Today at Berkeley Lab

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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Materials Scientists Discover ‘Chiral Phonons’

A research team has found the first evidence that a shaking motion in the structure of an atomically thin material possesses a naturally occurring circular rotation that could become the building block for a new form of information technology and molecular-scale machines. More>

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Glass-Into-Solar Panels Research Featured on ABC7 News Broadcast

A team of researchers led by the Lab’s Peidong Yang has made a significant breakthrough in the development of photovoltaic windows, which collect solar energy to produce electricity while automatically adjusting their tint according to how hot the weather is. Go here to watch the broadcast.

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Rethinking How the Elderly Break Their Bones

A commonly held belief is that bone breaks in the elderly are due to the massive impact of falls. But taking a page from the field of mechanical engineering, researchers think the falls may actually be caused by micro-cracks that grow over time under repeated loading. Lab materials scientist Robert Ritchie co-authored a study looking at this phenomenon. More>

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New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

Scientists who are members of a new energy materials-related science center based at Berkeley Lab have solved a mystery that could lead to gains in efficiency for organic solar cells. They pinpointed the source of an ultrafast and efficient process that spawns several carriers of electrical charge from a single particle of light in organic crystals. More>

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Material Allow Solar Windows to Block Heat and Generate Electricity

In a promising development for smart photovoltaic windows, researchers led by Peidong Yang have developed a perovskite solar window that can produce electricity while switching back and forth between opaque and crystalline states, depending on how hot the weather is. The transitions occur seamlessly, without sacrificing performance, as prior technologies did. More>

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A New Metacanvas for Metamaterials

Berkeley Lab materials scientists Junqiao Wu and Jie Yao asked themselves how it might be possible to create metamaterial devices that could be erased and written over again — like an Etch A Sketch drawing toy — to quickly yield a quite-different device. Wu proposed that an Etch A Sketch-like screen could be made from a film of vanadium dioxide just 200 nanometers thick. More>

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University of Hong Kong Appoints Xiang Zhang as Vice Chancellor

Lab materials scientist Xiang Zhang has been appointed the 16th president and vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong. The five-year appointment was announced Dec. 15 by the University of Hong Kong. Zhang served as director of the Materials Sciences Division from 2014 to 2016. Zhang is recognized for his leading research in nanophotonics, nanoengineering, and metamaterials. More>

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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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