Photo of Thomas Gennett

Thomas Gennett

University Professor


Thomas Gennett is a senior scientist at NREL and holds Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Materials Science status with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). At NREL, Dr. Gennett leads three distinct projects. One focuses on the mechanism of room temperature hydrogen adsorption for carbon based sorbents, the second on the development of advanced materials for direct methanol fuel cell anode catalysts, and the third on development of next generation transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) for photovoltaic applications. Previously, while a Professor at RIT, he was co-founder and director (2001–2003) of the highly successful NanoPower Research Laboratory. Dr. Gennett has had a strong collaboration with nanostructured materials and NCPV groups at NREL since 1998, coming to NREL on sabbatical in 1998 and 2005. His previous research with NREL focused on the use of pulsed laser vaporization to produce high purity single wall nanotubes, quantum dots, and other nanoscale materials. This work has made significant advances in the purification and derivatization of the carbon based nanostructured materials for hydrogen storage, battery anodes/cathodes, gas separations, and catalysts applications. In 2001, Thomas received the Biannual Inventor of the Year award at RIT for his work in carbon nanotube applications to energy storage and polymer composites. He retired from RIT after 18 years of service to join NREL in 2008 as a DOE Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence as the Hydrogen Spillover Research Cluster lead. 

Research Interests

Development of novel H2 storage materials and characterization techniques

Non-PGM catalysts through ion implantation and sputtering

Non-aqueous flow batteries based on organic energy-storage materials

Novel porous-liquid materials for gas storage, separation, and capture


Postdoctoral fellowship, Purdue University

Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

B.A. Chemistry (cum laude), State University of New York at Potsdam, NY

Featured Work

T.W. Kemper, R.E. Larsen, T. Gennett, “Density of states and the role of energetic disorder in charge transport in an organic radical polymer in the solid state,” Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2015) 119(37), 21369–21375.

T. W. Kemper, T. Gennett, and R. E. Larsen, “Molecular dynamics simulation study of film structure and conductivity of a nitroxyl-radical containing polymer energy storage material in the presence of electrolyte,” J. Phys. Chem. C, (2015) 119(37), 21369–21375.

D.C. Bobela, B.K. Hughes, W.A. Braunecker, T.W. Kemper, R.E.  Larsen, T. Gennett, “Close packing of nitroxide radicals in stable organic radical polymeric materials,” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2015) 6(8), 1414–1419.

S.T. Christensen, D. Nordlund, T. Olson, K.E. Hurst, A.A. Dameron, K.J. O'Neill, J.B. Bult, H.N. Dinh, T.  Gennett, “A core-​level spectroscopic investigation of the preparation and electrochemical cycling of nitrogen-​modified carbon as a model catalyst support,” Journal of Materials Chemistry A: Materials for Energy and Sustainability (2016) 4(2), 443–450. 

K.E. Hurst, P.A. Parilla, K.J. O’Neill, K. T. Gennett, “An international multi-laboratory investigation of carbon-based hydrogen sorbent materials,” Appl. Phys. A (2016) 122, 42.

P.A. Parilla, K. Gross, K.E. Hurst, T. Gennett, “Recommended volumetric capacity definitions and protocols for accurate, standardized and unambiguous metrics of hydrogen storage materials,” Appl. Phys. A (2016) 122, 201.