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Physical Sciences


Graphene Based
High capacity, safe batteries are needed for efficient hybrid or electrical vehicles and for storing and releasing electricity from intermittent power sources like wind turbines and solar panels. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists, teaming with Princeton University and Vorbeck Materials, devised an innovative self-assembly method for making hierarchical porous electrodes to achieve exceptional high energy density for Li-air batteries. The development of such next-generation technologies is the key focus of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). PNNL is part of JCESR — an Energy Innovation HUB funded by the US Department of Energy.
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At PNNL, we develop innovative solution-template-assisted self-assembly approaches for preparing hierarchical nanostructured materials with significant improvement in properties. Our research in this area directly addresses the long-term Basic Energy Sciences Grand Challenges in the design and synthesis of materials with tailored properties for energy and national security missions. The research atmosphere at PNNL is conducive to rapid transfer of basic science synthesis concepts to applications oriented research with an eye on rapid technology transfer.

Our research ranges from developing a fundamental understanding of nucleation, growth, and self-assembly principles to synthesizing tailored nanostructured materials for catalysis, energy storage and conversion, sensing, and sequestration. Our scientists lead significant activities in the following areas:

  • Controlled nucleation and growth of oriented nanostructures and nanostructured films
  • Biotemplated synthesis of nanoporous carbon
  • Self-assembled nanostructures and functional nanoporous materials
  • Nanocrystalline metal oxide catalyst supports and catalysts
  • Advanced energy storage and conversion materials
  • In situ spectroscopic characterization of interface structure and chemistry, and nanoscale imaging studies to probe transport phenomena

Contact: James De Yoreo

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