I will highlight the hierarchical materials challenges associated with Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). The mission of this effort is "To master molecular to mesoscale chemical and physical phenomena at interfaces in complex environments characterized by extremes in alkalinity and low water activity, and driven far from equilibrium by ionizing (γ,β) radiation." In doing so, the design and development of robust novel hierarchical materials and associated phenomena is at the heart of the effort. I will present the approach, advances and challenges associated with connecting molecular scale detail to micron particle-particle interaction to macroscopic flow and assembly of materials. Specific phenomena of interest will be speciation, dissolution, crystalization and rheology of Aluminum oxyhydroxides in electrolyte slurries. This is achieved through a diverse team implementing a mix of experimental and theoretical tools, providing new insight to complex, hierarchical phenomena.
This work is supported by the Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials, Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.