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Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have discovered a state of magnetism that may be the missing link to understanding the relationship between magnetism and unconventional superconductivity. Read more

The Johnston team of (l-r) Aditya Somisetty, Chris Yao, William Julstrom and Paul Zhang confer on a bonus question on their way to winning the 2018 Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Regional High School Science Bowl on Jan. 27 Check out the results HERE!

Critical Materials Institute Director Alex King speaks during the CMI Winter Meeting, held the week of Jan. 22 at the Colorado School of Mines. See More Photos

Steve Karsjen, left and representing Ames Laboratory, presents a check for $2,140 to Erika Peterson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Story County. The contribution was half of the money raised by Ames Laboratory's 16th Annual Employee Holiday Auction, with an identical amount going to the Bethesda Lutheran Church Community Food Pantry.

Ames Laboratory scientists have discovered a way to sheathe metal under a single layer of graphite, potentially leading to new and better-controlled properties. READ MORE

DMSE Vision

World-leading research in accelerated discovery, design, and synthesis of bulk and nanostructured materials with novel and controlled functionality through cross-disciplinary teams integrating state-of-the-art experimental, computational and theoretical methods.



The Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering (DMSE) performs materials research across a broad spectrum ranging from grand science challenges and discovery research which addresses fundamental limitations in our understanding of complex states of matter to directed research that guides design of new materials to advance energy technologies. Basic research conducted within the DMSE is performed primarily through funding provided by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Our directed research receives funding from a number of Department of Energy technologies offices including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Office of Fossil Energy as well as work for others contracts. 


Core Competencies

  • Developing and utilizing advanced characterization methods, especially neutron and x-ray scattering, angle-resolved photoemission, solid-state NMR (including Dynamical Nuclear Polarization), ultra-sensitive chemical and structural analysis, and ultra-precise frequency measurements.
  • Design and synthesis of materials for energy-related applications including energy-efficient conversion, generation, transmission, and storage. Examples include invention of metamaterials, discovery of magnetocaloric materials, development of lead-free solders and magnets, and advancing materials and theory of superconductivity.
  • Developing theory and computational methods to accelerate materials discovery and design. Impacts include developing an accurate and efficient electronic structure algorithm for f-electron materials, an adaptive algorithm for crystal structure prediction and phase exploration, breakthrough tools for quantifiable spin dynamics prediction, and combining density functional theory with the coherent-potential approximation to predict bulk alloy properties.
  • Home to the well-known Materials Preparation Center (MPC), a unique national resource for making materials that enable science. Expertise includes the preparation and production of alloys, high-purity rare earth material, and single crystals.