Today at Berkeley Lab

Scientists Push Valleytronics One Step Closer to Reality

Scientists led by Xiang Zhang have taken a big step toward the practical application of
“valleytronics,” a new type of electronics that could lead to faster and more efficient computer
logic systems and data storage chips in next-generation devices. Researchers demonstrated the ability to electrically generate and control valley electrons in a two-dimensional semiconductor. More>

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Revealing the Fluctuations of Flexible DNA in 3-D

Scientists have captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached to gold nanoparticles, which could aid in the use of DNA segments as building blocks for molecular devices that function as nanoscale drug-delivery systems, markers for biological research, and components for electronic devices. More>

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Irfan Siddiqi of Materials Sciences Wins Cal Teaching Award

Five UC Berkeley faculty have been selected as recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award, the campus’s most prestigious honor for teaching. The award recognizes teaching that incites intellectual curiosity in students, engages them thoroughly in the enterprise of learning, and has a lifelong impact. Siddiqi is a professor of physics. More>

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Nature-Inspired Nanotubes That Assemble Themselves With Precision

Lab scientists have discovered a family of nature-inspired polymers that, when placed in water, spontaneously assemble into hollow crystalline nanotubes with a uniform diameter. The research involved the Molecular Foundry’s Ron Zuckermann, Nitash Balsara of the Materials Sciences Division, and Ken Downing of the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. More>

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‘Disruptive Device’ Brings Xenon-NMR to Fragile Materials

Researchers have developed a device that enables NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy, coupled with a powerful molecular sensor, to analyze molecular interactions in viscous solutions and fragile materials such as liquid crystals. More>

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Magnetic Chips Could Dramatically Increase Computing’s Energy Efficiency

Berkeley engineers have shown for the first time that magnetic chips can actually operate at the lowest fundamental energy dissipation theoretically possible under the laws of thermodynamics. Jeffrey Bokor of the Materials Sciences Division is the senior author on this study. More>

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New Fuel-Cell Design Powered by Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals

Lab researchers have developed a new materials recipe for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell that shields the nanocrystals from oxygen, moisture and contaminants while pushing its performance forward in key areas. More>

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Xiang Zhang Wins the Optical Society of America’s Max Born Award

The Optical Society of America has awarded its Max Born Award to Materials Sciences Division Director Xiang Zhang “for the experimental realization of major theoretical predictions in the field of metamaterials and graphene optics.” More>

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New Form of Electron-Beam Imaging Can See ‘Invisible’ Elements

A new Berkeley Lab-developed imaging technique, tested on samples of nanoscale gold and carbon, greatly improves images of light elements using fewer electrons. The technique can reveal structural details for materials that can’t be seen using some traditional methods. More>

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Alivisatos Wins Dan David Prize for Nanoscience Research

The Dan David Foundation, headquartered at Tel Aviv University, awards three prizes annually of $1 million each for outstanding achievements in three time dimensions: past, present and future. Alivisatos shared the “future” prize with Chad Mirkin of Northwestern University and Sir John Pendry of Imperial College London. More>

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