Derby research featured at synthesis science workshop

May 9, 2016 - Professor Jeffrey J. Derby was invited to participate in the 2016 Basic Research Needs for Synthesis Science for Energy Relevant Technology Workshop, May 2-4, 2016, in Rockville, Maryland. This workshop was convened by the Department of Energy (DOE) Basic Energy Sciences to identify basic research needs and priority research directions in synthesis science with a focus on new, emerging areas with the potential to advance current capabilities and impact future energy technologies.

Derby served on the panel "Crystalline matter: Challenges in discovery and directed synthesis," that was charged to discuss what is currently known about predicting and synthesizing new, non-molecular solids and to create a road map for designing and synthesizing new crystalline materials of the future.

One of Derby's research projects was featured in the workshop as a cutting-edge example of incorporating theory and simulation with advanced, in situ diagnostics in the synthesis of crystalline materials. This research is a collaboration involving Derby’s group and groups at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and University of California, Berkeley. The project focuses on advancing the growth of large, single crystals used in gamma-ray detectors via crystal growth modeling in conjunction with in situ neutron imaging. Graduate students Jeff Peterson, Yue Wu, and Chang Zhang are directly involved with this project. This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development.

The figure above shows (from left to right): one frame of a time-sequence of images obtained using neutron absorption during the vertical Bridgman growth of a mixed-halide scintillator crystal doped with Europium; contrast image from the neutron visualization depicts the shape of the solidification interface during growth; model of the experimental growth system, showing temperature field on the left, melt flow structure on the right. The slightly convex interface shape predicted by the model agrees well with that observed in experiment.

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