Synthesis and Processing Science

This research area supports basic research for developing new techniques to synthesize materials with 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. The emphasis is on the synthesis of 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 the liquid and other precursor states to the processing of bulk nanoscale materials; and low energy processing techniques for large scale nanostructured materials. The focus of this research area on bulk synthesis and crystal and thin films growth via physical means is complementary to the Materials Chemistry and Biomolecular Materials research area, which emphasizes chemical and biomimetic routes to new materials synthesis and design. Capital equipment funding is provided for crystal growth apparatus, heat treatment furnaces, lasers, chemical vapor deposition and molecular beam epitaxial processing equipment, plasma and ion sources, and deposition instruments.

Synthesis and processing science is a key component in the discovery and design of a wide variety of energy relevant materials. In this regard, the research area supports DOE’s mission in the synthesis of wide bandgap semiconductors for solid state lighting; light-weight metallic alloys for efficient transportation; novel materials such as metal organic frameworks for hydrogen storage; and structural ceramics and the processing of high temperature superconductors for near zero-loss electricity transmission. The research area aims at providing synthesis and processing capabilities to enable the manipulation of individual spin, charge, and atomic configurations in ways to probe the atomistic basis for materials properties.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see our Core Research Area descriptions and 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. Bonnie Gersten.