Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 9:30 AM
The Summit (Boise Centre on the Grove)

Irradiation effects in oxide materials

L. René Corrales, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Understanding the response of materials to irradiation is of extreme importance, for example in evaluating the long-term performance of materials used in nuclear power generation, in the entombment and confinement of nuclear waste, and in other harsh applications such as space travel. Of particular interest is the controlled response of materials to fabricate optical and electronic devices, such as Bragg gratings. In principle, it is experimentally challenging to get at materials response of irradiation at that atomic level; therefore, to determine atomic and molecular level mechanisms of irradiation response, ab initio calculations and atomic-level molecular dynamics simulations are used. Generally, irradiation processes are comprised of both inelastic and elastic processes that together pose a challenge to theory. In an effort to get at the combined processes, we have initially focused on understanding the individual processes, i.e. isolating the inelastic and elastic processes. I will present modern theoretical approaches used to determine the response of silica and germanium doped silica glass to electronic excited states, the response of silica to displacement cascades, and the mechanical / thermal response of a damaged pyrochlore material.