Developing sources of sustainable energy is a crucial challenge for the 21st century. Nanotechnology may contribute paradigm-changing approaches to energy technology, because many energy conversion, storage and transport processes occurs with the critical length at nanoscale and at interfaces and surfaces, which are abundant in nanomaterials. While, in principle, the advantages of nanomaterials are believed to hold the potential for higher process efficiencies and lower device manufacturing costs, in practice, such gains have not yet been realized in many areas of energy technology. Reasons for this include the still nascent understanding of fundamental energy conversion, storage, and transport processes, the challenges associated with integrating nanomaterials into macroscopic devices, the difficulties in inexpensively producing large amounts of nanomaterials with well defined properties, and the still not completely assessed potential health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials.
Mastering these challenges transcends the fields of physics, chemistry and engineering. This Gordon Research Conference on "Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy Technology" aims at fostering interactions between scientists from different disciplines and stages of their careers, working in academia, national research laboratories, and industry. The focus of this conference is on exploring the fundamental mechanisms involved in energy conversion, storage, and transport with nanomaterials, while also illuminating novel approaches in materials design and synthesis and evaluating materials sustainability issues. The emphasis on new, largely unpublished work will make this conference a premier platform for scientific exchange on the future developments in nanomaterials in energy technology.