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Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences (CSGB) program

The Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences (CSGB) program at ORNL focuses on world -leading discovery science to understand how functional architectures and local environments control selective chemical transformations and physical processes over multiple length and time scales in natural and synthetic systems.

These programs are all bound together by four synergistic research themes focused on chemistry at complex interfaces, reaction pathways in diverse environments, chemistry in aqueous environments, and ultrafast chemistry. Crosscutting themes focus on Solvation/local environment, molecular and ion transport, selectivity, and stimuli responsive.  Cross-cutting tools include ultrafast and quantum spectroscopy, neutron scattering, integrated theory, modeling and simulation (high performance computing), precise organic and polymer synthesis and data science.  The CSGB program is also a leader in the application of neutron scattering methods to scientific problems in geoscience, separations, catalysis, and interfacial science and contributes neutron scattering expertise to all four externally led EFRCs. The program also takes full advantage of user facilities at ORNL, including CNMS, SNS, HFIR, and the OLCF as well as resources at other user facilities (APS, NSLS-II, and LCLS). This section highlights the accomplishment of ORNL staff in the CSGB program.

The CSGB Program at ORNL also provides leadership to one Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Center, which was renewed in 2018, and contributes to six other EFRCs:

  • the Center for Understanding and Control of Acid Gas-inducing Evolution of Materials (UNCAGE-ME), led by Georgia Institute of Technology (renewed in 2018);
  • the Molten Salts in Extreme Environments (MSEE), led by Brookhaven National Laboratory (new in 2018);
  • the Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation (CLSF), led by Penn State (renewed in 2018);
  • Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM), led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (renewed 2020);
  • the Center for 3D Ferroelectric Microelectronics, led by The Pennsylvania State University (funded in 2020); and
  • the Center for Plastics Innovation (CPI), led by the University of Delaware (funded in 2020)

Program Areas

Fundamentals of Catalysis and Chemical Transformation

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Fundamental Studies of Novel Separations

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Mechanisms of Atomic- to Pore-Scale Geochemical Processes

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Principles of Chemical Recognition and Transport in Extractive Separations

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