Advanced Materials


Chemical Sciences Division

The Chemical Sciences Division performs discovery and use inspired research to understand, predict, and control the physical processes and chemical transformations at multiple length and time scales, especially at interfaces. The foundation of the division is a strong Basic Energy Sciences (BES) portfolio that pushes the frontiers of catalysis, geosciences, separations and analysis, chemical imaging, neutron science, polymer science, and interfacial science. Theory is closely integrated with materials synthesis and characterization to gain new insights into chemical transformations and processes with the ultimate goal of predictive insights. Applied research programs naturally grow out of our fundamental studies. The division is home to the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) which is focused on developing a fundamental understanding and validated, predictive models of the unique nanoscale environment at the fluid-solid interface that will enable transformative advances in electrical energy storage and catalysis. The division also provides a leadership role in the Critical Materials Institute lead by Ames Laboratory in the development of separations agents to improve the efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize the environmental impact in the production of rare-earth metals and alloys. The division’s Nuclear Analytical Chemistry and Isotopics Laboratory has expertise in the development and advancement of cutting edge measurement methodologies for elemental and isotopic characterizations in environmental and nuclear matrices. The group specializes in high precision elemental and isotopic determinations using mass spectrometry and high level radiochemical counting techniques. The division also provides analytical support and leadership to many nuclear, isotope production, and national security programs.


  • Unique capabilities for design and synthesis of functional materials including mesoporous carbons, ionic liquids, novel ligands for separations, polymers with well-defined architectures, superhydrophobic materials, supported catalysis, and inorganic thin films
  • Chemical imaging based on advanced spectroscopic and ultrafast time-resolved imaging, scanning probe microscopy, and mass spectrometry
  • Theory, modeling, and simulation of the structure, dynamics, and reactions at interfaces
  • In situ and operando characterization of reactions at interfaces
  • Bioanalytical mass spectrometry for proteomics
  • Unique experimental capabilities (e.g., conductance, vibrating tube densimetry, flow calorimeter) to measure the thermodynamic properties of fluids under high temperature and pressures
  • Neutron scattering characterization methods and sample environments for reflectometry, small angle neutron scattering and neutron tomography to determine structure and dynamics, especially at interfaces
  • Radiochemical and nuclear forensics laboratories with clean rooms for quantitative analysis of radioactive material
  • Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA)

For more information contact:

Dr. Phillip F. Britt, Director
Oak Ridge National Laboratory; P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6129
Phone: 865-574-4986; Email:


We're always happy to get feedback from our users. Please use the Comments form to send us your comments, questions, and observations.