We conduct basic research into the fundamental chemical processes induced by ionizing radiation

Subtask 1

Fundamental Advances in Radiation Chemistry

Energy deposition and the transport following the absorption of ionizing radiation are probed in media ranging from low-temperature ices, through aromatic liquids to supercritical fluids. Track structure effects and the structure, properties and reactions of the radicals formed in these tracks are addressed both experimentally using a variety of spectroscopic approaches and theoretically with simulation and ab initio techniques.


Solar Energy Conversion

Quantum dots, along with other metallic semiconductor and carbon-based nanostructures, are used as building blocks for the design of next-generation, light-harvesting assemblies capable of delivering improved photoconversion efficiencies. In addition to ultrafast spatially-resolved carrier dynamics, interobject electron transfer and recombination processes are elucidated in an internationally-recognized research program in solar energy conversion.

Subtask 3

Nuclear Power Generation

Challenges in reactor chemistry, waste separation, and waste storage pertaining to how radiation chemistry of aqueous systems modifies, or is modified by a nearby interface, are addressed. Issues tackled include radiation-enhanced corrosion, radical reactions at high temperature, radiolytic products at extreme pH, and hazardous gas production from irradiated resins. The knowledge obtained will aid in the management of existing the development of next-generation reactors, waste streams and safer storage techniques.

Xu Han and Ek Adhikari

Biochemical Applications

Ultrafast imaging of long-range energy transfer in photosynthetic and biomimetic antenna systems on the nanoscale is explored. We build an understanding of radiation damage inflicted during during macromolecular crystallography at synchrotrons and aim to develop successful mitigation strategies. We probe the important roles of radicals in biosystems with state of the art spectroscopies, greatly sharpening our understanding of the interaction of ionizing radiation, low-energy electrons, and heavy ions with biomolecules.

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