Today at Berkeley Lab

Bringing Atomic Mapping to the Mainstream

Mapping the internal atomic structure of nanoparticles just got easier thanks to a new computer algorithm and graphical user interface. The advancement brings a new tool to the field of electron tomography that may expand the usefulness of techniques used to assemble detailed 3-D images by scanning them with a beam of electrons. More>

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X-Ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

Lab scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available. The research could lead to new innovations, such as sensors that can diagnose disease or detect contaminants. More>

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Big Bang, the Movie…Thanks to New Computing Breakthrough

In a new approach to enable scientific breakthroughs, researchers at Argonne National Lab and the University of Illinois linked together supercomputers to transfer massive amounts of data to run two different types of demanding computations in a coordinated fashion. This is particularly useful for cosmology simulations. NERSC is among the facilities assisting with this research. More>

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Formation of a Photovoltaic Material from Precursor to Crystal

Lead halide perovskites have emerged as high-performance photovoltaic materials, with efficiencies skyrocketing from 3.8% to 22.1% in just seven years. At the Advanced Light Source, the ability to “print” thin films of this material from solution and observe changes in morphology during drying provides new insights into the relationship between device efficiency, perovskite crystallinity, and film morphology. More>

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Hybrid LED Phosphors Combine Performance and Durability

Conventional lightbulbs are gradually being replaced by longer-lasting, energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs). However, white LEDs currently rely on phosphor materials doped with rare-earth elements (REEs) that are increasingly costly and in short supply. At the Advanced Light Source, researchers studied a promising new class of hybrid phosphor materials that shows promise as REE-free alternatives. More>

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DOE’s 40 Years of Research: When the ‘Big Bang’ Became a Household Phrase

In this latest installment of the Department of Energy’s 40th anniversary celebration, the Office of Science commemorates astrophysicist George Smoot’s landmark 1992 paper, “Structure in the COBE Differential Microwave Radiometer First-Year Maps,” which presented a monumental discovery that won the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics and turned the Big Bang into a household phrase.

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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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‘Tug of War’ Among Skin Cells Key to Development of Chicken Feathers

Biological Systems and Engineering’s Sanjay Kumar and Elena Kassianidou, a graduate student in his lab, co-authored a study in the journal Science that for the first time linked mechanical forces acting on skin cells in a developing organism to the activation of specific genes that make the cells differentiate into specialized types, such as feathers. More>

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Scientists Fine-Tune System to Create ‘Syngas’ from CO2

Scientists have developed a new recipe for creating synthesis gas mixtures, or syngas, that involves adding a pinch of copper atoms sprinkled atop a gold surface. The new electrocatalysis supports a room-temperature electrochemical reaction that can convert carbon dioxide and water into syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and an important precursor in the production of chemicals and synthetic fuels. More>

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Scientists Bring Visual ‘Magic’ to Light

Scientists from Magic Leap Inc. and Berkeley Lab have developed new, versatile ways to manipulate light with two types of silicon-based ultrathin optical components. More>

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