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Scientific Programs

Critical Materials Institute - The Critical Materials Institute focuses on technologies that make better use of materials and eliminate the need for materials that are subject to supply disruptions. These critical materials are essential for American competitiveness in clean energy.  Many materials deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Energy are used in modern clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting

Division of Chemical and Biological Sciences - This Division develops and applies theoretical, computational and experimental methods to the study of surface reaction phenomena, cluster science and nucleation, biological processes and catalysis. World-leading research is conducted at the interface between homogenous and heterogenous catalysis. This research has led to improved processes for biodiesel production.  New characterization techniques and theoretical methods to enable improved understanding and predictive catalysis is a goal of this program.   CBS also develops new techniques to obtain an unprecedented look at living cells.  Enhanced chemical imaging with high spatial and temporal resolution is another key area of technique development. 

Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering - The Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering (DMSE) supports the majority of basic research conducted at Ames Laboratory. DMSE performs research funded, to a large extent, by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. In addition, DMSE receives funding from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Office of Fossil Energy. Individual FWPs encompass a research spectrum ranging from grand challenge and discovery research that address fundamental limitations in our understanding of complex states of matter to research that guides design of new materials with promise to impact energy technologies.

Environmental & Protection Sciences - The Ames Laboratory's Environmental & Protection Sciences Program is playing an important role in the U. S. Department of Energy's initiative to clean up hazardous waste, responding to remediation problems that need faster, safer, better or cheaper technological solutions. You'll find information here about those technologies, the scientists behind them, and our efforts to move these technologies into the marketplace.

Simulation, Modeling & Decision Science - The program works to build the algorithms, heuristics, and computational tools needed to model the richness, fullness, and complexity of engineered, human, and natural systems that comprise our world.  And to then develop the integrated computational environments that enable informed and holistic decision making for these systems.  This complex systems based approach is critical to addressing issues of energy system design, environmental impact, and sustainability.