The research I am now involved in is to study the property of CeO2 film. CeO2 has the same structure with UO2 so it's a good object to study instead of UO2, which has radiological concerns.
The film will be implemented with heavy ions in order to simulate the situation in a nuclear reactor, where fission products are always damaging the fuel. Damaged sample is studied through many analysis like TEM, SEM and so on. On the other hand, computer simulation is also conducted. We would use Molecular Dynamics to the very short initial stage of the damage formation and Kinetics Monte Carol to the long later stage of the defect migration and relaxation.
Din said that they had spent several years on computer simulation just before this semester. It's difficult because it seems that Pro. Stubbins himself does not know simulation very well. So Din and Bei really counted on themselves actually, that's why the process is so slow. Now, they want to spend more effort on experiments to see if it would be easier to get something.
He suggested that I should do these simulation things and experiments at the same time with an interesting strategy. Since understanding simulation theory is harder compared to doing experiments once the procedure is known, I should put my "brain" to read papers while give my "body" to experiments.
I think this idea is fine and I will follow it. I hope I can officially start the research before winter break.