Materials Chemistry

This research activity supports basic research in chemical synthesis and discovery of new materials. The major programmatic focus is on the discovery, design and synthesis of novel materials with an emphasis on the chemistry and chemical control of structure and collective properties. Major thrust areas include: nanoscale chemical synthesis and assembly; solid state chemistry for exploratory synthesis and tailored reactivities; novel polymeric materials and complex fluids; surface and interfacial chemistry including electrochemistry; and the development of new, science-driven laboratory-based analytical tools and techniques.

Research supported in this activity underpins many energy-related technological areas such as batteries and fuel cells, catalysis, energy conversion and storage, friction and lubrication, high efficiency electronic devices, hydrogen generation and storage, light-emitting materials, light-weight high-strength materials, and membranes for advanced separations. The focus on exploratory chemical formation of new materials is complementary to the emphasis on bulk synthesis, crystal growth, and thin films in the BES Synthesis and Processing Science activity. It complements the BES Biomolecular Materials Research Activity (whose emphasis is on discovery of materials and systems using concepts and principles of biology) and the Synthesis and Processing Science Research Activity (whose emphasis is on physical, rather than chemical, control of structure and properties, and on bulk synthesis, crystal growth, and thin films). The researchers supported by the program benefit from significant use of BES-supported facilities with their advanced synchrotron x-ray, neutron scattering, electron microscopy and nanoscience tools.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart and budget request.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Chris Chervin and  Dr. Craig Henderson.