Welcome to the
Solid State Chemistry Group
at the University of Saskatchewan
Graduate and undergraduate research positions
Please contact Dr. Grosvenor for details on opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students wanting to pursue research in the areas of solid-state inorganic chemistry and materials analysis by X-ray spectroscopy.
Many governments are considering replacing fossil fuel-based power plants with nuclear power plants because of environmental concerns and the dwindling supply of fossil fuels. Although the power generated by nuclear reactors is considered "clean", a substantial amount of hazardous radioactive waste is produced. This waste can be sequestered in ceramics or incorporated into ordered compounds that are densely packed and disallow outward diffusion of the offending elements. The long term goal of the research conducted by the Grosvenor group is the investigation and development of ordered compounds that sequester actinide elements (e.g., U, Pu, Am) in the structure. To this end, it is important to examine model compounds as host materials in order to gain a clear understanding of the relationship between crystal structure, composition, bonding, electronic structure, and surface reactivity to the sequestration of actinides. In particular, pyrochlore ceramics have been identified as promising materials for actinide immobilization. These and related materials adopting the zircon, zirconolite, and monazite structures (among others) are synthesized by group members and investigated by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (utilizing synchrotron radiation) supported by electronic structure calculations.
Students working in the Grosvenor group are trained in all of the disciplines used in this solid-state inorganic chemistry research program (i.e., synthetic methods, structure analysis by X-ray diffraction, electronic structure calculations, and X-ray spectroscopy). Much of the spectroscopy is performed at the Canadian Light Source, Canada's only synchrotron radiation source, which is located at the University of Saskatchewan.