Today at Berkeley Lab

R&D Effort Produces Magnetic Devices to Enable More Powerful X-Ray Lasers

Teams of researchers working in a multi-lab collaboration have designed, built, and tested two magnetic devices called superconducting undulators. The effort could lead to a next generation of more powerful, versatile, compact, and durable X-ray lasers. More>

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A Surprise Found Just Beneath the Surface in Carbon Dioxide Experiment

X-ray experiments at the Lab, coupled with theoretical work, revealed how oxygen atoms near the surface of a copper sample had a more dramatic effect on the early stages of a reaction with carbon dioxide than earlier theories could account for. This work could help make reactions more efficient in converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and other products. More>

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Symbiotic Bacteria Act as Detox Organ in Sponges

Researchers used X-ray techniques at the Advanced Light Source to study how populations of symbiotic bacteria can act as a detoxifying organ in an ancient form of life with no organs of its own. The bacteria, members of the species Entotheonella, accumulate and mineralize large quantities of arsenic and barium in a common type of filter-feeding sponge. More>

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A Surprising Carbonate Reversal at Liquid Interfaces

Human respiration and the carbon cycle involve CO2 dissolving in water, producing carbonate ions at liquid interfaces. For a picture of such interfaces, scientists measured the depth profile of carbonate ions in water at the Advanced Light Source. An unexpected reversal in the profile raises questions relevant to topics ranging from carbon sequestration to biomedical research. More>

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A Closer Look at a Working Platinum/Electrolyte Interface

The promise of cost-effective devices that cleanly convert fuel into electricity (or vice versa) is limited by the inefficiency and instability of cheaper alternatives to platinum, a well-studied catalyst for the electrochemical reactions involved. At the Advanced Light Source, researchers got a closer look at the platinum/electrolyte interface in such devices under working conditions. More>

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A Hollow Pyramid Unlocks Principles of Protein Architecture

Researchers have designed a hollow, pyramid-shaped protein with a controllable cavity size that may aid the capture and release of smaller compounds. The tools developed in this work, including x-ray techniques at the Advanced Light Source, could help analyze and optimize designed-protein assemblies and understand their behavior in solution. More>

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How X-Rays Helped to Solve Mystery of Floating Rocks

Experiments at the Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking. The surprisingly long-lived buoyancy of these rocks can help scientists discover underwater volcano eruptions. More>

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Nanotechnology Helps Boost Performance of Key Industrial Catalyst

A tiny amount of squeezing or stretching can produce a big boost in an industrial catalyst known as ceria, according to a new Stanford study. To measure the impact of stress under real-world operating conditions, the researchers analyzed the ceria samples at the Advanced Light Source. More>

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Strain Turns Non-Metallic Tin Into a ‘Supermetal’

Research at the Advanced Light Source shows that a small amount of compressive strain turns gray tin (a nonmetallic form of tin) into a topological Dirac semimetal — a kind of “supermetal” with very high electron mobility. With its rich topological phase diagram, the material shows promise for both novel physics and eventual device applications. More>

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Javier Vela to Speak at Joint Foundry/ALS Seminar on May 16

Javier Vela, with Iowa State University, will discuss “Chemistry of Materials for Clean Energy: Ternary Phosphides and Organolead Halide Perovskites.” The Molecular Foundry/Advanced Light Source seminar takes place at 11 a.m. in the Building 66 Auditorium. More>

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