DOE Basic Energy Sciences - Critical Minerals and Materials: Chemical and Materials Sciences Research on Rare Earth and Platinum Group Elements

Sponsor Deadline: 

Apr 12, 2021

Letter of Intent Deadline: 

Apr 12, 2021


DOE Energy Office of Science

UI Contact: 

Critical Minerals & Materials: Chemical and Materials Sciences Research on Rare Earth and Platinum Group Elements
PDF to guidelines:
DOE Office of Science Funding opportunities
Required Pre-Application  due April 12, 2021.

Roughly 35 rare-earth elements, such as platinum, serve as key components to several clean-energy and high-tech applications—magnets in wind turbines, batteries in electric and conventional vehicles, phosphors in energy-efficient lighting and displays, and catalysts for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This funding opportunity supports basic research in chemical and materials sciences to understand and control processes and properties of materials and molecules containing rare earth elements (REE) and platinum group elements (PGE). As materials/molecules containing REE and PGE become increasingly essential to our economy and national security, and their availability becomes more restricted, it is important to ensure a stable supply chain, increase their efficient use, and identify substitutes that can provide similar or even enhanced functionalities with a reduced need for these critical elements. Key aspects of basic research in this field include understanding the role of REE and PGE in the functionality of materials and molecular systems; discovering innovative strategies to enhance their availability; establishing new approaches for more efficient separation from naturally occurring and recycled materials; and identifying alternatives to reduce or eliminate their use in energy-relevant technologies.

Applications are requested that address one or more of the following scientific Research Topics:
1. Physical and Chemical Properties
2. Geological Systems
3. Separation Science
4. Design and Synthesis of Materials or Molecules