Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree)

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Russell Hemley

Lead Institution

Carnegie Institution of Washington

Year Established



To accelerate the discovery and synthesis of energy materials using extreme conditions.

Research Topics

catalysis (heterogeneous), solar (photovoltaic), solar (fuels), phonons, thermal conductivity, thermoelectric, energy storage (including batteries and capacitors), hydrogen and fuel cells, superconductivity, defects, charge transport, mesostructured materials, materials and chemistry by design, synthesis (novel materials)

Materials Studied

Materials: semiconductor, wide band-gap semiconductor, oxide, ceramic, glass, porous, optoelectronic and metamaterial

Interfaces: gas/solid, liquid/solid, solid/solid

Nanostructured Materials: 1D, nanocomposites

Experimental and Theoretical Methods

X-ray diffraction and scattering, X-ray imaging, X-ray spectroscopy, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, neutron diffraction and scattering, neutron spectroscopy, molecular dynamics (MD), density functional theory (DFT), monte carlo (MC), quantum mechanics, next generation optimization methods

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Partner Institutions

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Institution of Washington
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Cornell University
  • George Washington University
  • Lehigh University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Tennessee

BES Staff Contact

Michael Pechan