The Allain Research Group

Purdue University


About us

The Allain Research Group is headed by Prof. Jean Paul Allain and home to the Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Laboratory in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University.   Prof. Allain’s group investigates how radiation (e.g. energetic heavy-ions, clusters) can manipulate low-dimensional state systems (i.e. surfaces, interfaces, nano-structures, etc...) by probing and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. 

There are three primary thrusts in the RSSEL group:

  1. 1)The study of nuclear fusion and plasmas interacting with material surfaces: in this thrust the plasma-material interface in advanced fusion devices is investigated by computational modeling and experimental validation of fundamental processes.  In addition, several in-situ characterization experiments simulating the plasma-surface interface in fusion devices are conducted.  Work in this thrust includes: 1) lithiated graphite coatings, 2) in-situ plasma-surface interaction diagnostics in major fusion machines, 3) advanced nano-crystalline refractory materials and 4) liquid-metal systems.

  2. 2)Directed radiation synthesis: this work includes the study of fundamental mechanisms of radiation modification of low-dimensional state solid and liquid-state systems at the nanoscale.  Several projects include: 1) compound semiconductor synthesis with ultra-low energy heavy-ion modification, 2) alkali doping of graphene, 3) advanced nano-structured magnetic stent synthesis and 4) ion-beam artificial texturing of ultra-thin films.

  3. 3)Advanced in-situ probing and manipulating techniques at the nanoscale: this work consists of research that develops in-situ characterization approaches of materials systems at the nanoscale modified by some form of energetic irradiation. For example hyper-thermal heavy-ions inducing self-organization at ultra-shallow regions of compound semiconductors or semi-metals.

Links to recent publications:

  1. 1.H.W. Kugel, D.K. Mansfield, R. Maingi, M.G. Bell, R. Bell, J.P. Allain, et al., “Evaporated lithium surface coatings in NSTX”, J. Nucl. Materials.  In press 2009 doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2009.01.242.

  2. 2.J.P. Allain, D. Rokusek, H. Kugel, C. Skinner, R. Kaita, R. Majeski, “Lithiated graphite as a hydrogen-pumping surface for improved plasma performance” J. Nucl. Materials. Accepted 2008.

  3. 3.J.N. Brooks, J.P. Allain, A. Hassanein, “Mixed-material evolution analysis of two ITER plasma facing surfaces” J. Nucl. Materials.  In press 2009.

  4. 4.J.P. Allain, M. Nieto and A. Hassanein “Specular reflectivity of 13.5-nm light from Sn islands deposited on grazing incidence mirror surfaces,” Appl. Phys. A., 91 (1) 2008 13-16.

  5. 5.J.P. Allain, et al., “IMPACT: a facility to study the interaction of low-energy intense charged particle beams with dynamic heterogeneous surfaces” Review of Scientific Instruments, 78 (2007) 113105.

Research News:

  1. 1.Prof. Allain has been invited to brief Purdue President Cordova on the biomaterials work in RSSEL.

  2. 2.Prof. Allain has been invited to serve in the Research Needs Workshop (ReNeW) for the Department of Energy, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.  Prof. Allain is a panel member of the Plasma-Wall Interactions Panel in the “Taming the Plasma-Material Interface” theme.

  3. 3.DOE-OFES project on MAPP (Materials Analysis Particle Probe) has been awarded in collaboration with PPPL.

  4. 2.NSTX PMI probe initial design              finalized and installation plans underway.

  5. 3.VG Scienta analyzer and PRIHSM  chamber arrived at Purdue!

  6. 4.DOE-SBIR on ultra-fine grain (UFG) tungsten awarded in collaboration with Materials Modification Inc.



   -Nuclear Fusion

   -Radiation Interactions

   -In-Situ Characterization

    -Advanced Nano-Scale


Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Laboratory (RSSEL)

RSSEL Sponsors

We thank our sponsors for their continued support.

1.  DOE - Office of Fusion Energy Sciences

2.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

3.  Materials Modification Inc.

  1. 4. Purdue Research Foundation

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