Radiochemistry Program

Advance the future of radiochemistry

Researchers can hone their expertise and propel the critical work of radiochemistry at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University (MSU).

At FRIB, researchers can take their work to the next level. Radiochemistry, the chemical study of radioactive elements (both natural and artificial) and how they’re used in chemical processes, has a direct impact on society, through their use in nuclear medicine, for example.

MSU’s radiochemistry program positions students, scientists and researchers to collaborate on the production and study of rare isotopes. Societal applications resulting from this research include the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases, environmental advances, plant- and microbiology, astrophysics, stockpile-stewardship science, electric dipole moment (EDM) radio-thermal generators, nuclear batteries, and more.

Use FRIB's resources to solve complex problems

Immerse yourself in FRIB’s world-class teaching, training and research. Conducting radiochemistry research at FRIB, a user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), allows researchers to leverage its state-of-the-art facilities and instruments to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics to positively impact the world. Such developments include radiotracers in biology, sample targets for cross-section measurements for astrophysics and national security, radioactive probes for physics beyond standard model, isotopes for radio-thermal generators, and nuclear batteries.

Radiochemistry opportunities at FRIB

At MSU, the best minds come together to conduct research that changes the world. Supported by a one-of-a-kind facility, collaborators have access to resources and instruments that break boundaries in the study and production of rare isotopes—including their applications in radiochemistry. At FRIB, students are surrounded by teaching and research leaders who use their knowledge and experience to cultivate the same in the students.

Conduct groundbreaking radiochemistry research

Research at FRIB is rooted in the unique ability to produce rare isotopes. The byproducts of the fundamental research program are collected and purified for use as research tools in areas like nuclear medicine, radiotracing in biological systems, and nuclear security applications. FRIB can supply radioisotopes that are otherwise difficult to produce and thereby help meet societal demands. Moreover, FRIB radiochemistry research can potentially reveal new kinds of applications for the newly available radionuclides.

Work in a first-class research facility

Students can put their passion for radiochemistry research to work in FRIB’s top-notch facility. They have access to what is designed to be the world’s most powerful heavy-ion accelerator to parse and purify the stock of co-produced radionuclides. This process obtains both high radionuclidic purity and high specific activity for application in basic science, medical, chemical, and biological research, including the rare-earth radiometals used to diagnose and treat invasive diseases.

Partner with renowned radiochemistry experts

FRIB’s position as a user facility for DOE-SC makes the study of radiochemistry appealing to researchers around the world. This is where scientists from national laboratories, other universities and industry collaborate to push the boundaries of radiochemistry research forward. Up to 400–500 scientific users visit the facility each year, giving students unique opportunities to work with and learn from noted scientists, postdoctoral research associates, and graduate students.

Career outlook for radiochemistry jobs

The knowledge gained at MSU and the experience at FRIB will prepare students for a breadth of radiochemistry jobs. Radiochemistry has direct applications in the fields of nuclear medicine and national security. The National Institutes of Health predicts a growing demand for radiochemistry expertise in the U.S. workforce, and training the next generation of nuclear and radiochemists is important part of FRIB’s mission.

How to get started in radiochemistry at FRIB

Students interested in conducting research in radiochemistry should apply to MSU’s Department of Chemistry.