The Physical and Life Sciences Directorate (PLS) Directorate supports the Laboratory’s core national security programs in the areas of chemistry and chemical engineering. These programs depend fundamentally on our capabilities and expertise in the following areas: chemical, isotopic, and radiation analyses; selection, preparation, and study of explosive and optical materials; chemical processes involved in producing chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons; chemical preparation of specialized materials; and chemistry involved in the aging of materials. Related chemical science within the directorate includes advances in extreme chemistry, computational chemistry, geochemistry, and nanoscience. In collaboration with other Laboratory and external partners, our chemists and chemical engineers also apply their expertise in novel domains and advance the technology associated with the relevant instrumentation.
The Chemical Sciences Division oversees the chemistry work within PLS.
|A scientist adjusts diagnostics outside the High Explosives Application Facility's spherical firing tank. We use dynamic x-ray imaging with diagnostics such as fast framing cameras, spectroscopy, velocimetry, and embedded fibers to gather data on the processes occurring in our experiments.|
Theory, Simulation, and Modeling
- Explosives at the Microscopic Scale Produce Shocking Results
- Combustion Chemistry
- Finding a New Source of Laser-Like Radiation
- Insights into Early Stages of Polymer Crystallization
- Thunder's Power Delivers Breakthrough Science
- Cheetah 7.0 Thermochemical Code On Line
- Revealing the Mysteries of Water
- Molecular Transport in Carbon Nanotubes
- NanoFoil® Solders with Less Heat
- Novel Materials from Solgel Chemistry
- Fusion Targets on the Double
- Bringing Fusion Research into Focus
- Mimicking Nature's Crystalline Structures
Nuclear and Isotopic Chemistry
- Superheavy Elements/Transactinides
- Age-Dating Groundwater to Assess Contamination
Chemistry Under Extreme Conditions
- New Class of Metal Nitrides Could Lead to More Durable Semiconductors
- Extreme Chemistry
- The Search for Methane in Earth's Mantle
WMD Forensics and Attribution
Science at the Intersection of Physics, Chemistry, Materials, Atmospheric, Earth, and Life Sciences
PLS also conducts a broad range of science at the intersection of multiple disciplines. PLS conducts work in the areas of materials aging and compatibility, energetic materials, environmental chemistry, radiation measurements for national security, and biochemistry.
- The Shocking Truth about Detonations and Metals
- Lab Study Pinpoints Nitrate Sources in Tri-Valley Groundwater
Supporting the National Ignition Facility
We are working to improve the performance of optical systems by identifying the structure of the defect precursors leading to damage in optical materials. Our research will enable material improvements to crystals used in NIF.