Second Round (Spring 2018) of Proposals Selected for NRL Seed Program

Second Round (Spring 2018) of Proposals Selected for NRL Seed Program
Taylor Tracy, NRL

The second round of the MIT Nuclear Reactor Lab’s (NRL) Seed Fund Program concluded on April 15th, 2018. The Seed Program was established in the fall of 2017 as a means to cultivate new research areas and to obtain data in support of pursuing externally funded research proposals.

After conducting a feasibility and merit review evaluating each proposal, the following proposals have been selected for this round:

​ Neutron-based mapping of hydrogen diffusion during plasticity 


Dr. C. Cem Tasan (Assistant Professor, Department of Material Science and Engineering)

This proposal will use neutron tomography and diffraction methods to create 3D maps of trapped hydrogen and be correlated with the effects of crystal structures and features (e.g. phase boundaries) on hydrogen trapping, leading to improved understanding in the hydrogen embrittlement of steels.

​ Carrier doping of disordered GaAs/AlAs superlattice using neutron transmutation

Dr. Mingda Li (Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering)

This proposal will utilize irradiation through the 1PH1 pneumatic tube, using neutron transmutation doping (NTD) to achieve high-precision carrier doping of gallium arsenide/aluminum arsenide (GaAs/AlAs) superlattice structures. This will demonstrate the feasibility of neutron-based carrier doping for quantum material research and applications.

​ Neutron computed tomography scanning of cave deposits for fluid inclusions

Dr. David McGee (Associate Professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences)

This proposal will conduct neutron computed tomography (NCT) scanning of calcium carbonate cave deposits using a neutron beam. NCT scanning will map fluid inclusions within the samples to identify the portions that are amenable to destructive analysis of these fluid inclusions. The subsequent fluid inclusion analyses will enable novel reconstruction of the original depositional temperatures of the samples.

The NRL Seed Program provides MIT faculty and research staff no-cost access to MIT Reactor’s irradiation facilities, post-irradiation evaluation (PIE) services, neutron activation analysis and gamma spectroscopy capabilities, and materials characterization instruments with NRL staff support. More information about the NRL Seed Program may be found here: