CEEM is one of 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers funded by the Department of Energy to address the energy challenge through technological advancements. The Center was launched in August 2009 and focuses on fundamental research in the three key areas of photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and solid-state lighting. These technologies are strongly inter-related, not only through the materials they employ and physical principles upon which they operate, but also in the synergies resulting from operating these techniques in combination. The assembled team is uniquely positioned to pursue the proposed work based on proven expertise in these areas. While the world's growing energy needs cannot be fully addressed by any one center, the successful outcome of the proposed research will provide a critically important part to the full solution.

These research efforts are led by UC Santa Barbara, in partnership with selected researchers from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and Purdue University.

CEEM focuses on fundamental materials research for applications in energy storage, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and solid-state lighting. The research is organized into five groups:

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