Today at Berkeley Lab

Scientists Solve a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

A Berkeley Lab-led research team has discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. The findings could be relevant to other battery materials, and could steer the design of next-generation batteries towards workarounds that avoid these newly identified pitfalls. More>

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Lab Pursues Low-Cost Hydrogen Generation

To mark Hydrogen Day, celebrated on Oct. 8 since its atomic weight is 1.008, we feature researchers Adam Weber and Nem Danilovic, who believe hydrogen can play a major role in a clean energy system. They, along with scientists at the Molecular Foundry and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, are pursuing low-cost efficient technologies for hydrogen generation. More>

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Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion

Lab scientists have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies tackling the challenge of creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use. More>

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Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, scientists at Berkeley Lab have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel. More>

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Scientists Developing Innovative Techniques for High-Resolution Analysis of Hybrid Materials

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new method of analyzing the molecular-scale structure of organo-lead halide perovskites, a promising class of materials that could energize the solar cell industry. They combined advanced X-ray spectroscopy measurements with calculations based on fundamental, “first principles” theory to obtain an atomic-scale view of the material. More>

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New Materials Could Turn Water into the Fuel of the Future

In just two years, Berkeley Lab and Caltech scientists have nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels. They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of a commercially viable generation of solar fuels. The research involved NERSC, the Molecular Foundry, and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. More>

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Lab Artificial Photosynthesis Research Highlighted in Media

A recent Technology Review story on research into artificial photosynthesis quoted the Lab’s Ian Sharp, and noted the work being done at the Lab’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). MoneyInc.com also noted work at JCAP by Peidong Yang, and Chris and Michelle Chang in its list of top five new energy sources currently under development.

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Improving Predictions of How Semiconductors Weather Abuse

Lab scientists at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis have found a way to better predict how thin-film semiconductors weather the harsh conditions in systems that convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into fuel. More>

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Chu Hall Wins American Institute of Architects Honor Award

The San Francisco Chapter of the AIA “appreciated the restraint of the project, beautifully scaled volumes, and incredible attention to framing the landscape. The care and rigor in its design are readily apparent without any sense of preciousness.” Chu Hall houses the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. More>

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Researchers Aim to Put Carbon Dioxide Back to Work

Increasingly, scientists are asking, rather than throwing away or storing CO2, how about recycling some of it? “The grand prize is figuring out how to make CO2 be recyclable, a renewable resource,” said Harry Atwater of the Lab’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, in a recent New York Times article. “That would be a millennial advance for society.” More>

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