The Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office's (AMMTO) Critical Minerals and Materials portfolio addresses high-impact opportunities and challenges across the entire life cycle of high priority critical minerals and materials for energy technologies. 

What Are Critical Minerals and Materials?

The United States lacks a strong domestic supply of many minerals and materials that will be critical to a decarbonized energy infrastructure as well as current manufacturing technologies. These include:

  • Rare earth elements, used in offshore wind turbine generators and electric vehicle motors;
  • Lithium, cobalt, and high-purity nickel, used in energy storage technologies;
  • Platinum group metals used in catalysts for automotive, chemical, fuel cell, and green hydrogen products; and
  • Gallium and germanium used in semiconductors.

Critical Materials 101

Video Url
Welcome to Critical Materials 101, a video series breaking down the building blocks of our clean energy future. First up, the U.S. Department of Energy’s list of "electric 18" critical materials, why they're so important to clean energy technologies, and what we’re doing across the Department to meet their growing demand.
Video by the U.S. Department of Energy


The U.S. Department of Energy critical minerals & materials strategy is based on the following pillars:

  • Diversifying supplies of critical minerals and materials;
  • Developing alternatives to critical minerals and materials;
  • Improving materials and manufacturing efficiency;
  • Investing in circular-economy approaches; and
  • Enabling activities such as criticality assessments.


Reports & Resources

What Are Critical Materials and Critical Minerals?
This offers the definitions and current list of critical materials and critical minerals.
Lithium Research, Development, and Demonstration Virtual Center
The Lithium Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) Virtual Center, also known as the Lithium Center, is a United States Government-led center for promoting cooperation on lithium supply chain related topics across the United States.
Critical Minerals Rare Earths Supply Chain Roundtable & Workshop
This report evaluates the state of the United States critical materials rare earths supply chain and identifies the many challenges and opportunities the industry faces.
Critical Minerals & Materials Program
The DOE Critical Minerals & Materials Program coordinates RD&D into strategic resources across DOE.
Battery Critical Materials Supply Chain Challenges and Opportunities: Results of the 2020 Request for Information (RFI) and Workshop
Key takeaways discussed included technology validation; resource diversification; and increased supply chain connectivity.
2023 DOE Critical Materials Assessment
This criticality assessment provides an update to previous DOE criticality reports based on recent market and technological developments and shifts in national and global priorities.

News & Success Stories