Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Luke Langford Rose Hills

Molecular Dynamics Simulations of a Molten Salt Double Layer

Molten salt reactors (MSRs) are an attractive source of nuclear power generation due to improved efficiency and negligible risk of meltdown. However, corrosion of reactor components by molten salt present a serious challenge to the reliability of MSRs. In order to make realistic estimates of reactor lifetimes, a kinetic model of molten salt corrosion must be developed. Central to understanding the kinetics of molten salt corrosion is the double layer parallel layers of charge surrounding an object immersed in fluid at the interface of a metal and a molten salt. This summer I will be using molecular dynamics to simulate the interface of a molten salt and a metal. I will then use the data recorded in this simulation to analyze the ordering of charge densities, in-plane chemical structure, and transport properties within the double layer. This work has the potential to reveal fundamental insights to the mechanisms of molten salt corrosion, which could be consequential knowledge in humanity’s search for emission-free energy.

Message To Sponsor

HUGE thanks to the Rose Hills Foundation! This fellowship made it financially possible for me to take ownership of my first long-term research project over the summer. This has helped me develop my skills with modeling/simulation as well as my intuition for science as an investigative process. Certainly these experiences will help prepare me for research I will encounter in grad school.
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Mentor: Mark Asta
Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
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