CESET: A transformative center in electrochemistry

Background image: Gilman Hall - College of Chemistry and Historical Landmark

CESET accelerates science, engineering, and technology development with integrated education and workforce impact

Researchers at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) are longstanding leaders in electrochemical science and engineering research, education, and innovation, beginning with the invention of the field of Electrochemical Engineering by pioneers Charles Tobias and John Newman.

The Center for Electrochemical Science, Engineering, and Technology (CESET) is world-leading and world-changing effort in electrochemistry that achieves societal impact by tightly coupling and synergizing across efforts in basic to applied science and engineering research, technology development and entrepreneurship, education and workforce development, and collaborative technoeconomic analysis to inform policy and research.

The team is particularly focused on science and technology underlying sustainable energy and the decarbonization of the economy, including clean electrochemical energy storage via batteries and hydrogen fuel necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change, carbon-neutral manufacturing, and carbon-capture technology. 

CESET also sees opportunity for deep impact in neuroscience and machine-brain-interface science and engineering, electrochemical synthesis of materials and chemicals, low-carbon electrowinning of metals, electrodeposition in semiconductors, and corrosion science.

The CESET team simultaneously and synergistically educates generations of diverse leaders who will carry on important electrochemistry work throughout the world through our leading program of fundamental and applied research, electrochemical science and engineering coursework and programs, and a network of industry, national laboratory, and academic partners.

CESET exemplifies and elevates the world leadership of UC Berkeley and LBL by spearheading innovation and growth in arguably the most-important technological frontier of our time: electrochemical science and engineering.

Electrochemistry underlies critical aspects of modern civilization and is the key to realizing a sustainable, CO2-emission-free economy and mitigating climate change. Electrochemical science and engineering underlie battery devices that power portable electronics, electric vehicles, and a future electric grid that operates with nearly all power from intermittent renewable (wind, solar) sources. Electrochemical electrolysis devices convert electrical energy into renewable green hydrogen gas (a chemical fuel that can be burned like natural gas and in aviation or used in the synthesis of sustainable chemicals, products, and fertilizers). In turn, electrochemical fuel cells convert chemical fuels, like hydrogen gas, back to electricity on demand, with efficiencies unmatchable by combustion engines. Fuel cell development is thus critical to de-carbonizing long-distance transportation via cargo ships, trains, and trucking. CESET research enables these indispensable technologies to be improved by enhancing efficiency, lowering capital cost, and increasing durability.

Electrochemistry is increasingly being used commercially in the production of advanced semiconductor devices for wiring complex three-dimensional nanoscale electrical circuits. 

Electrochemical transport is central to understanding and controlling electrical impulses (or action potentials) in neuronal systems, which form the fundamental units of the brain signal.

The US National Academies of Science hosted a workshop in 2020 on electrochemistry, emphasizing the growing importance and opportunity for advancement.

CESET faculty and staff can be contacted at: electrochemistry@berkeley.edu 

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Electrochemistry Everywhere

Electrochemistry Everywhere: 2023 Blavatnik National Awards Chemistry Laureate Shannon Boettcher

How electrochemistry was born and is leading a technology revolution to improve the human condition.  Prof. Boettcher's presentation at the Blavatnik Awards.

Heathcock Hall

Heathcock Hall

Working towards a new, permanent, physical home for CESET with state-of-the-art shared instrumentation and facilities for research, education, technology development, and collaboration.

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