Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS)

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The Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS) is a state-of-the-art materials characterization laboratory that provides cross-cutting capabilities that support the Center for Advanced Energy Studies' (CAES) mission in multiple initiative areas. MaCS is largely made possible through its partnership with the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) (formerly Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility).

MaCS is complementary to the Boise State Center for Materials Characterization (BSCMC) that was established by the Idaho State Board of Education in August 2006 to provide a state-of-the-art characterization facility in order to attract more students into science and engineering careers, to improve science and engineering education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to foster leading research and interaction with local industry.

Collectively, MaCS and BSCMC provide the organization and infrastructure to make various materials characterization tools available for research, academia, and regional companies.

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Advanced Materials Laboratory

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Materials research is the key to solving some of the nation’s most pressing energy problems. New materials that can withstand higher pressure levels and temperatures are needed to boost power plant efficiency. So are materials that can extend the life of the nation’s nuclear plants.

CAES researchers are working on these and other critical projects by creating and testing new materials to ensure they can withstand extreme environments. They also are experimenting with new welding techniques to ensure these materials can be used in a commercial setting.

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Fluids Laboratory

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This Geoscience-based laboratory is focused on geological systems and applications. Researchers in the Fluids Lab are studying enhanced geothermal systems, carbon sequestration methods to capture and contain CO2, one of the primary greenhouse gases, and how to improve the accuracy of geothermal reservoir temperature predictions to save on energy exploration costs.

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Catalysis & Transient Kinetics Laboratory

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In this distinctive lab, scientists look at catalysis and materials science problems using unique equipment and techniques to analyze complex reaction kinetics on materials.

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Radiochemistry Laboratory

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Researchers in the Radiochemistry Laboratory are working to convert used nuclear fuel into more manageable waste forms. They are developing an electrochemical treatment process to separate used fuel into uranium metal and ceramic and metal wastes.

The Radiochemistry Laboratory supports electrochemical separations studies of surrogate/simulated used nuclear fuels. It provides support of full scale separations at the INL Materials Fuels Complex and Fuel Conditioning Facility electro-refiners. The laboratory also supports research being done by the Critical Materials Institute on rare-earth oxides reduction.

It also has the capability to support production of depleted uranium spheres for the Center for Space Nuclear Research space nuclear fuel research.

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Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

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The Analytical Chemistry Laboratory is a non-radiological wet chemistry lab that supports research activities in other CAES laboratories. Scientists in the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory analyze samples produced in neighboring labs and by fellow researchers.

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Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory

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The Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory serves primarily as a health physics instrument lab in support of CAES radiological work. The lab also contains a positron annihilation system used for mechanical properties testing.

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Applied Visualization Laboratory (AVL)

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The Applied Visualization Laboratory contains several 3D immersive environments for scientists and engineers to walk into their data, examine it, and provide deep analysis in pursuit of their research.

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