MAX phases for nuclear fission and fusion applications. Combining the results from neutron diffraction, transmission electron microscope and Raman spectroscopy, the aim is to understand the diffraction patterns in these materials better and establish an algorithm to best analyse them. Based on this, the findings will be applied to industrial graphite and MAX phases to study the material changes after they have been exposed to high temperature, neutron and/or proton irradiation to gain insight into the fundamental aspects of the defects in these materials and how they accommodate strains when they are deformed as in industrial applications. Another exciting aspect of this project is to synthesise novel MAX phases in particular for neutronic applications. Neutron radiography on beamline IMAT (ISIS, RAL) will be the main approach and Bragg edge radiography will provide real time information on the spatial distribution of phases produced during the process, with neutron resonances further used to noninvasively monitor the temperature distributions.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513179/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2267138 Studentship EP/R513179/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Aimee Coleman