Research

The Clean Energy Institute’s focus is from the molecular level of energy conversion materials, through the advancement of energy storage devices and also adding intelligence to the electrical grid. This is our “molecules to miles” approach to accelerating the creation of a scalable clean energy economy. Our institute is organized around two main research areas: Advanced Materials for Energy and Energy Systems & Integration.

 

Molecules to miles research graphic

Advanced Materials for Energy (AME) researchers focus on developing novel materials for solar energy conversion and electrical energy storage devices, as well as high throughput manufacturing methods that are well suited to low cost solar and battery technologies.  Our basic approach is to design and synthesize new materials with sophisticated molecular and nanometer-scale control of structure and composition. This level of control leads to outstanding energy harvesting and storage properties and breakthrough device performance. Our work cuts across organic and inorganic materials.

Energy Systems & Integration (ESI) researchers understand energy infrastructure and work to ensure research advances in solar energy and electrical energy storage have the broadest possible impact. New energy technologies like solar energy production and massive battery storage will have the greatest impact if they are co-developed with sophisticated information technology. The goal of ESI research is to lay a foundation for the innovative software and hardware tools that will accelerate the integration of solar energy and electrical energy storage with systems and the grid, enabling a scalable clean energy future.

The Washington Research Foundation has provided a six-year gift of $6.74 million to support nine new faculty hires, six postdoctoral researchers and the creation of a new experimental manufacturing facility on campus that will help move discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. This investment in the CEI is truly transformational.”
– Daniel Schwartz, CEI Director
“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy
Since its founding the Clean Energy Institute has contributed more than $1.1 million toward the education of 66 STEM scholars and recruitment of 12 students through our fellowship programs.