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Chemical complexity promises improved structural alloys for next-gen nuclear energy

Designing alloys to withstand extreme environments is a fundamental challenge for materials scientists. Energy from radiation can create imperfections in alloys, so researchers in an Energy Frontier Research Center led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are investigating ways to design structural materials that develop fewer, smaller flaws under irradiation. The key, they report in the journal Nature Communications, is exploiting the complexity that is present when alloys are made with equal amounts of up to four different metallic elements.