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Physical Sciences

About the Division

Researchers in the Physical Sciences Division perform experimental and theoretical studies to understand chemical transformation.

Scientists in the Physical Sciences Division seek to attain a detailed understanding of complex multi-phase phenomena critically important to the U.S. Department of Energy's energy, environmental, and security missions and other critical national needs. Our goal is an understanding that will lead to control of processes occurring in condensed phases and at interfaces. To attain that understanding, we are developing the tools needed to understand the rules of nature governing properties and process at molecular and nano-scales and new fundamental principles about phenomena that emerge from more complex assemblies of molecular and nanoscale systems (i.e., mesoscale science principles).

Themes of our research programs are

  • Integration of experiment with theory and computation to address important scientific problems at molecular and nano scales.
  • Multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional teaming.
  • Significant use of advanced experimental and computational resources at PNNL and in DOE user facilities.
  • Scientific productivity as measured by publication of research results in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.
  • Signature Strengths of the Physical Sciences Division

    Our strategic intent is to maintain and grow these signature strengths and, building upon them and resources in the U.S. Department of Energy's EMSL, a national scientific user facility at PNNL, to become acknowledged leaders in

    • Chemical transformations at complex interfaces such as those occurring in catalytic and geochemical processes.
    • Computational molecular, and nanoscale science.
    • Chemistry & physics of small particles and nanostructured materials.
    • Self assembly of molecules and nanoparticles to form targeted materials.
    • Altering defect structures in condensed phases to control properties and understanding ion-irradiation effects in materials.

    We can assist you in achieving your goals in these areas, either through contract or collaborative research. We also provide opportunities for you to work in our facilities as an employee or intern, or under other educational programs.

    Contact us for more information.

    Wendy Shaw
    Director, Physical Sciences Division

Physical Sciences

Seminar Series

Science at PNNL

PSD Research

Research Highlights

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