Keywords: Fusion energy, ARPA-E
Summary:The Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has the mission to advance high-impact technologies that have the potential to transform the energy industry. Materials research and development can dramatically increase the performance of existing energy systems or enable the feasibility of entirely new energy technologies. ARPA-E has historically supported various materials programs to increase the performance of high temperature materials with great success. Recent advancements in machine learning, artificial intelligence, high entropy alloys, and rapid synthesis provide the opportunity for ARPA-E to extend the materials program to tackle irradiation damage to enable commercial fusion energy. The extreme conditions in commercial fusion power plant plasma facing and structural components require transformative new materials that does not embrittle, swell, erode, or activate after continuous operation. ARPA-E intends to find such a material, which will significantly reduce the time to market and engineering risk of any first of a kind commercial fusion reactor. I will provide a summary of existing ARPA-E material related programs and the vision for future programs.