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Science Directorate

Our researchers advance the frontiers of science to study, predict, and engineer complex adaptive systems related to Earth, energy, and security. Our investigations inhabit every scale. We study the vast whirl of aerosol-laden clouds; the complex shoreline interfaces of land and sea; the mysterious microbiomes that teem just beneath the Earth’s surface; and the myriad of molecules busy on surfaces just angstroms wide.

We investigate elemental chemical and physical processes, including new catalysts that speed up the efficiency of renewable fuels. We study climate system dynamics to predict the effects of climate change. We design and synthesize the functional and structural materials of the future, including robust metal foils thinner than a human hair.

We are proud to host two unique DOE user facilities. EMSL facilitates molecular-level investigations into the physical, chemical, and biological processes that underlie the Earth’s most critical environmental issues. ARM provides a setting for climate research and instrumentation development, and is strengthened by streaming data from a worldwide complex of sensing stations.

Science at PNNL

Core Research Areas

User Facilities

Centers & Institutes