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Research Areas

The Transformational Materials Science Initiative at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is developing the capabilities necessary to solve the underlying materials science challenges for the U.S. Department of Energy, national security agencies, industry, and others. We are focusing on three key research areas:

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Multifunctional Nanostructures for Energy Conversion. Developing materials that can use sunlight to power the chemical conversion from water to hydrogen fuel requires a true shift in perspective. Research needs to shift from obtaining a single material with optimal properties to precisely assembled multicomponent materials composed of designer materials. See more about multifunctional nanostructures.

Projects: Multicomponent Assembly to Achieve Charge Separation and Transport for Energy Conversion

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Nanostructured Materials for Advanced Energy Storage. Advances are needed in batteries and other storage methods to enable better hybrid and other fuel-efficient vehicles. Given the performance of electrochemical storage devices ultimately depends on the properties of the electrode and electrolyte materials, emerging applications require revolutionary breakthroughs in the electrochemically active materials. See more about nanostructured materials.

Projects: Development and Understanding of Nanostructured Materials for Advanced Energy Storage

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Multifunctional Nanomaterials for Separating and Sensing. Sensors are needed to reliably detect small concentrations of multiple contaminants in a single sample. For example, emergency responders would benefit from quick, reliable data on airborne contaminants at the site of a tanker train derailment. Soldiers would also benefit from such sensors. Lightweight designer multicomponent materials are needed for this multiplex sampling. See more about Multifunctional Nanomaterials.

Projects: Biotemplated Synthesis of Encoded Bimetallic Nanoparticles

Transformational Materials Science

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Revolutionizing Materials for Energy Storage