Robert Bell

Robert Bell

Researcher III-Materials Science


At NREL, Robert Bell has worked on projects involving hydrogen storage, thermochemical water splitting, high-temperature electrolysis, thermal energy storage, and synthesis of functional oxides. His role in these projects spans synthesis, characterization, and instrument building. His primary synthesis roles have involved mixed cation hydride synthesis and bulk oxide synthesis. He has brought up a number of complex synthesis tools including a hot press capable of 2000˚C and 15-ton conditions, a 1800˚C air furnace, and a furnace with precise pO2 control and gas blending.

His characterization work at NREL is broad and includes temperature programmed desporption, thermal gravinemetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction (lab source and synchrotron), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (hard and soft energies), and X-ray fluoresence spectroscopy. He has built, modified, and programmed control software for characterization equipment including thermal conductivity measurement (transient plane source) system with automated temperature and pressure sweeping, and in-situ temperature and pO2 controlled chambers for use at beamlines at SLAC.

Also, he's working in the Hydrogen Materials—Advanced Research Consortium, the HydroGEN consortium on thermochemical water splitting and high-temperature electrolysis, and the Center for Next Generation Materials Design.

From his doctoral work at Cornell University, he has a background in laser annealing, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

For additional information, see Robert Bell 's LinkedIn profile

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed on LinkedIn are the author’s own, made in his/her individual capacity, and do not necessarily reflect the views of NREL.

Research Interests

Hydrogen storage

Hydrogen generation

Functional oxide synthesis


Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University

M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University

B.S., Physics, University of Texas at Austin

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher, NREL (2017–present)

Graduate School Researcher, Cornell University (2011–2017)

Cleanroom Teaching Lab Manager, Cornell Nanofabrication Facility (2012–2017)

National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellow, Cornell University (2014-2015)

Undergraduate Physics Outreach Coordinator, University of Texas at Austin (2009-2010)

Associations and Memberships

Member and occasional meeting chair, Materials Research Society

Member, American Chemical Society

Featured Work

Prototype Latent Heat Storage System with Aluminum-Silicon as a Phase Change Material and a Stirling Engine for Electricity Generation, Energy Conversion and Management (2019)

Phase Separation During Bulk Polymerization of Methyl Methacrylate, Polymer Journal (2019)

Enhanced Thermal Stability of Low-k Ethyl-Bridged Organosilicates Using Laser Spike Annealing, ACS Applied Electronic Materials (2019)

Lateral Temperature-Gradient Method for High-Throughput Characterization of Material Processing by Millisecond Laser Annealing, ACS Combinatorial Sciences (2016)

μ-Rainbow: CdSe Nanocrystal Photoluminescence Gradients via Laser Spike Annealing for Kinetic Investigations and Tunable Device Design, Nano Letters (2015)


Room Temperature Stable Delta-Phase Bismuth(III) Oxide, WO2019068079A1 (2019)