Today at Berkeley Lab

Twisting 3-D Raceway for Electrons in Nanoscale Crystal Slices Found

Researchers have observed, for the first time, an exotic 3-D racetrack for electrons in ultrathin slices of a tiny crystal they made at Berkeley Lab. The team witnessed a unique behavior in which electrons rotate around one surface, then through the bulk of the material to its opposite surface and back. More>

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A Conscious Coupling of Magnetic and Electric Materials

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Cornell University have successfully paired ferroelectric and ferrimagnetic materials so that their alignment can be controlled with a small electric field at near room temperatures. The achievement could open doors to ultra low-power microprocessors, storage devices and next-generation electronics. More>

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Nanoscale Tetrapods Could Provide Early Warning of a Material’s Failure

Light-emitting, four-armed nanocrystals could someday form the basis of an early warning system in structural materials by revealing microscopic cracks that portend failure. The approach could be a big step towards self-healing materials, and the tetrapods could potentially be used to detect the presence of cancer cells in tissue samples. More>

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Maker Movement Turns Scientists into Tinkerers

“Makers” is a word that evokes tinkerers and hobbyists, yet many scientists have begun to embrace the build-it-yourself ethos to advance their research in a variety of fields, including energy, transportation, neuroscience and consumer electronics. Scientists at national labs — such as Berkeley Lab’s Ron Zuckermann (left) — are also getting creative with maker technologies. More>

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MSD’s Ceder Honored by Materials Research Society

Materials scientist Gerbrand Ceder has been awarded the Materials Theory Award from the Materials Research Society. Ceder was recognized for developments in creating the field of computationally guided materials design, including the prediction of functional, thermodynamic and kinetic properties, their integration with experiments, and the field of high-throughput computation.

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Gerbrand Ceder Participates in Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Battery Research

On Sept. 1, Gerbrand Ceder of the Materials Sciences Division participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session, in which he answered more than 50 questions submitted by Reddit users on topics ranging from trends in battery research, to energy storage and renewables, to getting started in materials science. Go here to view the AMA.

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A New Way to Display the 3-D Structure of Molecules

Researchers have created a sort of nanoscale display case that enables new atomic-scale views of hard-to-study chemical and biological samples. Their work could help to reveal new structural details for a range of challenging molecules, such as complex chemical compounds and potentially new drugs, by stabilizing them inside metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). More>

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DOE to Invest $16 Million in Computer Design of Materials

Berkeley Lab is one of two teams receiving grants to develop sophisticated and user-friendly, open-source software that captures the essential physics of relevant systems and can be used by the broader research community and industry to accelerate the design of new functional materials. Steven Louie will lead the Lab team, using NERSC supercomputers. More>

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Fadley is Honorary Member of International Scientific Committee

Materials scientist Charles Fadley of the Materials Sciences Division has been elected as an honorary member of the International Scientific Committee of the International Vacuum Ultraviolet and X-Ray Physics Conferences. Fadley was recognized for contributions to the development of photoelectron spectroscopy, diffraction and holography worldwide.

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Startup Converts Exhaust Heat into Clean, Renewable Power

CEO Matt Scullin co-founded startup Alphabet Energy in 2009 with Peidong Yang, materials science and chemistry professor at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab. In a Berkeley Engineer magazine story, Alphabet was noted for “producing the most efficient thermoelectric devices ever made for waste-heat recovery.” More>

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