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Yongfeng Zhang

Computational Scientist

Research Areas:

Dr. Yongfeng Zhang is currently a staff scientist at Idaho National Laboratory. He leads the Computational Microstructure Science group in the Fuels Modelling and Simulation Department, which leads the development of the mesoscale fuel performance modeling code MARMOT. He has served as the PIs of multiple work packages under the Department of Energy NEAMS program and the USHPRR programs and two laboratory directed research & development (LDRD) projects, and co-PIs of many other projects. Dr. Zhang graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aug. 2009, and joined INL after that. His research focuses on atomistic to mesoscale modelling and simulation of the concurrent evolution of microstructure and properties in materials used in nuclear environments combining high temperature, stress, irradiation and corrosive species. The phenomena of interest include radiation damage, swelling, phase transformation, corrosion and degradation in mechanical and thermal properties in various fuels, claddings, and structural materials. Dr. Zhang has authored or co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal publications and delivered over 30 conference presentations. He is the recipient of the Laboratory Director’s Award for Leadership in 2017.

Digital Profiles:

​Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering - Rensselaer Polytechnic University

M.E., Mechanical Engineering - University of Science and Technology of China

B.E., Mechanical Engineering - University of Science and Technology of China


​Ion Beam Roadmap Committee

Materials Research Society (MRS)

The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS)

American Nuclear Society (ANS)


​Y. F. Zhang and H. C. Huang, Size dependence of twin formation energy in cubic SiC at the nanoscale. Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 261908 (2008).

Y. F. Zhang and H. C. Huang, Do twin boundaries always strengthen metal nanowires? Nanoscale Research Lett. 4, 34 (2009).

Y. F. Zhang, P. C. Millett, M. Tonks and B. Biner, Deformation-twin in nanocrystalline BCC Mo as predicted by molecular dynamics simulations, Acta Mater. 60, 6241 (2012).

W. Z. Xu, Y. F. Zhang, G. M. Cheng. W. W. Jian, P. C. Millett, C. C. Koch, S. N. Mathaudhu and Y. T. Zhu, In-situ atomic-scale observation of irradiation-induced void formation, Nature Communications 4, 2288 (2013).

X. M. Bai, Y. F. Zhang and M. R. Tonks, Strain effects on oxygen transport in tetragonal zirconium dioxide, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 15, 19438 (2013).

M. R. Tonks, Y. F. Zhang, X. M. Bai and P. C. Millett, Demonstrating the Temperature Gradient Impact on Grain Growth in UO2 Using the Phase Field Method, Mater. Res. Letts. 2, 23 (2014).

Y. F. Zhang, X. M. Bai, M. R. Tonks and S. B. Biner, Formation of prismatic loops from C15 Laves phase interstitial clusters in body-centered cubic iron, Scripta Mater. 98, 5 (2015).

Y. F. Zhang, X. M. Bai, J. Yu, M. R. Tonks, M. J. Noordhoek and S. R. Phillpot, Homogeneous hydride formation path in a-Zr: molecular dynamics simulations with the charge-optimized many-body potential, Acta Mater. 111, 357-365 (2016).

X. M. Bai, M. R. Tonks, Y. F. Zhang and J. D. Hales, Multiscale modeling of thermal conductivity of high burnup structures in UO2 fuels, J. Nucl. Mater. 470, 208 (2016).

Y. F. Zhang, C. Jiang, and X. Bai, Anisotropic hydrogen diffusion in α-Zr and Zircaloy predicted by accelerated kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, Scientific Reports 7, 41033 (2017).


​Y. F. Zhang, X. Y. Liu, P. C. Millett, M. Tonks, D. A. Andersson and B. Biner, Intra- and intergranular fracture behavior in UO2, 3rd Symposium on Predictive Science and Technology in Mechanics and Materials, Mississippi State University, MS, USA. 2012 .

Y. F. Zhang, P. Chakraborty, D. Schwen, X. M. Bai, M. R. Tonks and B. Spencer, Multiscale Modeling of Microstructure Evolution and Property Degradation in Reactor Pressure Vessels, 2015 MST Annual Meeting, Columbus, OH, USA.

Y. F. Zhang, P. Chakraborty, D. Schwen, X. M. Bai, and B. Spencer, Multiscale Modeling of solute precipitation in Reactor Pressure Vessels, MRS-Spring 2016, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Y. F. Zhang, D. Schwen, M. Tonks and D. A. Andersson, Meso-scale fuel performance modeling using the MARMOT code, NFSM-2016 embedded meeting at ANS 2016 Meeting, New Orleans LA, USA.

Y. F. Zhang, C. Jiang, X. Bai, J. Yu, S. R. Phillpot, M. Fullarton and M. Noordhoek, Understanding Hydride Formation in Alpha-Zr at the Atomic Scale, 2016 MST Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Y. F. Zhang, C. Jiang and B. Biner, Multiscale modeling of hydride formation in Zr and Zircaloys, MRS-Spring 2017, Phoenix AZ, USA.

Y.F. Zhang and D. A. Andersson, Atomic to Mesoscale Research and Development for U3Si2 Accident Tolerant Fuel, TMS 2018 Meeting, Phoenix AZ, USA.
Y. F. Zhang, P. Chakraborty, D. Schwen, X. M. Bai and B. Spencer, Multiscale modeling of microstructure evolution in reactor pressure vessel steels, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, October 2015.

Y. F. Zhang, D. Schwen, M. Tonks and D. A. Andersson, A Microstructure Based Mesoscale Fuel Performance Tool: MARMOT, Brigham Young University – Idaho, February 2016.

Y. F. Zhang, Y. Gao, C. Jiang, D. Schwen and J. Gan, Self-organization of nanoscale void superlattice under radiation, Oregon State University, November 2017.


​2016: Laboratory Director’s Award for Leadership, INL

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