IRG1: Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Federal R&D Policy, and Energy Conversion Technology

(Matthew N. Eisler)


This project explores the historical antecedents of energy and power source-related nanoscale science, engineering, and technology (NSET). One study analyzed the broad NSET activities of the Department of Energy from 1978 to 2000, focusing on the role of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (OBES) in the creation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. A second study dealt with industry and DOE-backed NSET as it related to power sources such as fuel cells, batteries, and photovoltaic arrays from the late 1980s to the present. Current research examines the NSET activities of the DOE in the post-NNI period, concentrating on the history and legacy of major DOE NSET user facilities built between 2000 and 2007, particularly the five Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs).