Translational Science for Energy and Beyond

James R. McKone, Debbie C. Crans, Cheryl Martin, John Turner, Anil R. Duggal, Harry B. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus Citations


A clear challenge for the coming decades is decreasing the carbon intensity of the global energy supply while simultaneously accommodating a rapid worldwide increase in power demand. Meeting this challenge of providing abundant, clean energy undoubtedly requires synergistic efforts between basic and applied researchers in the chemical sciences to develop and deploy new technologies. Among the available options, solar energy is one of the promising targets because of the high abundance of solar photons over much of the globe. Similarly, decarbonization of the global energy supply will require clean sources of hydrogen to use as reducing equivalents for fuel and chemical feedstocks. In this report, we discuss the importance of translational research-defined as work that explicitly targets basic discovery as well as technology development-in the context of photovoltaics and solar fuels. We focus on three representative research programs encompassing translational research in government, industry, and academia. We then discuss more broadly the benefits and challenges of translational research models and offer recommendations for research programs that address societal challenges in the energy sector and beyond.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9131-9143
Number of pages13
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - 19 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-67144


  • clean energy
  • energy demand
  • energy supply


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