Today at Berkeley Lab

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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Solar Energy Breakthrough Could Drop Consumer Price

New semiconductors manufacturing method could make solar power competitive with fossil fuels. More>

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Manipulating and Detecting Ultrahigh Frequency Sound Waves

Researchers demonstrate advance in controlling nano-scale vibrations at 10 GHz. More>

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Producing Hyperpolarized Xenon Gas on a Microfluidic Chip

New devices will be smaller, cheaper and more portable. More>

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Researchers Create Nanoparticle Thin Films That Self-Assemble in One Minute

What used to take scientists hours to form can now be done in one minute. More>

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Evolution of a Bimetallic Nanocatalyst

Development could help improve the way fuels and chemicals are synthesized from natural gas, coal, or plant biomass. More>

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