Seed Grant Program

Email Coordinator: Ryan P. O'Hayre

The REMRSEC seed program funds research that has the potential to have a transformative impact, and creative "high risk - high reward" ideas that have the potential to provide unique insights and new research directions closely aligned with, or complementary to the research goals of the Center with focus on renewable energy materials. Seed grants initiate innovative research directions that are exploratory in nature, with funding provided for a one year period. In 2012, the seed program funded six new seed projects.

Evaluation criteria include:
• Quality of the science and the promise for significant transformative impact.
• Relevance to/alignment with research objectives in IRGs
• Potential for creating new REMRSEC research directions within the IRGs.
• Preference for junior faculty.
• Plans for broadening learning, training, and diversity.
• Clearly articulated and reasonable exit strategy after the 1-year seed period.

A call for seed proposals is released in early Spring (April) and proposals are evaluated in late spring (May). The evaluation is provided by a combination of written internal and external peer review reports with a final panel review and selection process conducted by the REMRSEC executive committee. Click here for information about the Seed Grant Application Process.

Below is a list of present and past seed projects. Some projects have shown potential reward and are now REMRSEC Interdisciplinary Research Group candidates for the Center’s 2014 MRSEC re-competition.

Seed Grant Research Highlights

REMRSEC Seed Grant Summary Table

Recent Seed Grants

2012 Seed Grants
Development of Robust Hybrid Polymer Membranes with Membrane-Protein-Mediated, Light-Driven Proton Transport Performance
Faculty involved: Hongjun Liang (Metallurgical & Materials Engineering)
Students and Postdocs involved: Ms. Liangju Kuang

Inorganic Clathrates for Renewable Energy Applications
Faculty involved: Carolyn Koh, Mark Maupin (Chem. & Biol. Engineering), Mark Lusk, Eric Toberer (Physics/NREL), Adele Tamboli, P. Craig Taylor, Reuben Collins (Physics), Pauls Stradins (NREL)
Students and Postdocs involved: Lakshmi Krishna, Nicholas Brawand, Lauryn Baranowski

Nonstoichiometric Oxides for Solar Thermochemical Fuels Production
Faculty involved: Ryan O’Hayre (Physics), Jianhua Tong (Metallurgical and Materials Engineering), Eric Toberer (Physics), Robert Kee (Mechanical Engineering), Gregory Jackson (Mechanical Engineering); NREL: V. Stevanovik, S. Lany, D. Ginley (NREL), C. Musgrave (NREL), W. Chueh (Stanford)
Students and Postdocs involved: Meng Shang, Paul Wilson

Development of Electrochromic Thin Film Transistors and Dichalcogenides for Sustainable H2 Production
Faculty involved: Colin Wolden (Chemical & Biological Engineering), Zhaowang Zhao
Students and Postdocs involved: Daniel Cooney

Quantum Dot Metamaterials
Faculty involved: Mark Lusk (Physics), Alan Sellinger (Chemistry), Yongan Yang (Chemistry), Brian Gorman (Metallurgical and Materials Engineering), Reuben Collins (Physics), Kwiseon Kim (NREL), Matt Beard (NREL), Pauls Stradins (NREL)
Students and Postdocs involved: Tianlei Zhou, Xuewen Geng, Huashan Li

Electrochemical-Mechanical Force Coupling at Nano- and Micro-Scales in Lithium Intercalation Compounds
Faculty involved: Corinne E. Packard (CSM, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering/NREL), Brian Gorman (Physics), Kandler Smith (NREL)
Students and Postdocs involved: Mukesh Kumar, Matt Musselman

2011 Seed Grants
Earth-Abundant-Elements-Based Photovoltaic Materials: Synthesis and Characterization of Zinc-Alloyed Iron Pyrite ZnxFe1-xS2 Colloidal Nanocrystals
Faculty involved: Yongan Yang
Students and Postdocs: Doreen Molk

Silicon clathrates for solid state energy conversion
Faculty: Eric Toberer, Adele C. Tamboli
Students: Aaron Martinez, Nicole Johnson

2010 Seed Grants

Charging Lithium Ion Batteries with New Cathode Materials of Iron Oxyfluoride FeOF Nanostructures” PI: Yongan Yang

Students: Tara Yoder, Jacqueline Cloud

Control of Energy/Charge Transfer in Silicon Nanostructures Using Active Surface-Capping Ligands”
Faculty – Arnold Tamayo, Mark Lusk and Zhigang Wu
Graduate Students – Christelle Lyiza
Undergraduate Student – Caleb Owens

Enabling mechanical testing of fuel cell membranes in operational environments
Faculty: Corinne Packard
Students: Grant Klafehn

2009 Seed Grants
Synthesis and Assembly of Hybrid Polymer/Nanorod-Quantum Dot Structures
CSM Faculty – Stephen Boyes, Matthew Liberatore; CSM Students – Graduate: Melissa Kern Undergraduate: Ashleigh Warntjes, Amanda Graninger, Kelly Smith, Kayla Smith, Nate Bade; REU Students - Curtis Wilson

Enabling mechanical testing of fuel cell membranes in operational environments
Corinne Packard Students: Grant Klafehn, undergraduate researcher

2008 Seed Grants
Energy storage in new materials
Carolyn A. Koh, Andrew M. Herring, Amadeu K. Sum, E. Dendy Sloan, P. Craig Taylor (CSM); Anne Dillon, Kevin O’Neill (NREL)