Skip to main content
Skip to main menu


Bismuth Nanoparticle Incorporated Composites for Lightweight Radiation Shielding

Casey Rowe, speaker
Casey Rowe
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
Chemistry Building, Room 553
Inorganic Seminar

The development of radiation-based medical technologies, nuclear energy, and the ambitions of space exploration have greatly increased the incidence of human radiation exposure over the past decades. Given their exceptional radiation attenuating properties, lead-based materials have predominantly been used as the preferred shielding material for personnel and equipment. However, the toxicity and heavy weight of lead-based materials gives rise to the need for safer, lightweight materials with comparable shielding capacities.

Bismuth is one such candidate element to replace lead due to its high atomic number and much lower toxicity. Homogeneous dispersion of bismuth nanoparticles can be achieved by utilizing the matrix of a polymer composite. Additionally, polymer composites offer diverse properties such as flexibility, chemical and thermal stability, and low mass.1-3

This seminar will discuss the development of new, bismuth nanoparticle incorporated composites as a suitable replacement for lead-based radiation attenuation materials. First, the presentation will evaluate the attenuation ability of bismuth metal nanoparticles bound to cellulose nanofibers in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix.1 Next, bismuth titanate nanoparticles dispersed in epoxy resin will be discussed and compared to lead sheets.2 Then, a new polycarbonate composite embedded with bismuth oxide will be reviewed for shielding from commonly employed medical radiation sources.3 Lastly, the merits of incorporating bismuth nanoparticles into natural leather composite will also be addressed for the purposes of flexible personal protective equipment.4


  1. Li, Q.; Wei, Q.; Zheng, W.; Zheng, Y.; Okosi, N.; Wang, Z.; Su, M. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2018 10 (41), 35510-35515.
  2. Yu, L.; Yap, P. L.; Santos, A.; Tran, D.; Losic, D. ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2021, 4, 7471−7478.
  3. Mehrara, R.; Malekie, S.; Kotahi, S. M. S.; Kashian, S. Sci Rep 2021, 11, 10614.
  4. Li, Q.; Zhong, R.; Xiao, X.; Liao, J.; Liao, X.; Shi, B. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12, 54117−54126.

Support Us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.

Got More Questions?

Undergraduate inquiries: 

Registration and credit

AP Credit, Section Changes, Overrides,

Graduate inquiries:

Contact Us!

Assistant to the Department Head: Donna Spotts, 706-542-1919 

Main office phone: 706-542-1919 

Fax: 706-542-9454

Head of the Department: Prof. Gary Douberly