Birck Nanotechnology Center

Jean Paul Allain


Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering


Contact Information:

Phone: (765) 496.9718



Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering/ Ph.D. (U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign/ 2001)
Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering/ M.S. (U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign/ 2000)
Mechanical Engineering, Minor: Physics/ B.S. (California State Polytechnic University/ 1996)


Research Interests:

  • Radiation Surface Science
  • Directed Radiation Synthesis
  • Plasma-surface interactions in fusion systems
  • Radiation interactions with soft matter
  • Ion scattering spectroscopy
  • Biocompatible magnetic nanostructures


Impact Statement & Explanation of Research:

There are three primary thrusts in Prof. Allain's Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Laboratory (RSSEL) group:

  • The study of nuclear fusion and plasmas interacting with matter, where the plasma-material interface in advanced fusion devices is investigated by computational modeling and with experimental validation of fundamental processes. Work in this thrust includes: 1) lithiated graphite coatings, 2) liquid lithium systems, 3) advanced nanocrystalline refractory materials and 4) in-situ plasma-surface interaction diagnostics in major fusion machines.
  • Directed radiation synthesis, includes the study of fundamental mechanisms of how radiation modifies low-dimensional state (e.g. nanostructures, ultrathin films, etc...) 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 on graphene, 3) advanced nanostructured magnetic stent synthesis and 4) ion-beam artificial texturing of ultra-thin films.
  • Advanced in-situ probing and manipulating techniques at the nanoscale, consists of research that develops in-situ approaches at materials systems at the nanoscale modified by some form of energetic particle irradiation. For example hyper-thermal heavy-ions inducing self-organization at ultrashallow regions of compound semiconductors or semi-metals.



Group page: Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Laboratory

Current Projects:

  1. Nanocrystalline tungsten materials for plasma-facing components in ITER, Collaboration with E. Stach (MSE), Student: Osman El-Atwani
  2. In-situ elemental and chemical characterization of D-recycling on lithiated graphite surfaces with applications to NSTX, Collaboration with D. Zemlyanov (BNC), Student: Chase Taylor
  3. An in-situ Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) diagnostic to study particle density control and hydrogenic fuel retention in NSTX, Collaboration with D. Zemlyanov (BNC), Student: Chase Taylor

Recent publications:

  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. Accepted 2009.
  2. J.P. Allain, D. Rokusek, H. Kugel, C. Skinner, R. Kaita, R. Majeski, “Experimental studies of lithium-based surface chemistry for fusion plasma-facing materials applications” J. Nucl. Materials. in press 2009. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2009.01.242
  3. 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.
  4. J.P. Allain, et al. "IMPACT: a facility to study the interaction of low-energy intense charged particle beams with dynamic heterogeneous surfaces", Rev. Sci. Instrum, 78 (2007) 113105.
  5. J.P. Allain, M.D. Coventry, D.N. Ruzic "Collisional and thermal effects on liquid lithium sputtering" Phys. Rev. B, 76 (2007) 205434.


Research Links


Research Areas: