Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Lab

Michael Lively

Department Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering

Mike joined the RSSEL group in 2011 as a freshman at Purdue University. He started out studying plasma-material interactions in fusion devices, but transitioned into the computational modeling effort fairly quickly. As an undergraduate Mike wrote much of the code for a new atomistic simulation which combined crater functions to represent ion impacts with kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) surface diffusion. Mike’s primary research focus at UIUC is the development of this model and its extension to new applications in order to support the other research thrusts in RSSEL.


  • BS Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN (2014)


  • Multiscale atomistic modeling of self-organized pattern formation induced by ion beam sputtering
  • Sustainable nanomanufacturing (modeling collaboration)

Research Interests

  • Computational simulation of ion-induced surface patterning
  • Molecular dynamics study of ion-induced surface diffusion and smoothing


  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2014)
  • Students in Under-Represented Groups in Engineering Fellowship (2014)

Selected Publications

Z. Yang, M.A. Lively, J.P. Allain, “Kinetic Monte Carlo simulation of self-organized pattern formation induced by ion beam sputtering using crater functions”, Phys. Rev. B 91, 075427 (2015).

Z.C. Yang, M. Lively, and J.P. Allain, “Atomistic simulation of ion beam patterning with crater functions”, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. B 307 189-193 (2013)

Office MNTL 1306