The Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center1 has made substantial progress in its research mission of identifying, launching, and advancing innovative research directions in renewable energy materials science, meeting its human resource mission of educating the next generation of renewable energy professionals, creating outreach programs to inform the public about the potential of renewable energy, and promoting diversity among faculty, research associates, staff, students, and future students.
The Center harnesses the vibrant energy vision of the Colorado School of Mines, the extensive research resources of the nearby National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)2, and the growing national interest to advance the solar, fuel cell and renewable energy technologies and research. The Center integrates cutting edge basic research with education and outreach, into a powerful interdisciplinary mix to drive new research frontiers. It has identified two promising research directions—Group IV quantum dot nanostructures for future generation solar cell applications, and next generation ionic conducting membranes for battery, fuel cell, and other applications. The Center’s Seed Program has been especially successful in exploring high-risk, high-payoff innovative research that can be integrated within the Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) or translated to independent funding.
The REMRSEC Facilities program has increased in breadth and depth, with significant advances in its Characterization Laboratory, Semiconductor Processing Laboratory, Synthesis Laboratory, Clean Room, and associated Atom Probe Development Laboratory. The technical staff of the Center, CSM, and NREL have been raised with two Center hires that are joint with NREL, establishing a paradigm for leveraging cooperation and diversity. In three short years, the Center converted a vision for renewable energy into a vibrant and successful organization that engages NREL, CSM, the student body and the public in addressing a national priority, developing new materials for sustainable energy for the future.
1 REMRSEC is funded under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation through the MRSEC program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR-0820518)
2 NREL is the primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development for the U.S. Department of Energy. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, comprised of the Midwest Research Institute, Battelle Memorial Institute, CU-Boulder, CSU, Colorado School of Mines, MIT and Stanford. For more information visit www.nrel.gov.
INSIDE REMRSEC: Advancing the Frontiers of Renewable Energy Materials Research