Typically, you think of bacteria when you see the mystery container in the back of the fridge, but microscopic organisms are able to combine energy-needing and energy-producing reactions in such a way that could, one day, lead to new forms of biofuels. See what we know…
How do you make better materials for nuclear reactors? What makes materials work well even after being irradiated? How can we make materials that last longer? See how a center, headquartered in Tennessee, is answering these questions...
Borrowing lessons from Mother Nature's ability to use solar energy, scientists at the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center learned how a primitive microbe regulates the harmful effects of excess sunlight...
Manuel A. Ortuño and Zhanyong Li
Making plastics isn’t as efficient as it could be. At the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, scientists found a material that could lead to better options...
It’s the classic buddy movie. Two struggling bodies team up to do good. Scientists at the Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis brought together two metals and found...
If you’ve cleaned your junk drawer lately, you’ve probably thought about how to dispose of old batteries. Scientists at Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage thought about that problem too...
Shannon McCulloughSolar energy is often a use-or-lose proposition. The electricity produced isn’t stored. What if it could be packed into fuels? Scientists at the Center for Solar Fuels are working to create such fuels by learning how electrons move...
When you’re fixing a special dinner for family and friends, the ingredients you get matter. A recent family dinner was derailed when the sample pack of appetizer cheese turned out to be three pungent cheeses. By pungent, I mean smelling like the inside of a teenager’s wet, muddy, running shoe after a half marathon. There was no way to turn the stinky cheese into family-friendly appetizers. Simply put, the materials weren’t up to the job, and I postponed the event.
I’m thinking of what I need for my next attempt as I’m writing because the problem is how I recently explained the materials challenge to a new employee. The right materials are vital. The wrong ones simply won’t take energy production, storage and use where we need it to be. In making fuels from sunshine, more efficient solar cells, longer lasting nuclear reactors, and much more, you need the right materials. And often, they don’t exist. Yet. This issue gives you insights into recent discoveries about designer materials, including basswood for disposable energy storage and microbes for creating electricity. See how the scientists at the Energy Frontier Research Centers, funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, are putting together the right ingredients, whether it is gold or basswood, to create something special.
Image courtesy of Scott Butner
Editorial Board and Writers
Daniel Colman, Center for Biological Electron Transfer and Catalysis
Nicholas Gould, Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation
Shannon McCullough, Center for Solar Fuels
Ian McKendry, Center for the Computational Design of Functional Layered Materials
Manuel Ortuño, Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center
Rebecca Palmer, Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center
Pyae Phyo, Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation
Eva Zarkadoula, Energy Dissipation to Defect Evolution Energy Frontier Research Center
Zhanyong Li, Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center
Kristin Manke, Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis
BES Newsletter Nav Block
- Research Highlights
Summaries of Research Highlights
- Teaching Perovskites to Swim
- Saving Energy through Light Control
- Sunblock for Bacteria
- Opening Efficient Routes to Everyday Plastics
- Fight to the Top: Silver and Gold Compete for the Surface of a Bimetallic Solid
- Supercapacitors: WOODn’t that Be Nice
- The Ultrafast Interplay between Molecules and Materials
- Editorial Board