Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Robert A. Orwoll

Committee Members

Richard Kiefer

Yanfang Tang


Current radiation shielding materials are not effective for shielding astronauts and equipment for long missions. Radiation threats include galactic cosmic radiation, solar energetic particles, neutrons, and electromagnetic radiation. Novel, lightweight materials must be developed that have the appropriate radiation shielding capabilities and the thermal and mechanical abilities to be used for a wide variety of applications. Poly(arylene ethers) have excellent mechanical and thermal properties, and may be engineered to include radiation shielding components. In this research, four different high hydrogen-content poly(arylene ethers) were synthesized. A gadolinium salt and modified tungsten nanoparticles were produced to be incorporated into the polymers to provide enhanced shielding capabilities. Both thin films and a thick bar were produced. The polymers mostly showed good resistance to thermal degradation. These initial findings and future research may lead to the successful development of new materials for radiation shielding on long-term outer space missions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only