Lab Partnering Service Discovery
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CMI is a public/private partnership led by Ames Laboratory that brings together the best and brightest research minds from universities, national laboratories, and the private sector to find innovative technology solutions that will help avoid a materials supply shortage that would threaten our clean energy industry as well as our security interests. Many materials deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Energy are used in modern clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting.
The purpose of CMI is to help the United States in four key areas:
- Diversifying supplies. If one source goes offline, we can rely on production from a different source.
- Developing substitute materials that can meet needs without using the materials we use today.
- Using the available materials more efficiently: reducing waste in manufacturing processes, and increasing recycling for a circular economy.
- Delivering enabling capabilities: Having tools to accelerate discovery and inform what materials might become critical in the future.
The Institute’s industrial collaborators work to incorporate CMI innovations in their products and processes, across the areas described above – source diversification, materials substitution, and improved stewardship of existing resources. Opportunities for industrial partners to engage with CMI include:
- CMI Affiliates: CMI Affiliates attend CMI meetings, are informed about CMI research outcomes, and provide input to CMI. Affiliates pay an annual fee based on the organization type, and sign a Membership Agreement. CMI Affiliates may become CMI Team members or sponsor research in other ways with different levels of financial commitment and ownership of intellectual property.
- CMI Team Member: CMI Team members participate in CMI research through research subcontracts or provision of cost sharing funds. Requirements include specific research project deliverables within the entity's areas of expertise, an agreed scope of work with negotiated budget, including cost-share as applicable, as approved by the CMI Director.
NREL's Fuel Combustion Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focuses on characterizing fuels at the molecular level. This information can then be used to understand and predict a fuel's effect on engine performance and emissions. By understanding the effects of fuel chemistry on ignition, as well as the potential emissions impacts, we can develop fuels that enable more efficient engine designs, using both today's technology and future advanced combustion concepts.
The Renewable Fuels and Lubricants (ReFUEL) Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a state-of-the-art research and testing facility for advanced fuels and vehicles. Research and development focuses on overcoming barriers to the increased use of renewable diesel and other nonpetroleum-based fuels, such as biodiesel and synthetic diesel derived from biomass.
The ReFUEL Laboratory features a heavy-duty chassis dynamometer for vehicle performance and emissions research, two engine dynamometer test cells for advanced fuels research, and precise emissions analysis equipment. As a complement to these capabilities, detailed studies of fuel properties, with a focus on ignition characteristics, are performed at NREL’s Fuel Chemistry Laboratory. Because the ReFUEL Laboratory is located in Denver, Colorado, it offers the additional capability of testing emissions and vehicle performance at high altitude. It also features an altitude simulation system to mimic results found at lower altitudes, including sea level.
The ReFUEL Laboratory is one of the few facilities in the United States with a chassis dynamometer that operates with laboratory-grade emissions analysis equipment. The dynamometer is supported by 72 data acquisition channels along with fuel metering and combustion analysis subsystems. It can test the performance and emissions of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles—from small trucks and delivery vans to full-size buses and Class 8 tractors.
For more information, please visit the ReFUEL website.
The Thermal and Catalytic Process Development Unit (TCPDU) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has state-of-the-art equipment for thermochemical process development and testing, ranging from catalyst and feedstock characterizations to bench-scale reactors to pilot plants.
To collaborate on research and development efforts, use the TCPDU equipment to test your materials and processes, or for more general information, please visit the TCPDU website.
The Advanced Photon Source (APS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory provides ultra-bright, high-energy storage ring-generated x-ray beams for research in almost all scientific disciplines. Today researches have been using the APS to develop the next generation of batteries, improve the durability of 3-D printed alloys, and maximizing the efficiency of chemical processes like electroysis. The knowledge gained from this research is impacting the evolution of combustion engines and microcircuits, aiding in the development of new pharmaceuticals, and pioneering nanotechnologies. The goals of the APS are to:
- Operate a highly reliable third-generation synchrotron x-ray radiation source;
- Foster a productive environment for conducting research;
- Enhance the capabilities available to users of the APS facility;
- Assure the safety of the facility users and staff and the environment;
- Maintain an organization that provides a rewarding environment that fosters professional growth, and;
- Optimize the scientific and technological contribution to the Department of Energy and society from research carried out at the APS.
The APS welcomes industrial users conducting both proprietary and nonproprietary research and considers requests for work ranging from short-term feasibility studies to long-term research projects, either on a stand-alone basis or in collaboration with facility or academic colleagues.
- Non-air sensitive synthesis;
- Air-sensitive synthesis;
- Liquid batch reactor systems;
- Fixed bed reactor systems;
- Gas chromatography;
- Liquid chromatography;
- Dynamic light scattering analysis;
- X-ray diffraction;
- Cyclic voltammetry.
The Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) is a unique laser user facility for research in High Energy Density science. Its three diverse laser platforms offer researchers a wide range of capabilities to produce and explore states of matter under extreme conditions of high density, pressure, and temperature. Titan is a dual-beam platform with a nanosecond, kJ long-pulse beam and a femtosecond, petawatt short-pulse beam derived from a neodymium-glass laser system. Janus is also based on the same neodymium-glass laser system but configured for operation with two nanosecond, kJ beams. COMET is a neodymium-glass laser system designed for the generation of laboratory X-ray lasers. You may submit a proposal for laser time.
The Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) User Program is open to all qualified applicants; US and non-US PIs are welcome to submit proposals. Using technical evaluations from experts both in and outside LLNL, proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the JLF advisory committee based on scientific and/or programmatic quality, impact, and feasibility. Typically, platforms are over-requested by a factor of two or more.
- Combinatorial Nanoscience – This theme focuses on the rational design of targeted nanostructured materials.
- Functional Nanointerfaces – This theme centers on understanding and design of the physical and chemical properties of hybrid nanomaterials, defined as integrated materials composed of highly contrasting components, such as inorganic nanomaterials, organic supermolecular assemblies, and complex living organisms.
- Multimodal Nanoscale Imaging – This theme develops and applies multiple spectroscopic and imaging technologies – including high-resolution flagship electron microscopies, scanned probe microscopies, and hyperspectral (nano)optical methods and imaging probes – to investigate structural and dynamic nanoscale phenomena in hard and soft nanostructured materials in solid-state, liquid, and vapor environments.
- Single-Digit Nanofabrication and Assembly – This theme aims to organize and structure material with critical features of dimensions at or below 10 nm, i.e., on the single-digit nanometer and atomic scales, to create nanoscale devices and architectures in inorganic, biological, or hybrid systems.
The Foundry also offers a mechanism for users to perform proprietary work, which requires an approved, peer-reviewed proposal and a Proprietary User Agreement (PUA). Under a PUA, incoming user data may be proprietary; the user may keep their generated research results private; the user performs all research on the project; Foundry staff may provide technical assistance but do not generate data; and the user pays for the full costs of use of the facility and staff assistance.
The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) is a Department of Energy-funded nanoscience research facility that provides users from around the world with access to state of the art expertise and instrumentation in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment with a focus on nanoscience integration. Integration is the key to exploiting the novel properties of nanoscale materials and creating new technologies. CINT’s scientific staff and capabilities are organized around four interdisciplinary science thrusts which address different challenges in nanoscience integration.
- In-Situ Characterization and Nanomechanics: Developing and implementing world-leading capabilities to study the dynamic response of materials and nanosystems to mechanical, electrical, or other stimuli
- Nanophotonics and Optical Nanomaterials: Discovery, synthesis, and integration of optical nanomaterials; exploitation and characterization of emergent or collective electromagnetic and quantum optical phenomena, from nanophotonics and metamaterials to quantum coherence.
- Soft, Biological and Composite Nanomaterials: Synthesis, assembly, and characterization of soft, biomolecular, and composite nanomaterials that display emergent functionality.
- Quantum Materials Systems: Understanding and controlling quantum effects of nanoscale materials and their integration into systems spanning multiple length scales.
Interested parties may access the facility via the General User or Partner User access agreements. General Users are individuals or groups who need access to the CINT Facilities to carry out their research using one or more CINT capabilities. Access is requested through a semi-annual, peer-reviewed proposal process. Partner Users are individuals/groups/institutions who not only carry out research at CINT but also enhance the capabilities or contribute to the operation of the Center through new facility instrumentation or the support of personnel.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Building Technologies Research & Integration Center (BTRIC) user facility is the premier U.S. research facility devoted to the development of technologies that improve the energy efficiency and environmental compatibility of residential and commercial buildings.
BTRIC identifies and develops energy-efficient building system technologies by forming partnerships between the Department of Energy (DOE) and private industry for technology development and analysis, well-characterized laboratory and field experiments, and market outreach.
ORNL buildings research is multidisciplinary in nature, with BTRIC providing unique experimental capabilities. With facilities strategically located throughout the ORNL campus, the Center provides scientists and engineers with unmatched access to a broad array of laboratories, tools, and apparatuses designed to help industry partners accelerate products to market that will maximize cost-effective building energy efficiency.
MAXLAB, the most recent addition to BTRIC, the Maximum Building Energy Efficiency Research Laboratory, houses a high-bay area for envelope research and a low-bay area for equipment research.
The BTRIC user facility was established by DOE’s Office of Building Technology State and Community Programs as a designated National User Facility. The facilities are available to manufacturers, universities, and other organizations for proprietary and nonproprietary research and development. Access to these unique facilities and capabilities is obtained through user agreements, Work for Others (WFO) arrangements, and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs).
- Private sector organizations can contract for use of these facilities and services through a Designated Technology Deployment Center Agreement.
- Government organizations can contract with Sandia through a Work for Others Agreement.