Today at Berkeley Lab

Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion

Lab scientists have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies tackling the challenge of creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use. More>

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Postdoc Appreciation Week: 10 Things to Know About Tetiana Shalapska

A researcher with the Materials Sciences Division, Shalapska is from a city full of lions, thinks life is like a box of chocolates, is a cheesecake afficianado, and is the baby of the family despite having a younger brother. Go here to learn more about Tetiana Shalapska. Read about postdoc Hang Deng tomorrow. Are there 10 things we should know about you or a colleague? Send email here.

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Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, scientists at Berkeley Lab have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel. More>

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Liang Wu Receives Michelson Postdoctoral Prize

Liang Wu, a postdoc in the Materials Sciences Division, has been awarded the 2017 Michelson Postdoctoral Prize for his experimental studies of topological materials. The award is named after America’s first Nobel Laureate in science, Albert Michelson. Wu was in residence at Case Western Reserve University and delivered the annual Michelson Prize lectures. More>

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Hints From Hemoglobin Lead to Better Carbon Monoxide Storage

Carbon monoxide is an insidious poison because it loves the iron in our blood. This affinity for iron comes in handy in a newly created material that can absorb carbon monoxide far better than other materials, with potential applications in industrial processes like syngas production, where CO is a key player, and reactions where CO is an unwanted contaminant. More>

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Michael Crommie and Alex Zettl Highlighted in DOE Blog

Electrons move through graphene more than 100 times faster than they do through silicon, but graphene is still difficult to use in modern electronics because it lacks a bandgap to direct where and when electrons flow. In this Aug. 30 article, the DOE’s Office of Science featured the efforts of Materials Sciences researchers Michael Crommie (far left) and Alex Zettl to get graphene’s electron traffic under control. More>

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‘Cyborg’ Bacteria Deliver Green Fuel Source From Sunlight

Cyborg bugs that create potential fuels and plastics have been created by Berkeley Lab materials scientist Peidong Yang. The bugs are bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate the chemicals from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. Researchers have been attempting to artificially replicate photosynthesis for many years. More>

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A Semiconductor That Can Beat the Heat

A newly discovered collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor blocks most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity – a rare pairing that scientists say could reduce heat buildup in electronic devices and turbine engines, among other possible applications. More>

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New Light-Activated Catalyst Grabs CO2 to Make Ingredients for Fuel

Scientists have created a “spongy,” light-activated material that converts carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can be further turned into liquid fuels and other useful products without generating unwanted byproducts. This development could help mitigate levels of a potent greenhouse gas while generating solar-powered fuel. More>

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Alivisatos Named UC Berkeley Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Paul Alivisatos, an internationally renowned chemist and UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for research, has been chosen to serve as the campus’s new executive vice chancellor and provost, effective immediately. Alivisatos is a Berkeley Lab materials scientist and former Lab director. More>

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