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Frances Houle

CSD Senior Staff Scientist, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) Deputy Director for Science and Research Integration

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
One Cyclotron Road, Mailstop: 30R0205
Berkeley, CA 94720

Telephone:(510) 495-8135
FAX:(510) 495-8700
Assistant:Theresa Short - - (510) 486-4886

Research Center

The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is one of the Department of Energy's Innovation Hubs. Its mission is to generate carbon-neutral fuels efficiently using only sunlight and water or carbon dioxide and sustainable materials. A number of CSD scientists participate in JCAP, working on catalysts, transformations using materials assemblies, and interfacial chemistry.

Research interests:

Dr. Houle's research program at LBNL is centered on stochastic simulations of transformations in complex condensed phase systems. The calculations are performed in close collaboration with experimentalists in order to discover predictive, physically based and validated mechanisms. In JCAP, she is working on transient processes involved in transport of chemicals through neutral and polyelectrolyte polymeric membranes used in CO2 reduction devices. The goal of the work is to discover useful design principles for stable and selective permeation of ions while blocking organic products. With Laboratory Directed Research and Development support, she has been developing descriptions of oxidative ageing of model atmospheric aerosols. This work has enabled useful interpretations to be made of laboratory experimental data, and predictions to be made using them of chemistry under atmospheric conditions.

The computational code used in this work is Kinetiscope, coauthored by Dr. W.D. Hinsberg and Dr. Houle. It is an open access package available at

In addition to the computational work, she actively participates in JCAP projects involving solar fuels devices and device materials, with a particular interest in thin film properties in use, and in development of systems scenarios for prospective lifecycle assessments.

Experience and Publications:
Frances Houle's Curriculum Vitae with Publications.pdf