The mission of the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program is to support fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels in order toprovide the foundations for new energy technologies and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security. The portfolio supports work in the natural sciences by emphasizing fundamental research in materials sciences, chemistry, geosciences, and biosciences. BES-supported scientific facilities provide specialized instrumentation and expertise that enable scientists to carry out experiments not possible at individual laboratories.
The Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences (CSGB) Division supports experimental, theoretical, and computational research to provide fundamental understanding of chemical transformations and energy flow in systems relevant to DOE missions. This knowledge serves as a basis for the development of new processes for the generation, storage, and use of energy and for mitigation of the environmental impacts of energy use.
This program supports rational catalyst design and mechanistic understanding and control of novel reactions relevant to the energy mission of the Department of Energy. Research includes the identification of the elementary steps of catalytic reaction mechanisms and their kinetics; construction of catalytic sites at the atomic level; synthesis of ligands, metal clusters, and reaction centers designed to tune molecular-level catalytic activity and selectivity; the study of structure-reactivity relationships of inorganic, organic, or hybrid catalytic materials in solution or solids; the dynamics of catalyst structure relevant to catalyst stability; the theoretical and experimental determination of free energy landscapes for catalytic reactions; the development of novel spectroscopic techniques and structural probes for in situ and operando characterization of catalytic processes; and the development of new theory, modeling, data handling and simulation methods specialized for catalysis. Catalytic structure, activity, selectivity, reaction mechanisms and kinetic phenomena must be clearly connected, from the synthesis of catalyst structures that are reproducible under working conditions to the fast and ultrafast characterization of intermediate and transition states and to the microkinetics analysis of complex reactions.
A long term goal is to promote the convergence of heterogeneous, homogeneous, and biocatalysis as a means to derive novel inorganic, organic, and hybrid catalysts selective for fuel and chemical production from both fossil and renewable biomass feedstocks. Selective and lowtemperature activation of alkanes and in particular multifunctional molecules with non-precious or non-metallic catalysts receive special attention. Electrochemical and photoelectrochemical conversion of complex molecules into chemicals and fuels are also considered.
This program does not support the study of reactions appropriate for pharmaceutical applications, or the development of specific energy technologies. The activation and reactions of certain small molecules, such as NOx, CO, CO2 and H2O, are not covered under this program.
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