Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Materials Scientists Work to Concoct the Bluest Blue Ever Created

A group of UC Berkeley students, including the Lab’s Arunima Balan and Joseph Swabeck, are working with an artist-in-residence on campus to engineer a new pigment of blue, called “Quantum Blue.” The project offers the opportunity to introduce nanoscientific principles in an accessible way to a broader audience. “People can relate to art,” Balan says. “People cannot relate to quantum dots.” More>

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Graphene-Based Catalyst Improves Peroxide Production

Hydrogen peroxide does more than lighten hair color and remove stains. It’s an important commodity chemical with a growing demand in many areas, including the electronics industry, paper recycling, and wastewater treatment. Researchers have used the Advanced Light Source to characterize a carbon-based material that makes the production of hydrogen peroxide more selective, efficient, and cost effective. More>

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Joint Center for Energy Storage Research Wins Secretary of Energy Achievement Award

Rick Perry has awarded a Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award to the scientific and operational leadership team for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). The center seeks to develop high-performance, low-cost energy storage technologies for transportation and the electric grid. The award-winning team includes Berkeley Lab researchers Nitash Balsara, Gerbrand Ceder, and Kristin Persson. More>

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New Insights into Semiconductors for Spintronic Applications

Spintronics holds promise for new types of information-processing and data-storage devices that are faster and more energy efficient than current electronics. Manganese-doped gallium arsenide are a promising material for spintronics, and Lab researchers have demonstrated the use of new X-ray spectroscopy techniques to illuminate the internal structure of manganese-doped gallium arsenide. More>

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Getting a Charge Out of MOFs

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have made a metal organic framework (MOF) with the highest electron charge mobilities ever observed, along with a technique to improve the conductivity of other MOFs. To work around MOFs’ inherently low electrical conductivity, the researchers added a potassium chemical mix to an iron benzenedipyrazolate MOF. More>

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Long-Sought Carbon Structure Joins Graphene, Fullerene Family

The discovery of buckyballs delighted chemists in the 1980s, nanotubes jazzed physicists in the 1990s, and graphene charged materials scientists in the 2000s, but one nanoscale carbon structure – a negatively curved surface called a schwarzite – has eluded everyone. Until now, thanks to work by Berend Smit. Schwarzites are predicted to have unique electrical and storage properties for use as battery electrodes and catalysts. More>

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Tying Electrons Down With Nanoribbons

Scientists cut a strip of graphene – less than one ten-thousandth the width of a human hair – and found it had new properties. This strip, known as a nanoribbon, could be a potential alternative to silicon semiconductors. The researchers in this study are with the Lab’s Materials Sciences Division. More>

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Scientists ‘Squeeze’ Nanocrystals Into a Solid-Like State – Then Reverse the Process

A team led by scientists at Berkeley Lab found a way to make a liquid-like state behave more like a solid – then reverse it. A droplet of a liquid containing iron oxide nanocrystals, put into an oily liquid containing tiny polymer strands, results in a tiny tug of war on nanoparticles at the intersection of the liquids. More>

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Berkeley Lab Quantum Science EFRC Receives DOE Funding

A new Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) led by Berkeley Lab is among 42 EFRC projects to collectively receive $100 million in funding from the DOE. The Center for Novel Pathways to Quantum Coherence in Materials will build on unique Lab capabilities and expertise in quantum materials and quantum coherence to develop new approaches to quantum information science and technology. More>

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Eugene Haller, Leading Expert in Semiconductor Materials, Dies at 75

Eugene Haller — the founder of the Electronic Materials Program at Berkeley Lab — passed away on June 22 at the age of 75. He was a highly regarded leader in the field of semiconductor materials. Haller’s career spanned more than 30 years, and during that time, he emerged as one of the scientific pioneers redefining the field of materials science and engineering to include semiconductors. More>

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