Synthesis and Processing Science

The science of synthesis and processing is a key component in the discovery and design of a wide variety of energy relevant materials. This activity supports basic research to understand the fundamental science underlying materials synthesis that result in desired structure, properties, or behavior; to understand the physical phenomena that underpin materials synthesis such as diffusion, nucleation, and phase transitions; and to develop in situ monitoring and diagnostic capabilities. Programmatic priorities include the synthesis of controlled complex thin films and nanoscale materials with atomic layer-by-layer control; preparation techniques for pristine single crystal and bulk materials with novel physical properties; understanding the contributions of precursor and intermediate states to the processing of bulk nanoscale materials; exploring the underlying mechanisms for the selective growth and ordering for nanoscale to mesoscale structures under short- and long-range forces, i.e., external and substrate derived fields, and surface chemistries; and low-temperature/energy synthetic routes for nanostructured materials. Projects emphasizing the creative coupling of physical/chemical synthesis, processing techniques, with physics driven computational/theory approaches (including AI/ML) are encouraged. This research area supports DOE’s mission in the synthesis of 2D and wide bandgap materials as semiconductors for microelectronics; light-weight metallic alloys for efficient transportation; novel materials such as metal organic frameworks for hydrogen storage; high-entropy systems; structural ceramics and the processing of high temperature superconductors for near zero-loss electricity transmission; critical materials replacements; and development of materials and processes for transformative manufacturing.

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. James Dorman.