Frontiers in Energy Research: Fall 2016

Fall 2016


Illuminating Batteries with Brilliant X-rays

Kimberly Lundberg

In the past century, chemists and physicists have extended the use of X-rays far beyond medical imaging. Scientists use X-rays not only for their penetrating power but also for their ability to interact with bonds between atoms. By carefully choosing an X-ray energy, scientists can see inside running batteries.

Learn how...

Research Highlights



Expedition Solar Energy: Emily Weiss shares her path to energy research

Eva Zarkadoula

While she was doing her major in English, she was flirting with classes in quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics won, and she's never looked back. Meet the scientist who is pioneering work in solar energy at two Energy Frontier Research Centers.

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Editor's Note


A good cross-country drive will prove to you that things don’t always go as expected. Unsecured loads can land on your car in the middle of downtown Indianapolis and huskies can decide not to stay put. Of course, if you’re lucky and well organized, there can be happy surprises as well, including finding the best sandwiches ever at a truck stop in Montana.

In some ways, the life and work of a scientist doesn’t always go as expected either. New experiences and new ideas can lead to detours and even new destinations.

This issue celebrates the twists and turns in the journey. Read about how moving electrons at near light speed around a circular track is opening new doors for several Energy Frontier Research Centers. See how Emily Weiss changed direction after an encounter with quantum mechanics. Learn about new studies that are changing our understanding of what’s possible with carbon dioxide, solar panels, biofuels, and more.

As with most trips and most science, success comes down to hard work, preparation, study, enthusiasm, and a bit of luck.

Image courtesy Kristin Manke

Editorial Board and Writers

Editorial Board

Daniel Colman, Center for Biological Electron Transfer and Catalysis
Matthew Gilkey, Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation
Eric Guiltinan, Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security
Kimberly Lundberg, Center for Electrochemical Energy Science
Shannon McCullough, Center for Solar Fuels
Ian McKendry, Center for the Computational Design of Functional Layered Materials
Manuel Ortuno, Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center
Pyae Phyo, Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation
Eva Zarkadoula, Energy Dissipation to Defect Evolution Energy Frontier Research Center

Kristin Manke, Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, Editor-in-Chief

Disclaimer: The opinions in this newsletter are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views or position of the Department of Energy.