The Ultrafast Spectroscopy Group in the Department of Nuclear Engineering explores several topics in plasma science and nuclear engineering. Dr. Bataller’s research group specializes in the application of ultrafast laser techniques for probing matter in extreme environments with a focus in strongly coupled plasma and molten salts.


Thermophysical Properties of Molten Salts for Advanced Nuclear Energy Applications

The world’s increasing need for safe, abundant, reliable, and carbon-free energy sources is stimulating renewed interest in nuclear energy. Among these interests is the application of molten salts for recycling spent nuclear fuel, as the solvent/coolant in next generation nuclear reactors, and for thermal energy storage. Our research group is exploring new methods for measuring both micro- and macroscopic fluid properties of molten salts by leveraging the unique properties of short pulse lasers. As an example, we are developing a time-domain thermoreflectance characterization tool for measuring heat transfer properties of molten salts and other high temperature fluids.

Ultrafast pump-probe method for measuring heat transfer properties of molten salts. Optical setup and furnace are complete!