Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab User Facilities Participate in SSURF Capitol Hill Exhibition

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hosted a User Science Exhibition last month. The Society for the Science at User Research Facilities (SSURF) — which includes the Lab’s Molecular Foundry, NERSC, Joint Genome Institute, ESnet, and the Advanced Light Source — hosted exhibits and demos of their research and conveyed the positive impact of user facilities.

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Imaging the Effects of Substrate Strain on Magnetic Microstructures

One way to control magnetization in ultralow-power devices is to grow a ferromagnetic thin film on a piezoelectric substrate. How does the electrically induced strain in the substrate influence the thin-film magnetization? At the Advanced Light Source, researchers were able to image the magnetic behavior at the microscale and correlate it with the piezo-strain driving it. More>

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Clarifying the Working Principle of a High-Capacity Battery Electrode

Molybdenum disulfide is a promising electrode material for high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. However, despite decades of effort and intensive recent interest, its lithiation/delithiation reaction mechanism is still controversial. At the Advanced Light Source, X-ray spectroscopy clearly revealed the electrochemical reaction mechanism, facilitating the further development of these high-performance electrodes.  More>

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Students Get Schooled in X-Rays at the Advanced Light Source

Seventh graders from Berkeley’s Black Pine Circle School collected 3D images with X-rays at the Advanced Light Source on Thursday, April 26. In this video, ALS researcher Dula Parkinson shows the students how X-rays work. Their teacher, Christine Myko, has taught lessons about the ALS since 2013, when she developed classroom curriculum during an internship with Parkinson.

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Toward Control of Spin States for Molecular Electronics

Researchers working at the Advanced Light Source have demonstrated, via X-ray absorption spectroscopy, that a molecule’s spin state can be reversibly switched at constant room temperature by magnetism. The results represent a major step toward the goal of programmable, nanoscale molecular electronics for high-speed, low-power logic and memory applications. More>

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Twisted Structures Emerge From Achiral Molecules

How do chiral structures form spontaneously from achiral molecules? The answer could shed light on how certain biological molecules ended up being dominated by one type of chirality, a phenomenon known as “biological homochirality.” At the Advanced Light Source, researchers studied several chiral liquid-crystal phases made up of achiral, asymmetric molecules. More>

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ALS Provides Insight into Bitter-Pit Disease in Honeycrisp Apples

Why are Honeycrisp apples more prone to bitter- pit disorder? It’s an issue that has vexed fruit growers for some time. How to solve this culinary conundrum? Enter the Advanced Light Source. By scanning the fruit, researchers can compare the cell structure of Honeycrisp apples with other, healthier varieties. More>

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Tamura’s Ichthyosaur Illustration Used in News About Fossil Discovery

The ancient remains of a gigantic marine reptile known as an ichthyosaur have been discovered in England, and researchers recently published their findings about the fossil. The story was big news around the world, and accompanying some of the articles was an illustration created by Nobu Tamura, Wikipedia’s resident paleoartist and beamline scientist at the Advanced Light Source.

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Phase Diagram Leads the Way to Tailored Metamaterial Responses

With help from the Advanced Light Source, researchers have discovered an innovative way to independently control two optical responses in a metamaterial by utilizing the material’s phase diagram. This advance could lead to a paradigm shift in the design of metamaterial devices that manipulate light. More>

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Finding Order in Disorder Demonstrates a New State of Matter

Physicists identified a new state of matter with a structural order that operates by rules more aligned with quantum mechanics than standard thermodynamic theory. In a classical material called artificial spin ice, which in certain phases appears disordered, the material is actually ordered, but in a “topological” form. The Advanced Light Source was used for this research. More>

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