The Ames Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. For over 65 years, the Ames Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university.
Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent
.Approximately 745 people are involved with the Laboratory either as full- or part-time employees or as Laboratory associates. Key areas of expertise are materials design, synthesis and processing; analytical instrumentation design and development; materials characterization; catalysis; computational chemistry; condensed matter theory; and computational materials science and materials theory.
The Ames Laboratory leads the Critical Materials Institute, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub funded at up to $120 million over five years. The Critical Materials Institute brings together leading researchers from other DOE national laboratories, academia and industry to develop solutions to domestic shortages of rare-earth materials and other materials critical to U.S. energy security.
The Ames Laboratory broke ground in June 2014 for a new, state-of-the-art Sensitive Instrument Facility, which will house next generation electron microscopy equipment for characterization of materials at the atomic scale.
The Ames Laboratory's Materials Preparation Center prepares, purifies, fabricates and characterizes materials in support of R&D programs throughout the world. The Ames Laboratory is the U.S. home to 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner Dan Shechtman and is intensely engaged with the international scientific community, including hosting a large number of international visitors each year.