In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science/Office of Basic Energy Sciences established the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs). These EFRCs are composed of small teams of leading university and national laboratory researchers focused on solving specific scientific problems that are blocking clean energy development. Since 2009, the EFRCs have produced over ten thousand peer-reviewed scientific publications and generated hundreds of inventions at various stages of the patent process, fostering a wide range of new technologies that have benefited multiple private sector companies, both large and small.
In 2018, DOE announced $100 million in funding for 42 EFRCs. As part of that announcement, Argonne was selected to lead a new EFRC, Advanced Materials for EnergyWater Systems, whose mission is to understand and design adsorption, reactivity, and transport at water-solid interfaces to enable future advances in materials for efficient water treatment. Argonne will also continue to lead the Center for Electrochemical Energy Science, whose mission is to explore the fundamental chemistry and materials underlying batteries and energy storage. In addition, Argonne is a key partner in six other Centers:
- Center for Novel Pathways to Quantum Coherence in Materials
- Quantum Materials for Energy Efficient Neuromorphic Computing
- Center for the Advancement of Topological Semimetals
- Center for Light Energy Activated Redox Processes
- Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center
- Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport Center
Argonne’s integrated and flexible approach to research and discovery is ideal for EFRC work because we pull together science and engineering leaders across institutional boundaries, allowing them to take a collaborative approach to specific scientific challenges.