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Our Research Mission

Scientists in Brookhaven's Chemistry Division conduct basic and applied chemical research with an emphasis on new energy conversion pathways.

Primary research subjects include catalysis and electrocatalysis for sustainable fuel synthesis and use, solar energy conversion to fuels, fundamental gas and condensed phase molecular dynamics, radiation chemistry, and advanced chemical separations for energy applications. Fundamental studies of neutrino properties are also conducted in several international collaborations in nuclear and particle physics. 

  1. MAY



    Chemistry Department Seminar

    "The Representation of Photosynthesis in Earth System Models"

    Presented by Alistair Rogers, Department of Environmental & Climate Sciences, Brookhaven National Laboratory

    11 am, Hamilton Seminar Room, Bldg. 555

    Monday, May 1, 2017, 11:00 am

    Hosted by: 'Sanjaya Senanayake'

    The primary goal of Earth System Models is to improve understanding and projection of global change which is driven principally by the elevation of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration resulting from the use of fossil energy. Many of the observed and projected impacts of global change portend increasing environmental and economic risk, yet the uncertainty surrounding the projection of our future climate remains unacceptably high. Although annual carbon dioxide emissions associated with anthropogenic activity are notable, they are a fraction of the size of the carbon fluxes associated with the global carbon cycle. Terrestrial photosynthesis (gross primary productivity) is the largest of these carbon fluxes and is the gatekeeper process for the uncertain subsidy of fossil fuel use provided by the terrestrial carbon sink. Therefore, increasing confidence in model representation of photosynthesis - particularly the response of photosynthesis to rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature - is an essential part of reducing uncertainty in projections of global change. Focusing on leaf level physiology, I will discuss the how parametric and structural representation of photosynthesis impacts model responses to key environmental drivers and show how data from recent field work in the Arctic and the tropics is aiming to inform model parameterization and representation of photosynthesis in next generation models.

Artificial Photosynthesis

Advances fundamental knowledge of chemical systems to convert sunlight to viable chemical fuels, inspired by natural photosynthesis, in which green plants convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates.

Catalysis: Reactivity and Structure

Pursues an improved understanding of chemical catalysis for advanced fuels synthesis and energy conversion processes by elucidating catalytically important properties of well-defined surfaces, powders and nanostructures.

Electrochemical Energy Storage

Conducts research on both fundamental and applied problems relating to electrochemical energy storage systems and materials including lithium-ion, lithium-air, lithium-sulfur, and sodium-ion rechargeable batteries; electrochemical super-capacitors; and cathode, anode, and electrolyte materials.

Electron- and Photo-Induced Processes

Applies both photoexcitation and ionization by short pulses of fast electrons to investigate fundamental chemical problems relevant to the production and efficient use of energy 

Gas Phase Molecular Dynamics

Develops and applies high resolution spectroscopic and quantum theoretic tools to study the structure, dynamics, and chemical reactivity of molecular species relevant to hydrocarbon combustion.

Neutrino and Nuclear Chemistry

Participates in international collaborations including Low Energy Neutrino Spectroscopy (LENS), "SNO+", the Daya Bay neutrino experiment, and the long-baseline neutrino experiment (LBNE)

Surface Chemical Dynamics

Works to understand the underlying physical processes that determine the products and yield of chemical transformations relevant to energy-related chemistry on catalytic and nanostructured surfaces. 

Surface Electrochemistry and Electrocatalysis

Explores problems of electrocatalysis of fuel cell reactions focusing on platinum monolayer (PtML) electrocatalysts for the O2 reduction reaction, the electrocatalysts for ethanol and methanol oxidation to CO2, H2 evolution and H2 oxidation reactions. 

Structure and Dynamics of Applied Nanomaterials

Studies mechanisms of work of advanced functional nanomaterials by elucidating the nature of their active species by situ/operando methods of spectroscopy, scattering and imaging.

The Chemistry Division is part of Brookhaven National Laboratory's Energy & Photon Sciences Directorate.