Annual Report 1998: Chemical Structure and Dynamics


The Chemical Structure and Dynamics (CS&D) program is a major component of the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Labo- ratory (EMSL), developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to provide a state-of- the-art collaborative facility for studies of chemical structure and dynamics. We respond to the need for a fundamental, molecular-level understanding of chemistry at a wide variety of environmentally important interfaces by (1) extending the experimental characterization and theoretical description of chemical reactions to encompass the effects of condensed media and interfaces; (2) developing a multidisciplinary capability for describing interracial chemical processes within which the new knowledge generated can be brought to bear on complex phenomena in envi- ronmental chemistry and in nuclear waste proc- essing and storage; and (3) developing state-of- the-art analytical methods for characterizing com- plex materials of the types found in stored wastes and contaminated soils, and for detecting and monitoring trace atmospheric species. Our program aims at achieving a quantitative understanding of chemical reactions at interfaces and, more generally, in condensed media, compa- rable to that currently available for gas-phase reactions. This understanding will form the basis for the development of a priori theories for pre- dicting macroscopic chemical behavior in con- densed and heterogeneous media, which will add significantly to the value of field-scale envi- ronmental models, predictions of short- and long- term nuclear waste storage stabilities, and other areas related to the primary missions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

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