Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab’s Alivisatos, Alvarez to Address Symposium Honoring Steven Chu

Former Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and Laboratory Chief Information Officer Rosio Alvarez are among those scheduled to speak at a symposium celebrating Steven Chu’s 70th birthday. A Nobel Prize winner, Chu formerly served as Berkeley Lab director and U.S. Secretary of Energy. The event takes place Saturday, May 19, at Stanford University. More>

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Imaging the Effects of Substrate Strain on Magnetic Microstructures

One way to control magnetization in ultralow-power devices is to grow a ferromagnetic thin film on a piezoelectric substrate. How does the electrically induced strain in the substrate influence the thin-film magnetization? At the Advanced Light Source, researchers were able to image the magnetic behavior at the microscale and correlate it with the piezo-strain driving it. More>

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In Pursuit of Perfect Chemistry: A Vision for Unifying Catalysis

Several fields of research have sprung up around the chemical drivers, called catalysts, at work in many industrial processes — including those that boost the production of fuels, fertilizers, and foods — and there is a growing interest in coordinating these research activities to create new, hybrid catalysts with enhanced performance. More>

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Lab’s Miquel Salmeron Explains Why Ice Is Slippery on Podcast

Miquel Salmeron, with the Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, provides some answers to this centuries-old scientific debate on a recent episode of the “Every Little Thing” podcast. The program is a factual answering service, specializing in small questions. Another expert’s answer to the question “How are underwater tunnels built?” is included in the same episode as Salmeron’s answer. More>

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Valleytronics Discovery Could Pack More Power Into Future Microchips

Research recently published in Nature Communications finds useful new information-handling potential in samples of tin(II) sulfide (SnS), a candidate “valleytronics” transistor material that might one day enable chipmakers to pack more computing power onto microchips. More>

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New Technology Could Wean the Battery World Off Cobalt

Lithium batteries use more than 50 percent of all cobalt produced globally. About half of the world’s cobalt comes from the Congo, where it’s largely hand-mined, in some instances by children. Now, a team — including the Lab’s Gerbrand Ceder — has opened the door to using other metals for lithium-based batteries. Watch a video on this research. More>

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Atomically Thin, Light-Emitting Device Opens Door for ‘Invisible’ Displays

Berkeley researchers — including Lab materials scientist Ali Javey — have built a bright light-emitting device that is millimeters wide and fully transparent when turned off. The device opens the door to invisible displays that would be bright when turned on but see-through when turned off. More>

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Berkeley Lab Scientists Print All-Liquid 3-D Structures

Scientists have developed a way to print 3-D structures composed entirely of liquids. Using a modified 3-D printer, they injected threads of water into silicone oil — sculpting tubes made of one liquid within another liquid. This marks an important first step toward liquid electronics. More>

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Researchers Create a Protein ‘Mat’ That Can Soak Up Pollution

In a breakthrough that could lead to a new class of materials with functions found only in living systems, researchers — including Lab materials scientist Ting Xu —have figured out a way to keep certain proteins active outside the cell. The technology was used to create mats that can soak up and trap chemical pollution. More>

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Elias Sebti Is Taking Charge of Battery Power

A recent Daily Californian article featured Elias Sebti, a UC Berkeley student and Berkeley Lab materials sciences researcher. Sebti analyzes different compositions of cells in order to determine their stability, durability and capability as a power source. He and his colleagues are working toward a cheaper, stronger lithium-ion battery. More>

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