Materials Science and Engineering Researcher Receives Department of Energy Grant

Dr. Jincheng Du, an Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been awarded a Department of Energy (DOE) grant to study the corrosion and chemical durability of glasses through the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP).

Understanding the corrosion of glasses is critical for a number of technological and engineering applications including long-term nuclear waste disposals and their geological storage. Dr. Du and his group will use sophisticated computer simulations to understand the bulk and interfacial structure of multicomponent oxide glasses, their interaction and dissolution in an aqueous environment, and diffusion behaviors in these materials. The study will generate reliable structural information and mechanistic understanding that can lead to predictive assessment of glasses for long-term geological storage.

Dr. Du is collaborating with Drs. Joe Ryan and Sebastien Kerisit of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Dr. Louis Criscenti of Sandia National Laboratories on this project. The total amount of the grant is $700,000, with $560,000 awarded to the University of North Texas (UNT) and the remainder to the national lab collaborators.

Dr. Du brings to the project extensive experience in modeling glass structure and properties and in potential development. His work has been funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) including one project on dissolution behaviors of bioactive glasses and one NSF GOALI project on mixed glass former effect on industrially important glass systems with Corning Inc. He currently chairs the Technical Committee on “Atomistic Modeling and Simulation of Glass” of the International Commission of Glass (ICG). Ryan provides expertise in experimental characterization of the waste form glasses and a deep understanding of the experimental world of dissolution behaviors of glasses. Criscenti has led several projects on the study of the simulations of the structure and behaviors of glass waste forms in geological environments. Kerisit has extensive experience in atomistic modeling of mineral and mineral/water interfaces.

In January 2014, Dr. Du hosted a DOE workshop on the UNT campus with participants from five national laboratories and three universities to discuss the current status and challenges in the study of corrosion in glasses.

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