Today at Berkeley Lab

Rediscovering Spontaneous Light Emission

Materials scientist Eli Yablonovitch led a team that used an external optical antenna to greatly enhance the spontaneous emission of light from a semiconductor nanorod. This advance opens the door to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that can replace lasers for short-range optical communications. More>

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Early Stage Work Shows Graphene Could be Used as a Semiconductor

A team of researchers co-led by Berkeley Lab materials scientist Lane Martin has found a way to control the movement and placement of electrons in graphene. The finding represents a significant step forward for graphene as an advanced substitute for silicon in semiconductors and integrated circuits. More>

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A New Pathway to Valleytronics

A potential avenue to quantum computing currently generating buzz in the high-tech industry is “valleytronics,” in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors. Now, a promising new pathway to valleytronic technology has been uncovered by Feng Wang. More>

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What Makes a Hit Song? ‘Hooktheory’ May Hold the Key

Materials scientists Chris Anderson, Ryan Miyakawa, and Dave Carlton (who recently left the Lab) have analyzed the chords and melodies to more than 1,300 sections of popular songs from countless genres and eras. Then, they sifted through the data for patterns and trends, hoping to develop tools allowing aspiring songwriters to follow suit. More>

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Solving an Organic Semiconductor Mystery

Naomi Ginsberg of the Materials Sciences and the Physical Biosciences Divisions led a team that identified the mysterious source of performance issues that can plague organic semiconductors as nanocrystallites in domain interfaces. More>

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Lab Hosts Kavli Symposium on Jan. 15 and 16

This inaugural gathering by the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute brings together noted researchers to explore the basic science of how to capture and channel energy on the molecular or nano-scale. Go here to read a roundtable discussion among Kavli researchers, including Director Alivisatos.

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Manipulating Nanoribbons at the Molecular Level

Nanoribbons exhibit extraordinary properties that make them important candidates for future nanoelectronic technologies. A barrier to exploiting them, however, is the difficulty of controlling their shape at the atomic scale. A new precision approach for synthesizing graphene nanoribbons from pre-designed molecular building blocks has been developed. More>

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Why Natural Materials are so Hard to Copy

The natural world produces high-performing materials that we can only envy: fish scales superior to our best body armor, toucan beaks that are hard and light, seashells that are both strong and tough. Over the last decade biologists and engineers have teamed up to mimic these materials and produce them at industrial scale. More>

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Quantum Dots Leap From Lab to Digital Devices and Beyond

Berkeley Lab’s quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now Paul Alivisatos’ lab is exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications. More>

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Piezoelectricity in a 2D Semiconductor

Xiang Zhang led the first observation of piezoelectricity in a free-standing, two-dimensional semiconductor. The results open a door to low-power off/on switches in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectronic devices, as well as ultrasensitive biosensors, and possibly a new route to “valleytronics.” More>

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