Today at Berkeley Lab

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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Scouts Visit Lab as Part of Nuclear Science Day

About 230 girl scouts, boy scouts and their leaders came to the Lab on April 29 and enjoyed a full day of science activities. The event attracted youth from local communities, and as far away as Stanislaus and Orange counties. Volunteers conducted Advanced Light Source tours, ran hands-on activities, discussed their research, and served as role models. More>

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New Insights into Nanoscale Deformation

A group of scientists used Laue x-ray microdiffraction at the Advanced Light Source to probe plastic deformation mechanisms at the nanoscale. Their findings may overturn conventional theory and reshape our understanding of the mechanical behavior of a host of nanocrystalline metals. More>

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Modulating Infrared Light with Two-Dimensional Black Phosphorus

A 2-D form of phosphorus studied at the Advanced Light Source shows promise for converting infrared signals to electrical signals (and vice versa), filling a wavelength gap for advanced devices in a wide range of areas, from air-pollution monitoring to telecommunication. More>

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Tribute to Lawrence Moves into ALS Lobby

There’s some new artwork gracing the ALS lobby—a stately portrait of Berkeley Lab founder Ernest Orlando Lawrence. The painting has a deep connection to the Lab, and so does the artist. He was a longtime Berkeley Lab employee and the father of Berkeley Lab mechanical technician Jim Dougherty, who frequently works on the undulators at the ALS. More>

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3D Visualization of Leaves During Drought at the Advanced Light Source

To better understand how plants cope with severe droughts, the veins of living leaves at increasing levels of drought stress were visualized using x-ray microtomography at the ALS. The results expand the view of leaf drought responses, beyond the traditional embolism-centric view, to a broader focus on the role of the surrounding living tissues. More>

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How X-Rays Pushed Topological Matter Research Over the Top

Pioneering X-ray experiments at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) helped bring to life decades-old theories about exotic states of matter, and the ALS continues to play an important role in this flourishing field of topological matter research. Check out the 360-degree video above. More>

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ALS Helps Map Catalytic Reactions on Single Nanoparticles

A new synchrotron infrared nanospectroscopy study confirms that structural defects and jagged surfaces at the edges of platinum and gold nanoparticles are key hot spots for chemical reactivity. The experiments pinpoint the most active areas of reactions on nanoscale particles and confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key to catalyst function. More>

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