New technology could help generate hydrogen and chemical industry ingredients.
With many devices depending on the motion of ions, light could be used as a switch to turn ion motion on and off.
Surface treatment greatly reduces degradation of catalyst material.
Winning teams will use grants to advance research in areas including fuel cells, solar-powered desalination, and impacts of electric vehicle charging on the power grid.
Combining gasification with fuel-cell technology could boost efficiency of coal-powered plants.
Design may support widespread use of solar and wind energy.