Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis

An Energy Frontier Research Center

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(Image by Nathan Johnson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

To establish the fundamental scientific principles of catalysis, the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis (CME) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) seeks to transform the design of electrocatalysts that convert electrical energy into the chemical bonds of fuels, or the reverse, converting chemical energy into electrical energy.

CME researchers seek to understand, predict, and control the intra- and intermolecular flow of protons in catalytic reactions that are key to a secure energy future. Specifically, CME seeks to transcend the limitations of conventional correlations between rate, overpotential, and selectivity by controlling the thermodynamics for proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions, enhance electrocatalyst performance through cooperativity using molecular mediators, and achieve control of heterogeneous interfaces using insights from molecular chemistry.


CME is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), CME’s collaborative team includes research efforts at Yale University, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the University of Washington, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Caltech.

Photo of CME team members, including the Advisory Board, at the 2019 CME Annual Meeting.