Today at Berkeley Lab

Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors Demonstrated

Berkeley Lab reports the first experimental observation of ultrafast charge transfer in photo-excited MX2 materials, the graphene-like two-dimensional semiconductors. Charge transfer time clocked in at under 50 femtoseconds, comparable to the fastest times recorded for organic photovoltaics. More>

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Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals

Lab researchers have recorded the first direct observations of how facets form and develop on platinum nanocubes in solution, pointing the way towards more sophisticated and effective nanocrystal design and revealing that a nearly 150 year-old scientific law describing crystal growth breaks down at the nanoscale. More>

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NMR Using Earth’s Magnetic Field

Lab researchers carried out a proof-of-concept NMR experiment using a high-sensitivity magnetometer and a magnetic field comparable to that of the Earth. More>

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Watching Schrödinger’s Cat Die

[Huffington Post] If you put a cat inside an opaque box and make his life dependent on a random event, … More»

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Bottling Up Sound Waves

Materials scientists have developed a technique for generating acoustic bottles in open air that can bend the paths of sound waves along prescribed convex trajectories. These self-bending bottle beams hold promise for ultrasonic imaging and therapy, acoustic cloaking, and levitation and particle manipulation. More>

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Tiny Laser Sensor Heightens Bomb Detection Sensitivity

A team of researchers led by Materials Sciences Director Xiang Zhang has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. The researchers noted that the sensor could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists. More>

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Roadblock to More Efficient Solar Cells Cleared

Lab researchers have developed the first ab initio method — meaning a theoretical model free of adjustable or empirical parameters — for characterizing the properties of “hot carriers” in semiconductors. More>

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Not Much Force: Smallest Force Ever Measured Detected

Researchers have detected the smallest force ever measured – approximately 42 yoctonewtons – using a unique optical trapping system that provides ultracold atoms. A yoctonewton is one septillionth of a newton. More>

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Frances Hellman Appointed Dean of UC Berkeley’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division

Berkeley Lab materials sciences researcher will oversees five departments in the division, part of the College of Letters & Sciences. More>

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10 Questions for MSD’s Alice Muller-Egan

Her science hero? Whoever invented microwave popcorn. Among her favorite activities? Going to Fentons ice cream parlor. Go here to check out the rest of her answers.

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