Advanced Characterization of Materials Corrosion in Molten Salt Environments

with Lingfeng He, Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering,
North Carolina State University

October 13, 2023, 10:10 am
Torgersen Hall 1000, Blacksburg

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Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) hold significant promise as next-generation nuclear reactors to address the growing energy needs in the United States. Nevertheless, one of the major hurdles in MSR development pertains to the corrosion of structural materials. The establishment of a comprehensive understanding of metal corrosion in molten salts is paramount for devising effective corrosion mitigation strategies for MSRs. In this pursuit, a range of advanced electron microscopy characterization techniques including focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy coupled with electron backscatter diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), as well as transmission electron microscopy supplemented by EDS and electron energy loss spectroscopy, has been meticulously employed to investigate the microstructural changes ranging from the nanoscale to the microscale under molten salt corrosion conditions. To capture the dynamic evolution of molten salt corrosion across varying time and length scales, quasi-in-situ TEM and in-situ synchrotron X-ray nano-tomography techniques have been innovatively developed.

Lingfeng He is an Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering at NC State University (NCSU) and holds a join faculty appointment with Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Prior to joining NCSU in 2022, he served as a distinguished staff scientist and led the High-Resolution Materials Characterization group at INL. His research primarily centers on investigating materials' responses to extreme environments, particularly emphasizing the comprehension of environmental degradation in nuclear power systems. Dr. He serves as the PI/Co-PI for 17 R&D projects and 48 Nuclear Science User Facility (NSUF) Rapid Turnaround Experiments besides supporting multiple DOE programs at INL. He is the top collaborator at NSUF. He has published 135 peer-reviewed journal articles and held 5 patents. He is the recipient of the INL Laboratory Director’s 2020 Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award.