It is anticipated that approximately $400 million will be available for DOE Office of Science new, renewal, continuing, and supplemental grant and cooperative agreement awards under this and other, more targeted FOAs inFY 2016, subject to the availability of FY 2016 appropriated funds.
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 Materials Sciences and Engineering (MSE) Division supports fundamental experimental and theoretical research to provide the knowledge base for the discovery and design of new materials with novel structures, functions, and properties. This knowledge serves as a basis for the development of new materials for the generation, storage, and use of energy and for mitigation of the environmental impacts of energy use.
This activity supports fundamental research in the discovery, design and synthesis of functional materials and complex structures, and materials aspects of energy conversion processes based on principles and concepts of biology. Since biology provides a blueprint for translating atomic and nanoscale phenomena into mesoscale materials that display complex yet well-coordinated collective behavior, the major programmatic focus is on the hypothesis-driven creation of energy-relevant versions of these materials optimized for harsher, non-biological environments. New fundamental science approaches are sought that will lead to predictable and scalable synthesis of novel, hierarchically structured polymeric, inorganic, and hybrid functional materials in vitro with controllable morphology, content, behavior and performance.
Major current thrust areas include: Harnessing or mimicking the biological energy-efficient synthesis to generate new, optimized materials for a broad range of non-biological conditions; Bioinspired self-, directed-, and dissipative-assembly with control of mechanisms and kinetics to form materials that display novel, unexpected properties that are far from equilibrium; Adaptive, resilient materials with self-repairing capabilities; and Development of science-driven tools and techniques, particularly in situ capabilities, to achieve fundamental real-time understanding of synthetic and assembly pathways, and enable active, precise manipulation of structure and function. Integrated theory and experiment approaches to understand how materials complexity leads to new functionalities, development of new design ideas, and opportunities for accelerated discovery are emphasized.
The activity will expand research on methods to create mesoscale materials with high fidelity and in appreciable quantities. Programmatic focus will be on spontaneous assembly-disassembly and reconfiguration, the ability to respond en masse to directed and environmental cues, coordination of collective response to multiple signals, defect management, ability to self-repair and rebuild structure, and capability for self-replication and autonomous function. This activity also will expand research to design and create next generation materials for energy conversion and storage with programmable selectivity and transport based on biological gating and pumping functions, and to understand and precisely control bioinspired mechanisms for directing synthesis and function at organic-inorganic interfaces.