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The Chemistry and Nanoscience Center at NREL investigates materials and processes for converting renewable and clean energy resources such as sunlight, heat, and renewable fuels into chemical and electrical energy in the form of fuels, or other chemical and electrical energy storage. The center conducts research across the entire spectrum—from foundational research to working closely with industry to commercialize new technologies.

NREL's primary research in the chemistry and nanoscience center includes the following research areas:

Electrical Energy Storage

Lithium-ion and radical organic batteries.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

Fuel cells, and hydrogen production and storage.


Organic photovoltaics, perovskites, and more.

Solar Photochemistry

Excitons to charge carrier in molecular and nanoscale systems, quantum-confined semiconductors, and solar fuels.

Manufacturing for Energy Applications

Roll-to-roll manufacturing and atmospheric processing.

Quantum and Carbon Nanomaterials

Carbon nanoscience, layered semiconductors, and thermoelectric materials.

Our staff contributes across these technology program and science areas within the center's three research groups:

Molecular and Catalysis Science

Providing the nation with clean energy sources by studying and developing novel and efficient conversion of energy in sunlight into chemical energy and light-generated electricity.

Spectroscopy and Photoscience

Electrochemical Engineering and Materials Chemistry

Providing a knowledge base in materials science covering fundamental issues that impact photovoltaics, electrochromic windows, high-temperature superconductors, hydrogen storage, and solid-state batteries.

Jao van de Lagemaat is the director of the Chemistry and Nanoscience Center, which is part of the Materials and Chemical Science and Technology directorate, led by Associate Laboratory Director Bill Tumas.