Natalia Zaitseva

Natalia Zaitseva received her Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry from the Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology in 1971 and her Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics from Moscow State University in 1989, both in Moscow, Russia. Natalia came to LLLNL in 1993 to lead the development of rapid growth technologies for large potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) and potassium dideuterium phosphate (DKDP) crystals for the National Ignition Facility (NIF), which was critical to its eventual success. Cleveland Crystals, Inc. partnered with LLNL in the 1990s to commercialize Natalia’s new technology and provide KDP to NIF. Following her rapid crystal growth research, Natalia applied her skills to a problem in radiation detection for the Department of Homeland Security. The agency was looking for technology to better detect the illicit smuggling of nuclear material that might be used in the creation of weapons of mass destruction. She developed stilbene crystals for detecting neutrons from these materials, a technology commercialized by Inrad Optics. Her material research has had a significant impact on the Laboratory.