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Energy Frontier Research Center established at NREL

The US Department of Energy’s (DoE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be the home of the new Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), which will pursue research on material discovery for energy.

NREL Director Dan Arvizu, says: “The Center will bring together a multidisciplinary team of researchers to design new semiconductors in a unique approach that will dramatically increase the speed and scale of materials discovery.”

Dr Alex Zunger, NREL Research Fellow and Director of the Center for Inverse Design, adds: “This Center will embark on daring research that uses quantum theory and high performance computers to design new materials that have desired properties and then use state-of-the-art synthesis to make them in the laboratory. Deliberate design of material with tailored properties is an inverse approach to traditional accidental discovery.”

ERFC researchers will take advantage of new capabilities in nanotechnology, high-intensity light sources, neutron scattering sources, supercomputing, and other advanced instrumentation.

The centre will work with other research institutions to lay the scientific groundwork for fundamental advances in solar energy, biofuels, transportation, energy efficiency, electricity storage and transmission, clean coal and carbon capture and sequestration, and nuclear energy.

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Bioenergy  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity