Argonne National Laboratory


Argonne’s internationally recognized research elucidates fundamental properties of materials, and uses this to create materials with a desired functionality that can be translated for potential applications. The Laboratory’s leadership is grounded in the integration of the Advanced Photon Source, the Center for Nanoscale Materials and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility with diverse expertise in materials and chemistry. Our approach is reflected in Argonne’s strategic plan for materials research, which emphasizes defects and interfaces as an overarching theme, and is exploited in the focus areas of quantum and spin coherent matter, soft matter and hybrid materials, and electrochemical phenomena and clusters. Materials focused on include superconducting and magnetic materials, quantum metamaterials, ferroelectrics, correlated oxides, and catalytic materials, along with new thrusts in topological materials and electrochemical oxides.

Electrocatalysis and Energy Storage

The E&ES theme embraces a group of experts with an unparalleled breadth of expertise in experimental and theoretical electrochemistry. This breadth of expertise, combined with a collaborative approach, enables fundamental breakthroughs that are needed for discovery of new materials for efficient energy conversion and energy storage in various environments.

Ferroic and Ionic Materials

Our main goal is to obtain new insight into the fundamental physics controlling magnetic, ferroelectric and ionic phenomena by creating new materials and systematically exploring their behavior. By doing so, we can understand the ultimate limits of miniaturization and prepare novel materials with specifically designed functionalities.

Materials for Energy

Materials for Energy (MFE) is MSD’s fundamental science contribution to the laboratory-wide Molecules and Materials to Manufacturing strategy, which aspires to advance materials breakthroughs with an eye toward novel functionality. The MFE objective is to accelerate the design, discovery and creation of new materials and to develop fundamental understanding of their properties to create a pathway for future energy technologies.

Soft Matter

Soft matter research at Argonne focuses on the fundamental aspects of out-of-equilibrium and directed self-assembly of highly compliant materials for emerging energy applications and nano-fabrication. Our research paves the way for the discovery of tailored self-assembled materials and structures that may adopt useful ordered structures spontaneously, provide selective conductivity, regulate porosity or strength, control water permeability or air resistance, or manipulate optical and electrical properties.

Solar Energy Conversion and Lighting

We seek new insights into the fundamental chemistry and physics that control interface formation and electron transfer phenomena by pushing the limits of digital materials synthesis. In so doing, we ascertain and influence the arrangement of atoms for specifically designed functionalities.

Superconductivity and Correlated Electrons

Complex ordered states arise in materials when electron spin, charge and orbital interactions couple together and with the crystal lattice, resulting in superconductivity, magnetism and intriguing topological and quantum states. Furthermore, strongly driven systems can show signatures of ordered states, such as superconductivity at high temperatures, enabling the development of concepts for new applications that can transmit power with low loss.