Quinlan Smith

Quinlan Smith Bio

 Physics Master’s Student

Graduate Assistant

UNLV Department of Physics

 Enrolled: Fall 2012

 Advisor: Dr. Michael Pravica

HiPSEC Group: Chemistry


B.S. Physics

California Lutheran University, 2012

Project Title: Studies in Hard X-Ray Induced Molecular Diffusion and Charge Carrying Capabilities

Research Focus:

 X-ray induced decomposition reactions have given us the ability to measure and track the diffusion of the molecular products produced. Potassium Perchlorate has been the main material used for these investigations, but other materials have also been shown to decompose with the same technique: CCl4, KClO3, KBrO3, C6F14, and other materials reactions are in the process of being characterized. These experiments are done at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory and the Canadian Light Source. The materials are contained in diamond anvil cells so that pressure can be applied to the damaged samples to better determine their molecular diffusion rates. Raman spectroscopy, XRD, and 4-probe conductivity measurements are also used. With better comprehension of the oxygen pathways of damaged KClO4, we can improve the understanding of combustible processes. Additionally, this work could be illuminating to irradiation damaged semiconductor studies, paving the way for rugged electronics that can survive longer in extreme environments.


  • “High Pressure x-ray photochemical studies of carbon tetrachloride: Cl2 production and segregation,” M. Pravica, D. Sneed, Smith, L. Bai, Chemical Physics Letters 530, pp. 74-76 (2013).
  • “X-ray induced mobility of molecular oxygen at extreme conditions” M. Pravica, D. Popov, S. Sinogeikin, D. Sneed, G. Guardala, Smith, Applied Physics Letters, 103, 224103 (2013).
  • “Carbon tetrachloride under extreme conditions” M. Pravica, D. Sneed, Smith, Journal of Chemical Physics, 140, 194503 (2014).


  • University & Industry Technical Interchange Review Meeting 2013- Studies of X-Ray Induced Decomposition of Alkali Halates
  • 2013 Stewardship Science Academic Programs (SSAP) Annual Review Symposium- Studies in useful hard x-ray induced chemistry: Urea and CCl4 Under Extreme Conditions
  • DOE NNSA/NV-UNLV Stewardship Science Academic Alliances Program, High Pressure Science and Engineering Center, 2013 Review- X-Ray induced Mobility of Molecular Oxygen
  • NNSA HiPSEC Annual Review, February 2014- Irradiation Induced Conductivity of KClO4.