Materials Science of Actinides (MSA)

MSA Header


Peter Burns

Lead Institution

University of Notre Dame

Year Established



To understand and control, at the nanoscale, materials that contain actinides (radioactive heavy elements such as uranium and plutonium) to lay the scientific foundation for advanced nuclear energy systems.

Research Topics

nuclear (including radiation effects), defects, mesostructured materials, materials and chemistry by design, synthesis (novel materials), synthesis (self-assembly), synthesis (scalable processing)

Materials Studied

Materials: metal, oxide, polymer, actinide, porous

Interfaces: organic/oxide, liquid/solid, solid/solid

Nanostructured Materials: 0D, 1D, nanocomposites

Experimental and Theoretical Methods

X-ray diffraction and scattering, X-ray imaging, X-ray spectroscopy, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, surface science, neutron diffraction and scattering, laser diagnostics, molecular dynamics (MD), density functional theory (DFT), quantum mechanics, classical mechanics


Partner Institutions

  • George Washington University
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Oregon State University
  • Stanford University 
  • University of Akron
  • University of California Davis 
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Tennessee

BES Staff Contact

Philip Wilk

Last modified: 9/17/2014 6:59:06 PM