Today at Berkeley Lab

Studies Find Significant Declines in Price of Rooftop, Utility-Scale Solar

The price of solar energy in the United States continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports produced by the Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Installed prices for residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2013 fell by roughly $0.70 per watt (W) or 12 to 15 percent from the prior year. More>

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Validating Computer-Designed Proteins for Vaccines

Computationally designed proteins that accurately mimic key viral structures can help produce better vaccines. The resulting protein structures, validated at the Advanced Light Source, encourage the further development of this strategy for a variety of vaccine targets, including HIV and influenza. More>

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Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers

Materials scientists believe they have uncovered the secret behind the unusual optoelectronic properties of single atomic layers of TMDC materials, the two-dimensional semiconductors that hold great promise for nanoelectronic and photonic applications. More>

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Advanced Light Source Sets Microscopy Record

Researchers at the ALS used “soft” X-rays to image structures only five nanometers in size. This resolution is the highest ever achieved with X-ray microscopy and may have ushered in a new era for nanoscale imaging. More>

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New Insights on Calcium Carbonate Formation Could Aid Carbon-Storage

Researchers have used a high-powered electron microscope to capture the birth of calcium carbonate crystals, one earth most important and abundant molecules. In doing so, they’ve demonstrated that pathways to different types of crystallization are varied and more complex than suspected. More>

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A Metallic Alloy That is Tough and Ductile at Cryogenic Temperatures

A multi-element high‐entropy alloy not only tests out as one of the toughest materials on record, but, unlike most materials, the toughness as well as the strength and ductility of this alloy actually improves at cryogenic temperatures. More>

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Lab Licenses Boron Nitride Nanotube Technology

Nearly 20 years ago Alex Zettl synthesized this never-seen-before material, the strongest, lightest, most thermally conducting, and most chemically resistant fiber known to exist. Now a startup has licensed this technology with the aim of manufacturing boron nitride nanotubes for commercial use. More>

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For the Birds: The Magic of Color in Feathers

The beauty and wild colors of bird feathers are derived from the combinations of relatively few molecules. Research at the Advanced Light Source shows that the expression of colors (or melanin), depends on the proportion of the molecules. More>

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A New Route to Novel Family of Biomimetic Materials

Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have developed peptoid nanosheets that form at the interface between oil and water, opening the door to increased structural complexity and chemical functionality for a broad range of applications. More>

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Cool Roofs in China Can Save Energy and Reduce Emissions

Working with Chinese researchers, the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab has conducted the first comprehensive study of cool roofs in China and concluded that they would be effective in substantially reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in climate zones with hot summers. More>

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