Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for July 2013

Researchers Discover Universal Law for Light Absorption in 2D Semiconductors

Ali Javey and Eli Yablonovitch of the Materials Sciences Division led the discovery of a universal law of light absorption for 2D semiconductors that not only provides new insight into the optical properties of these materials, but should also open doors to exotic new optoelectronic and photonic technologies. Working at the Advanced Light Source with indium arsenide, they discovered a quantum unit of photon absorption, dubbed “AQ,” of approximately 1.7-percent as absorption steps up from one energy band to the next. Also on this study were Hui Fang, Hans Bechtel, Elena Plis, Michael Martin and Sanjay Krishna. More>

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India’s Economic Times Highlights US Research Collaborations

[The Economic Times of India] Vice-president Joe Biden wasn’t joking when he said that India and the US have more science and technology partnerships between them than any other two countries. A dialogue that had begun quietly seven years ago has recently blossomed into a substantial research collaboration involving roughly 100 institutions and nearly 1,000 scientists. The Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre (JCERDC) is now developing next-generation energy and building technologies. Within that is the U.S.-India Joint Center for Building Energy Research and Development (CBERD) led by Berkeley Lab. More>

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JCAP’s Alexandra Krawicz Receives Young Investigator Award

Alexandra Krawicz — a postdoctoral researcher working with Physical Biosciences Division principal investigator Gary Moore at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) — was presented with a Photochemistry Gordon Research Conference Young Investigator Award at the 2013 meeting held in Easton Massachusetts. Krawicz was recognized for her research efforts on interfacing noble-metal-free fuel production catalysts to visible-light-absorbing semiconductors. Her presentation at the meeting titled, “Photochemically Active Cobaloxime-Modified Electrodes,” described work recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The research provides a viable route to developing an integrated photocathode material for use in a solar-fuels generator.

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Public Affairs Honored by BSO’s Aundra Richards, Lab Senior Leadership

Aundra Richards, head of the DOE site office for Berkeley Lab, was joined by Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and other senior leaders on Monday to laud the efforts of the Public Affairs Office. Public Affairs Head Jeff Miller (center) accepted a special plaque on behalf of his staff, which includes communications, state and community government relations, education outreach, and creative services. Two Public Affairs staffers, Pam Patterson (right) and Phil Butler, received special recognition for their creation of exhibits and multimedia displays for the Building 50 lobby.

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Summer Softball League Week Four Scores and Standings

SUDZ beat EETD 10-0
Rated X beat Ballpark Estimates 15-5
Small Ball beat NERSC 13-5
Animals beat Clone Warriors 17-0

1. Rated X 4-0
2. Animals 3-1
3. Small Ball 3-1
4. SUDZ 2-1-1
5. NERSC 2-2
6. Ballpark Estimates 1-2-1
7.Clone Warriors 0-4
7. EETD 0-4

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Home Energy Saver Site Featured in NBC Story Offering Tips for Consumers

U.S. consumers spend a collective $241 billion on home energy use every year — keeping the home comfortable, the lights lit, the food cold, the clothes clean and the gadgets charged, according to Evan Mills, who leads the Home Energy Saver project at Lab. The fuel burned to provide this energy pumps 1.2 billion tons of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Mills says improvements in efficiency could cut home energy use by more than half, leading to lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint. More>

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Range Hood, Indoor Air Quality Research Makes a News Splash

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Research by scientists in the Environmental Energy Technologies indoor air quality group has shown that hazardous levels of pollutants can be created by cooking, and that range hoods are an important tool in combating these toxins. Problem is, range hood performance varies widely. This story struck a chord with various news organizations, with stories running on KQED and WNYC radio stations, and NBC Bay Area television news program (which produced video above).

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New Portal Provides Family Friendly Resources for Employees

The Women Scientists and Engineers Council and the Diversity and Inclusion Office have created a new web portal that brings together a variety of family-friendly resources for Lab employees. The site, called “MyFamily at LBNL,” includes information on such topics as the Lab’s back-up care program, family-related policies, health and nutrition, nursing mothers, commuting, and telecommuting. The site will be updated as new resources emerge. Suggestions for additional content can be sent here.

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After Sea and Land Journey, Muon Magnet Finally Arrives at Fermilab

On June 22, a 50-foot-wide electromagnet ring departed Brookhaven National Lab in New York to make a sea-and-land journey to Fermilab in Illinois. After traveling 3,200 miles down the Atlantic coast, along the Gulf coast and up a series of rivers, it finally arrived at Lemont Port on Saturday, July 20. It then began the first of three night journeys through the Chicago suburbs, traveling between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to minimize traffic disruption. At 4:09 a.m. on Friday, July 26, the ring arrived at the Fermilab site. More>

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Tetrapod Quantum Dots Light the Way to Stronger Polymers

Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos led a study in which tetrapod quantum dots (tQDs) served as stress probes to measure the tensile strength of polymer fibers with minimal impact on the mechanical properties of the polymers. Introduced into the polymer fibers via electrospinning, these fluorescent tQDs could lead to stronger, self-repairing polymer nanocomposites, and a new way of studying biological cells in motion. Working with Alivisatos on this project were Shilpa Raja, Andrew Olson, Kari Thorkelsson, Andrew Luong, Lillian Hsueh, Guoqing Chang, Bernd Gludovatz, Liwei Lin, Ting Xu, and Robert Ritchie. More>

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