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Nathan Neale

Senior Scientist and Group Manager – Interfacial Materials Chemistry

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Nate Neale is a senior scientist and the Interfacial Materials Chemistry group manager at NREL. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry with a political science minor from Middlebury College in 1998 and his doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2003, where he was trained by Professor T. Don Tilley as an organometallic chemist. His postdoctoral work from 2003–2006 at NREL focused on dye-sensitized solar cells under the tutelage of Arthur J. Frank . His development continued at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as an NREL subcontractor working on new schemes for photoelectrochemical water splitting with Arthur J. Nozik. He transitioned to NREL as a staff scientist in 2008. Nate’s research leverages his molecular chemistry background and focuses on developing novel wet chemical and gas-phase approaches to tailor the compositional structure and surface chemistry of nanostructured inorganic semiconductors and related materials for photocatalysis, solar fuels, and electrochemical energy storage.

Research Interests

Solar photochemistry

Silicon Consortium Project

Light Sunlight Alliance


Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

B.A., Chemistry, Middlebury College

Professional Experience

Group Manager, Chemistry and Nanoscience Center (Division), NREL (2013–present)

Senior Scientist, Chemistry and Nanoscience Center (Division), NREL (2012–present)

Detailee, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, & Biosciences Division (2021–present)

Associations and Memberships

Fellow, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (2020–present)

Science Advisory Board, Cell Reports Physical Science (2019–present)

Member, American Chemical Society, Division of Inorganic Chemistry (1998–present)

Featured Work

View all NREL publications for Nathan Neale.


Group IV Nanocrystals with Ion-Exchangeable Surface Ligands and Methods of Making the Same, U.S. Patent No. 9,862,841 B2 (2018)

Graded Catalytic-Protective Layer for an Efficient and Stable Water-Splitting Photocathode, U.S. Patent No. 10,532,927 B2 (2020)

Awards and Honors

NREL Outstanding Mentor Award (2013, 2015, and 2019)

NREL President’s Award (2013)

The American Institute of Chemists Best Senior Chemist Award (1998)