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Materials and Chemical Science and Technology

The capabilities of the Materials and Chemical Science and Technology (MCST) directorate at NREL span from foundational scientific understanding to industry-relevant applied R&D for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Our research includes materials discovery, development and characterization, as well as manufacturing and reliability science for renewable energy technologies including: photovoltaics, solar fuels, hydrogen production and storage, fuel cells, windows, batteries, thermoelectrics, and opto-electronics/lighting.

We provide expertise to the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Science, ARPA-E, as well university and industry partners. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director William Tumas as supported by the Leadership Team.

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Chemistry and Nanoscience

Investigating molecular and nano processes to convert renewable sources into chemical and electrical energy, developing high-efficiency crystalline PV, and measuring PV cell/module performance

Center Director Jao van de Lagemaat | Staff

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Materials Science

Providing fundamental and applied materials science discovery for various renewable energy technologies and advancing PV reliability

Center Director Nancy Haegel | Staff

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MCST Research Operations

Building and strengthening the R&D infrastructure within MCST to expand research impact

Center Director Pete Sheldon | Staff

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National Center for Photovoltaics

Supporting the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office by focusing on technical innovations that drive U.S. photovoltaic manufacturing

Acting Director Bill Tumas | Staff

Photo of a solar PV array on a rooftop of a building with a view of many buildings in the background.

Solar Program

Accelerating NREL's research in photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, solar grid and systems integration, and market acceleration and soft costs

Laboratory Program Manager Mary Werner

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Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Program

Developing, integrating, and demonstrating hydrogen production/delivery/storage and fuel cell technologies

Laboratory Program Manager Keith Wipke

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Basic Energy Sciences

Understanding the science to improve and develop concepts and technologies for renewable energy conversion/storage through core programs and EFRCs

Point of Contact Bill Tumas

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Advancing high-potential, high-impact energy technologies—too early for private-sector investment—by developing entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy

Point of Contact John Perkins

Featured Projects and Videos

MCST Organization, Collaboration, and Publications

The MCST organizational chart indicates center and group managers, and directors of Joint Institutes, Energy Frontier Research Centers, Energy Materials Network consortia, and more led by MCST personnel.

Publications | Press releases

MCST Leadership Team

The Materials and Chemical Science and Technology (MCST) directorate is led by William Tumas, with guidance on research direction and priorities from the following Leadership Team experts:

  • John Perkins, Point of Contact, ARPA-E
  • William Tumas, Point of Contact, Basic Energy Sciences
  • Mary Werner, Laboratory Program Manager, Solar Program
  • Keith Wipke, Laboratory Program Manager, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Program