Li recognized for work on irradiation damage and irradiation-resistant materials

Jin Li - AVS AwardJin Li, a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been awarded the American Vacuum Society (AVS) – Applied Surface Science Division 1st Place Student Award. This honor is in recognition of his work focusing on the understanding of irradiation damage, as well as design irradiation-resistant materials.

“Nuclear energy as a clean power source provides about 13 percent of electricity generated worldwide (about 20 percent in the U.S. in 2016),” Li said. “The development of clean and renewable energy is of great importance for next-generation nuclear reactors, however, there are not any materials immune to irradiation damage to date. Therefore, the understanding of the irradiation damage is the key to the design of advanced materials for advanced nuclear reactors.”

Li, the lead researcher behind the project, works with experiment design, sample fabrication, in situ irradiation and data analysis, among other things.

“The impact of this work is apparent to the nuclear materials community regarding the potential discovery of radiation tolerant nanomaterials, which are designed for advanced nuclear reactors,” Li said.

Li studied under Dr. Xinghang Zhang, a former professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His Ph.D. thesis focused on radiation damage and mechanical behavior of nanostructured metals. He published six first-author articles in premier materials science journals, such as Nano Letters and Acta Materialia. He also has two papers that are under review and more than 15 other co-author papers, including four in Acta Materialia, two in Nano Letters and one in Progress in Materials Science. Li is now a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University.

Li received the award during the AVS 64th International Symposium in October.