Nuclear Materials Positron Annihilation Spectrometer

Nuclear engineering faculty are performing cutting-edge research in collaboration with national laboratories, industrial partners, and other universities.

Students at both the undergraduate and graduate level are strongly encouraged to get in touch with faculty to discuss opportunities to get involved in ongoing research projects.

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Research Laboratories

In the ARTLAB, we are developing innovative radiation imaging systems for medical and industrial purposes. We develop and use a wide range of new tools, from X-ray sources for radiation imaging to sophisticated algorithms for image processing and computed tomography (CT) reconstruction. We also develop machine learning algorithms for radiation image analysis and automatic radioisotope detection for homeland security and defense applications. The lab is equipped with a homemade benchtop 3D CT, a clean room for X-ray tube experiments, and a high-performance computer server with COMSOL software for simulation studies.

The D-D generator uses deuterium gas and a microwave to generate plasma as an ion source to induce nuclear fusion. Using deuterium rather than radioactive tritium, as well as “open-vacuum” construction, allows the system to be easily reconfigured for experiments.

The Thermal Hydraulic Experiment, Modeling, and Engineering Simulation (THEMES) Laboratory is designed as a modular, multipurpose facility capable of supporting a variety of multiphase flow experiments, simulations and modeling efforts. The central feature of the THEMES Laboratory is a modular test facility designed to support up to six concurrent experiments by using existing infrastructure. This facilitates rapid deployment of experiments, allows projects to progress rapidly to the construction and testing phases, and reduces the cost to the sponsor.

This lab has facilities to produce and work with vacuum technology up to 10-9 Torr. The equipment includes various types of pumps and vacuum chambers with programmable ramp-heating capabilities; residual gas analyzers; detectors; and other measurement equipment. The lab supports research in vacuum breakdown in x-ray technologies.

The Radiochemistry and Nanotechnology Laboratory houses a fume hood with wet chemistry capabilities; a two-seat glove box; chemical waste disposal; safes for radioactive materials; UV-Vis spectrophotometer; analytical balance; centrifuges; vacuum filtration and drying system; a furnace; a stereo microscope; and ultrasonicators.

The laboratory supports research in characterizing the effects of radiation on solids at the atomic and microscopic scales. Equipment available includes a confocal Raman microscope; a positron annihilation lifetime spectrometer; a modulated photothermal radiometer; a three-omega system configured for thermal diffusivity measurements; and a four-terminal resistivity station. The facilities of the campus Materials Research Center are also available for nuclear materials-related research.

A dual-chambered, internet-accessible, heavily shielded facility with pneumatic access to the Missouri S&T 200 kW research nuclear reactor (MSTR) allows authorized distance users to remotely manipulate and analyze neutron-irradiated samples. The system consists of two shielded compartments: one for multiple sample storage and the other dedicated exclusively for radiation measurements and spectroscopy. The second chamber has multiple detector ports with graded shielding and has the capability to support gamma spectroscopy using radiation detectors such as an HPGe detector. Both of these chambers are connected through a rapid pneumatic system with access to the MSTR nuclear reactor core. The total transportation time between the core and the hot cell is less than three seconds.