Radiochemistry is the discipline dedicated to the study of the chemical and physical properties of radioactive elements. Radiochemists utilize both the radioactive and chemical characteristics of elements and compounds to address technical needs in many areas, including:

  • The speciation and behavior of contaminants in the environment
  • Radioactive waste treatment and disposal
  • Beneficial uses of radioactive materials throughout the medical profession

The field demands that professionals in this area have a thorough understanding of both the theoretical and applied aspects of radiochemistry that are well founded in basic sciences and mathematics.

The UNLV Radiochemistry program is committed to student research.  The growing and expanding program has graduate students engaged in research paying an initial stipend of $24,000 per year, including tuition, fees, and health insurance. 

The RadChem program collaborates with several national and international laboratories including Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Nevada Site Office, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and others.

The program has over 7500 square feet of radiochemistry laboratories capable of handling a range of activities.  These facilities contain a host of experimental equipment for use in experiments:

  • Radionuclide counting facilities:  Gamma detectors, alpha detectors, scintillation counter
  • Spectroscopy:  Infrared, UV-Visible, Laser, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy, Synchrotron (at national facilities)
  • X-ray diffraction:  Powder, Single Crystal
  • Microscopy:  Scanning, Tunneling
  • Analytical:  ICP-Atomic Emission, ICP-Mass spectroscopy, Electrospray

UNLV is the ideal location for graduate radiochemistry research.  The Radiochemistry Ph.D. program has numerous ties to national and international laboratories, providing opportunities for internships and travel.  The program has the capability and expertise to perform experiments with radionuclides, and is close to the Nevada Test Site and Yucca Mountain.  Las Vegas offers all the opportunities of a 24 hour city and a range of outdoor activities including world class hiking and mountain biking.

The Radiochemistry Ph.D. program is a student driven, research intensive program that stresses the fundamental aspects of radiochemistry science. The curriculum and research opportunities provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary examination of topics and experiences necessary to produce graduates who are ready to secure employment and participate in radiochemistry research. The program is administered by the UNLV Graduate College and requires 60 credits of research and courses beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Here are some presentations that provide an overview of some of the Radchem programs:

Radiochemistry Program and Research Overview, pdf

Waste Management Overview, pdf

Radioelement Solids, pdf

Fuel Cycle Separations, pdf

Radioanalytical Separations, pdf

Computational Studies, pdf

Environmental Radiochemistry, pdf

For further information, please contact Prof. Ken Czerwinski


  last update: Sunday 12-Nov-2017