Science for our
Energy Future

Energy Frontier Research Center

Community Website
Frontiers in
Energy Research
Frontiers in Energy Research: Fall 2016
  • 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.

    Read more
Feature Articles
Research Highlights
  • Shannon McCullough

    A new device solves a long-term problem with turning water into clean, efficient fuel. See how scientists can now detect an intricate reaction that's often invisible to the human eye.

  • Pyae Phyo

    The chemicals in wood help a tree resist strong winds. That's good for the tree, but bad for scientists who want to create biofuels. Scientists found that the model of how the chemicals are glued together is...

  • Ian G. McKendry

    Imagine yourself and a group of friends on a ski trip. While making your way down the mountain, your ski group decides to stop half way down the slope to take a break and have lunch instead of finishing the run and resting in the cozy ski lodge.

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.