Prof. Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen

Head Incorporation in solid phases
Phone: +49 351 260 2148

Social Media


Incorporation in Solid Phases

Foto: FWOG-I-Gruppenbild ©Copyright: Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen

Photo from summer 2021: Luiza Braga Ferreira dos Santos, Dr. Sara Gilson, Dr. Ghada Yassin (former group member), Quirina Roode-Gutzmer, Dr. Nina Huittinen, Dr. Astrid Barkleit.

Group information

Dr. Nina Huittinen is leading the group as part of the Surface Processes department, currently consisting of five female early career- and senior scientists. As our name implies, we focus on research related to the structure and properties of solid phases containing radionuclides (RNs). On the one hand, we are interested in crystalline inorganic solid phases of relevance in the various stages of the nuclear fuel cycle or envisioned waste management technologies. On the other hand, we investigate materials from nuclear power plants in the context of their safe decommissioning.

As part of the AcE project, Dr. Sara Gilson is investigating the influence of ionizing radiation on the structure and performance of monazites and zirconates containing actinides or their inactive surrogates from the lanthanide series. Radiation damage studies are mainly conducted using external heavy ion irradiation at varying fluences, to induce damage to the crystalline ceramics. A combination of surface sensitive techniques is thereafter applied to understand changes occurring in the microstructure of the materials, the redox chemistry of the dopant and host cations in the crystal structure, and the dissolution properties of the ceramic material. M.Sc. Luiza Braga Ferreira dos Santos is investigating the incorporation of tetravalent actinides and Ce(IV) in zirconia, as part of her Ph.D. thesis. Combining diffraction experiments with various spectroscopic investigations, actinide solubility limits, phase transformations, and local structural order/disorder phenomena can be addressed. A more detailed overview of the Ph.D. project can be found here.

Foto: FWOG-I-Demobild ©Copyright: Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen

As part of the EMPRADO and Werreba projects, Dr. Astrid Barkleit is investigating and supervising work related to the safe decommissioning of nuclear power plants (NPPs). The work involves experimental validation and verification of performed calculations related to the formation and activity distribution of activation products in the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) components and the surrounding concrete shield. The latter component is investigated in more detail as part of a Ph.D. project by M.Sc. Quirina Roode-Gutzmer. One particular research focus is related to the enhanced reactivity of radiation-damaged concrete constituents, such as quartz and feldspars. Understanding radiation-induced structural damage in concrete is not only necessary for assessing the structural safety of the concrete during extended NPP operation but is also an important consideration in the development of processing solutions for dismantling and disposal of radioactive concrete waste.


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Prof. Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen801/P2182148


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Dr. Astrid Barkleit801/P2073136

Running projects

Finished projects

Selected Publications


Understanding the local structure of Eu3+ and Y3+ stabilized zirconia – Insights from luminescence and X–ray absorption spectroscopic investigations

Eibl, M.; Shaw, S.; Prieur, D.; Roßberg, A.; Wilding, M. C.; Hennig, C.; Morris, K.; Rothe, J.; Stumpf, T.; Huittinen, N. M.


Rare-Earth orthophosphates from atomistic simulations

Ji, Y.; Kowalski, P. M.; Kegler, P.; Huittinen, N.; Marks, N.; Vinograd, V.; Arinicheva, Y.; Neumeier, S.; Bosbach, D.

A spectroscopic investigation of Eu3+ incorporation in LnPO4 (Ln = Tb, Gd1–xLux, x = 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1) ceramics

Lösch, H.; Hirsch, A.; Holthausen, J.; Peters, L.; Xiao, B.; Neumeier, S.; Schmidt, M.; Huittinen, N.


Local structural effects of Eu3+ incorporation into xenotime-type solid solutions with different host cations

Xiao, B.; Lösch, H.; Huittinen, N.; Schmidt, M.

A spectroscopic and computational study of Cm3+ incorporation in lanthanide phosphate rhabdophane (LnPO4·0.67H2O) and monazite (LnPO4)

Huittinen, N.; Scheinost, A. C.; Ji, Y.; Kowalski, P. M.; Arinicheva, Y.; Wilden, A.; Neumeier, S.; Stumpf, T.

Involved research facilities

Related publications


Probing structural homogeneity of La1-xGdxPO4 monazite-type solid solutions by combined spectroscopic and computational studies

Huittinen, N.; Arinicheva, Y.; Kowalski, P. M.; Vinograd, V. L.; Neumeier, S.; Bosbach, D.


Using Eu3+ as an atomic probe to investigate the local environment in LaPO4–GdPO4 monazite end-members

Huittinen, N.; Arinicheva, Y.; Schmidt, M.; Neumeier, S.; Stumpf, T.