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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. JUN



    Center for Functional Nanomaterials Seminar

    "Molecular Cluster as Superatoms in Solid-State Chemistry"

    Presented by Xavier Roy, Columbia University

    1:30 pm, CFN, Bldg 735, Conference Room A, 1st Floor

    Thursday, June 9, 2016, 1:30 pm

    Hosted by: ''''Matthew Sfeir''''

    Traditional solid-state compounds are infinite crystalline arrays of densely packed atoms. The emergence of collective properties in structured clusters of atoms, which we term "superatoms", offers a new class of fundamental building blocks for assembling materials. The superatom concept has the potential to usher in a new era where materials are designed to have a specific function, rather than discovered by trial and error. To realize this concept, we are exploring the use of molecular clusters as superatomic building blocks, designing and synthesizing not only the molecular clusters but also the means by which they interact. In this presentation, I will show how the atomic control and the diversity afforded by our superatoms allows us to dictate the structure of the solids and control the interactions between the building blocks. I will discuss how collective properties emerge from these interactions by providing examples of magnetic phase transition, electrical transport and thermal energy transport.

Artificial Photosynthesis

Advances fundamental knowledge of processes leading to efficient conversion of sunlight to viable chemical fuels.

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. 

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