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Bridging from the Surface to the Micron Frontier through Leadership Computing

This project is complete.  We have a new SciDAC-4 project that builds on this work: Plasma Surface Interactions: Predicting the Performance and Impact of Dynamic PFC Surfaces

Project Summary

Gaining physics understanding and predictive capabilities to describe the evolution of plasma facing components (PFC) requires simultaneously addressing complex and diverse physics occurring over a wide range of length and time scales, as well as integrating extensive physical processes across the plasma - surface - bulk materials boundaries. This requires development not only of detailed physics models and computational strategies at each of these scales, but computer science algorithms and methods to strongly couple them in a way that can be robustly validated through comparisons against available data and new experiments. Therefore, the objective of this project is to develop robust, high-fidelity simulation tools capable of predicting the PFC operating lifetime and the PFC impact on plasma contamination, recycling of hydrogenic species, and tritium retention in future magnetic fusion devices, with a focus on tungsten based material systems. Deploying these tools requires the development of a leadershipscale computational code, as well as a host of simulations that span the multiple scales needed to address complex physical and computational issues at the plasma - surface interface and the transition below the surface where neutron damage processes in the bulk material dominate behavior in multiple-component materials systems. Successful development will enable improved prediction of PFC performance needed to ensure magnetic fusion energy development beyond ITER.


 InstitutionPrincipal InvestigatorAdditional Participants

Barry Smith (

Shashi Aithal, Danqing Wu

Alumni: Milad Fatenejad (U Chicago), Jungho Lee, Vijay Mahadevan, Tim Tautges

GA/DIII-DPhil Snyder (

Rui Ding, Houyang Guo, Adam McLean (LLNL on assignment at DIII-D)

Emeriti: Vincent Chan


LANLXianzhu Tang ( Ahrens, Sham Bhat, David Higdon, Li-Ta "Ollie" Lo, Danny Perez, Luis Sandoval, Arthur Voter, Blas Uberuaga
ORNL*Brian D. Wirth* (

Alexander "Sasha" Barashev, David E. Bernholdt, John Canik, Ozgur Cekmer, Ane Lasa, Philip C. Roth, German D. Samolyuk

Alumni: Stanislav Golubov, Crystal Jernigan, Jeremy Meredith, Roger Stoller
Jay Jay Billings, Sophie Blondel (now at UTK)

PNNLRick Kurtz ( Heinisch, Giridhar Nandipati, Kenny Roche, Wahyu Setyawan
UCSDSergei Krasheninnikov ( Guterl, Roman Smrinov
UIUCDavid Ruzic ( and Davide Curreli (

Jon Drobny, Peter Fiflis, Kishor Kalathiparambil, Kyle Lindquist, Ivan Shchelkanov

UMassDimitrios Maroudas ( Hu
U MissouriKarl Hammond (

Ian Naeger, Zhuocen Yang, James Gentles, Ashton Rohrich, Derek Ruff

Alumni: Chase Skawinski, Gabriel Ort, Marissa Zirges

U Tennessee - KnoxvilleBrian Wirth (

Sophie Blondel, Mary Alice Cusentino, Tim Younkin

Alumni: Eric Yang, Donghua Xu

Additional UTK collaborators are supported through the OFES Fusion Materials Program.

* Lead Institution and Lead Principal Investigator


This project is part of the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, and is jointly sponsored by the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) and Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) programs within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The period of performance is 2012-08-01/2017-07-31.

Key Partners


Program or SponsorProjectPSI Point(s) of ContactPartner Point(s) of Contact
SciDAC InstitutesFASTMath – Frameworks, Algorithms, and Scalable Technologies for MathematicsBarry Smith (ANL), Vijay Mahadevan (ANL) 
 QUEST – Quantification of Uncertainty in Extreme Scale Computations

David Higdon (LANL)
Sham Bhat (LANL)

Omar Knio (Duke), Habib Najm (SNL)
 SUPER – Institute for Sustained Performance, Energy and ResiliencePhil Roth (ORNL) 
 SDAV—Scalable Data Management, Analysis and VisualizationJim Ahrens (LANL), Jeremy Meredith (ORNL) 
DOE Fusion Energy Sciences
Plasma-Surface Interactions Science Center
Brian Wirth (ORNL/UTK)

Donghua Xu, Zhangcan "Eric" Yang

International Atomic Energy Agency

IAEA Coordinated Research Program on Plasma-Wall Interactions with Irradiated Tungsten and Tungsten Alloys in Fusion Devices, 2013-2017Brian Wirth (ORNL/UTK)B.J. Braams (IAEA)

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