Today at Berkeley Lab

Watching a Quantum Material Lose Its Stripes

In quantum materials, periodic stripe patterns can be formed by electrons coupled with lattice distortions. To capture the extremely fast dynamics of how such atomic-scale stripes melt and form, Berkeley Lab scientists used femtosecond-scale laser pulses at terahertz frequencies. Along the way, they found some unexpected behavior. More>

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Solid-State Magnesium Battery a Big Step Closer

Gerd Ceder calls it a “holy grail” for batteries, and now a team he led for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) has gotten closer: They discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step toward making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe. More>

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Mark Asta Appointed Materials Sciences Division Director

After an international search, Mark Asta has been named Materials Sciences Division Director. His new appointment will begin on Jan. 1, 2018. For the past seven years, Asta has served as a faculty scientist in the Materials Sciences Division. He is also a professor of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at UC Berkeley, and since 2012, has served as MSE Department Chair. More>

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IEEE Awards for Yablonovitch and Budinger

Materials scientist Eli Yablonovitch received the Edison Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his work in photonics, semiconductor lasers, and solar cells. Bioscientist Thomas Budinger received the Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology for his pioneering contributions to tomographic radiotracer imaging. Go here to read more about the IEEE Awards.

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Two Lab-Affiliated Researchers in Forbes ‘30 Under 30 in Science’ List

Two Lab-affiliated researchers, Aaron Meisner of the Physics Division and Liang Wu of the Materials Sciences Division, were recognized in the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 In Science list. Meisner works on the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) project. Wu was recognized for his research on topological materials. More>

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Can Nanoscience Quench a Thirsty World?

The Kavli Foundation recently conducted a roundtable discussion on the use of nanotechnology to provide safe, plentiful, and affordable drinking water where it is scarcest. Among the panelists was the Lab’s Omar Yaghi, who has developed nanomaterials that make it possible to capture water from desert air. Yaghi is the co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute. More>

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Scientists Harness Ultrafast Magnetism for Low-Power Memory

Lab researchers developed a method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals at much higher speeds than the magnetic random access memory (MRAM) currently on the market. This could lead to non-volatile, energy-efficient computer memory without sacrificing speed. More>

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Lab Reports Major Progress in Realizing New Type of Lithium Cathode

A team of researchers led by materials scientist Gerbrand Ceder reports major progress in cathodes made with so-called “disordered” materials, a promising new type of lithium battery. The co-authors of the papers published this month in Nature Communications and Physical Review Letters include Alex Urban (MSD), Wanli Yang (ALS), and Bryan McCloskey (ETA). More>

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Injecting Electrons Jolts 2-D Structure into New Atomic Pattern

The same electrostatic charge that makes your hair stand on end could be an efficient method to drive atomically thin electronic memory devices of the future. Scientists have found a way to reversibly change the atomic structure of a 2-D material by injecting it with electrons. The process uses far less energy than current methods for changing the configuration of a material’s structure. More>

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Scientists Use Nanoparticle Supersoap to Create ‘Bijel,’ Potential Sculptable Liquid

A new type of “bijel” created by Berkeley Lab scientists could one day lead to applications in soft robotics, liquid circuitry, and energy conversion. Bijels hold promise as a malleable liquid that can support catalytic reactions and electrical conductivity, among other functions, but before this new work at Berkeley Lab, they had been notoriously difficult to make. More>

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