Center for Actinide Science & Technology


Created in 2016, the CAST is a collaboration between nine laboratories and universities throughout the United States and Canada. The full CAST team has integrated expertise that effectively spans the entire field of actinide chemistry, materials, and physics. Members from universities and national laboratories include leaders in materials synthesis, magnetism, theory, computation, separations, characterization, and solution chemistry. Several of the CAST investigators already have strong collaborations, working relationships, and excellent joint publication records, and this is leveraged within the CAST research plan. A unique attribute of the CAST team that is invaluable to the collaborative operational nature of the CAST is the number of members with experience both utilizing user facilities and managing large radiological laboratories. As the CAST Director, FSU Professor Thomas Albrecht-Schmitt leads the team. Professor Albrecht-Schmitt has been a recognized leader in the field of actinide chemistry and nuclear energy for two decades, is broadly experienced in inorganic, organometallic, environmental, and materials chemistry, and is actively involved in disseminating scientific knowledge to the general public.

Experimental and Theoretical Methods


For the main studies investigated at the CAST in these fields, materials make a major contribution. The researchers’ expertise concerns several materials and interfaces such as metals, semiconductors, ceramics, oxides, rare earth element wide band-gaps, actinides, and porosity for diverse applications in energy storage (including batteries and capacitors), superconductivity, nuclear storage(including radiation effects), defects, separations, materials chemistry by design, synthesis such as novel materials, self-assembly, or scalable processing. The combination of instruments and the expertise is used to probe or simulate structures with X-ray diffraction and scattering, X-ray imaging, X-ray spectroscopy, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, near-field scanning optical microscopy, surface science, neutron diffraction and scattering, neutron spectroscopy, ultrafast physics, molecular dynamics (MD), density functional theory (DFT), and quantum mechanics.



Partner Institutions


  • Florida State University
  • Florida International University
  • National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Purdue University
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Manitoba

CAST unites solution and solid-state chemists, materials scientists, condensed matter physicists, and a strong core of theoreticians whose interests encompass those of the experimentalists. The basic research required for our nation to move forward with solving the environmental problems that exist as a legacy of the Cold War as well as mitigating the impact from continued use of nuclear power as our only source of significant amounts of energy with a small carbon-footprint. 

Research plan by focus areas

The Center for Actinide Science & Technology (CAST) addresses many of the aforementioned issues that have also been the subject of two major Basic Research Needs for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems and Basic Research Needs for Materials under Extreme Environments workshops. Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination.

  • How do we control material processes at the level of electrons?
  • How do we design and perfect atom- and energy-efficient synthesis of revolutionary new forms of matter with tailored properties?
  • How do remarkable properties of matter emerge from complex correlations of the atomic or electronic constituents and how can we control these properties?
  • Integration of synthesis, processing, characterization, theory/simulation and modeling 
  • Achieving/strengthening predictive capability in foundational challenge areas

The Center for Actinide Science & Technology’s mission is to unite materials chemists, condensed-matter physicists, and theoreticians into a cohesive research unit with the common goal of solving long-standing problems identified by the Office of Science. The guiding philosophy of the CAST is that the solutions to these vexing environmental issues lies in the removal of barriers between scientific disciplines, cross-fertilization of different fields of inquiry, and the design of fresh approaches to deep-rooted and highly complex environmental problems. The Center for Actinide Science & Technology's goal is to deliver five significant outcomes that either specifically solve problems associated with the legacy of the Cold War, or more generally, to provide new tools for the mitigation of effects from continued nuclear energy production on the environment. The focused transformative deliverables are:

Focus Area 1 New low-temperature and high-temperature waste forms with hierarchical structures for trapping actinides in the long-term.
Focus Area 2
2(a) Cutting-edge separation science that targets specific radionuclides present in tank waste.
2 (b) Advanced measurement methods, especially X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and diffraction under extreme conditions.
2 (c) New computational approaches that lead to optimization and predictive capabilities.

Last Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 4:33 PM