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Exploring the frontiers of nuclear materials at the University of New Mexico

The video shows micropillar compression experiment done by Dr. Lang on 316 SS. The probe is 1 micron wide


About Us

Welcome to the CHARacterization and Irradiation of Surfaces and Materials for nuclear Applications (CHARISMA) in the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico. We are a diverse team of undergraduate and graduate researchers headed by Assistant Professor Eric Lang.

Our research focuses on materials, their design and synthesis, their response to irradiation, their behavior in extreme environments, and their properties on small length scales, connecting their structure, processing, and properties. Our work correlates the processing routes of materials (utilizing additive and advanced manufacturing), materials characterization (utilizing electron microscopy and spectroscopies), and response to nuclear application-relevant environments (high temperatures, corrosion, and irradiation).

The lab seeks to foster an inclusive culture that encourages transformative thought bringing together students of a wide range of backgrounds and interests. If you are interested in knowing more about us, please contact us using this form.

Our laboratory leverages the resources at the University of New Mexico, including the Nanoscale Characterization Facility , the XMAT group, and collaborates with Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and University of Tennessee, and University of Michigan.



Ongoing Research Projects

Radiation Effects in YHx for Microreactor Applications

Collaborators: Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Tennessee

This work will advance understanding of YHx for future microreactor applications combining in situ and post mortem experimentation and multi-scale characterization. The objective of this project is to (1) identify the effects of ion irradiation on the YH microstructure and phase stability at elevated temperature; (2) understand how radiation-induced defects, such as voids and dislocation loops, affect mechanical properties; and (3) establish a facility for further ion irradiation studies of YH and nuclear materials under gas exposure.

Mechanism driven evaluation of sequential and simultaneous creep-fatigue

Collaborators: University of Michigan, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee

This project proposes to develop and use ion irradiation during both ex situ and in situ creep, fatigue, and creep-fatigue testing to analyze advanced reactor material responses under complex mechanical loading conditions in a low cost and accelerated manner. The work will focus on two materials of interest: Grade 91 and Alloy 709. Both alloys are under heavy consideration for use in non-LWR deployments as structural materials where creep and creep-fatigue can dictate the component lifetime during operation.

Designing W-based composites for nuclear fusion plasma facing material applications

Collaborators: Sandia National Laboratories, University of Tennessee

This work will synthesize W-based composites of W, Mo, Nb, Ta, Ti, V, and/or Cr via powder metallurgy routes and evaluate their performance in fusion reactor plasma-facing materials environments. Of particular interest is the ability of these materials to limit He bubble formation and He surface nanostructuring.

Design and lifetime assessment of advanced nuclear fusion shielding materials

Collaborators: Sandia National Laboratories

This work designs and tests the shielding capabilities of refractory boride and lanthanide composite materials for radiation shielding applications. Combining modeling and simulations with materials synthesis and characterization, this work will examine the lifetime shielding capabilities, materials lifecycle, and fabricability of novel shield materials.


David D Lynes, Joshua Young, Eric Lang, Hengky Chandrahalim

Ryan Schoell, Aspen Reyes, Guddi Suman, Mila Nhu Lam, Justin Hamil, Samantha G Rosenberg, LaRico Treadwell, Khalid Hattar, Eric Lang

Meet The Team

Eric Lang.jpg

Assistant Professor

Refractory metals, Irradiation effects in materials, Advanced materials synthesis, Electron microscopy, In-situ characterization, Nuclear Fusion

Principle Investigator

Graduate Students


Radiation effects, Advanced alloys, characterization


Fusion science and plasma physics, Radiation transport, Fusion materials application, Monte Carlo methods, Radiation protection


Developing advanced characterization methods, metal hydrides, accident tolerant fuel cladding material, Radiation effects

Undergraduate Students


Material evolution, Radiation detection and measurement, Space propulsion


Ion Irradiation, Characterization, Fusion


Material evolution, Radiation detection and measurement, Space propulsion


Fusion Reactor Design, Plasma Physics, High Energy Plasma Propulsion, Fusion Applications, Space Nuclear Applications


Heat Transfer, Ion Irradiation, Numerical Problem Solving, Advanced Reactor Design


Dr. Eric Lang teaches the following classes at The University of New Mexico Nuclear Engineering Department:

NE 231: Principles of Nuclear Engineering

Introduction to nuclear engineering and nuclear processes; neutron interactions with matter; cross-sections; fission; neutron diffusion; criticality; kinetics; chain reactions; reactor principles; fusion; nuclear fuel cycle; safety.

NE 485/515: Fusion Technology

The technology of fusion reactor systems including basic magnetic and inertial confinement physics, system designs, material considerations, shielding, blanket designs, fuel cycle, plant operations, magnets, and ICF drivers.

NE 571: Radiation Damage in Materials

Fundamentals of radiation damage and long term evolution of damage structure in structural materials for nuclear applications. Radiation damage topics include creation of point defects under irradiation, diffusion and accumulation of point defects, and differences in defect microstructures due to the type of radiation (ion, proton, neutron). Radiation effects topics include degradation of mechanical properties, creep and evolution of microstructure including phase stability and segregation.



1 University of New Mexico

MSC 01 1120

 Albuquerque,NM 87131


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