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Scientists Set Record Resolution for Drawing at the One-Nanometer Length Scale

Using a specialized electron microscope outfitted with a pattern generator, scientists turned an imaging instrument into a lithography tool that could be used to create and study materials with new properties.

For First Time, Researchers Measure Forces That Align Crystals and Help Them Snap Together

For the first time, researchers have measured the force that draws tiny crystals together and visualized how they swivel and align. Called van der Waals forces, the attraction provides insights into how crystals self-assemble, an activity that occurs in a wide range of cases in nature, from rocks to shells to bones.

Video Captures Bubble-Blowing Battery in Action

PNNL researchers have created a unique video that shows oxygen bubbles inflating and later deflating inside a tiny lithium-air battery. The knowledge gained from the video could help make lithium-air batteries that are more compact, stable and can hold onto a charge longer.

Study Offers New Theoretical Approach to Describing Non-Equilibrium Phase Transitions

Two physicists at Argonne offered a way to mathematically describe a particular physics phenomenon called a phase transition in a system out of equilibrium. Such phenomena are central in physics, and understanding how they occur has been a long-held and vexing goal; their behavior and related effects are key to unlocking possibilities for new electronics and other next-generation technologies.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Discover New Atomically Layered, Thin Magnet

Berkeley Lab scientists have found an unexpected magnetic property in a 2-D material. The new atomically thin, flat magnet could have major implications for a wide range of applications, such as nanoscale memory, spintronic devices, and magnetic sensors.

Stabilizing Molecule Could Pave Way for Lithium-Air Fuel Cell

Lithium-oxygen fuel cells boast energy density levels comparable to fossil fuels and are thus seen as a promising candidate for future transportation-related energy needs.

Scientists Identify Chemical Causes of Battery "Capacity Fade"

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory identified one of the major culprits in capacity fade of high-energy lithium-ion batteries.

Modeling Reveals How Policy Affects the Adoption of Solar Energy Photovoltaics in California

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, inspired by efforts to promote green energy, are exploring the factors driving commercial customers in Southern California, both large and small, to purchase and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. As the group reports this week in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, they built a model for commercial solar PV adoption to quantify the impact of government incentives and solar PV costs.

Machine Learning Dramatically Streamlines Search for More Efficient Chemical Reactions

A catalytic reaction may follow thousands of possible paths, and it can take years to identify which one it actually takes so scientists can tweak it and make it more efficient. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have taken a big step toward cutting through this thicket of possibilities.

Freezing Lithium Batteries May Make Them Safer and Bendable

Columbia Engineering Professor Yuan Yang has developed a new method that could lead to lithium batteries that are safer, have longer battery life, and are bendable, providing new possibilities such as flexible smartphones. His new technique uses ice-templating to control the structure of the solid electrolyte for lithium batteries that are used in portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-level energy storage. The study is published online April 24 in Nano Letters.


OU Engineering Professor Receives National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award

A University of Oklahoma Gallogly College of Engineering professor, Steven P. Crossley, is the recipient of a five-year, National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award in the amount of $548,829 for research that can be used to understand catalysts that are important for a broad range of chemical reactions ranging from the production of renewable fuels and chemicals for natural gas processing. The research will be integrated with educational and outreach programs intended for American Indian students, emphasizing the importance of sustainable energy.

3 Small Energy Firms to Collaborate with PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is collaborating with three small businesses to address technical challenges concerning hydrogen for fuel cell cars, bio-coal and nanomaterial manufacturing.

ORNL to Collaborate with Five Small Businesses to Advance Energy Tech

Five small companies have been selected to partner with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to move technologies in commercial refrigeration systems, water power generation, bioenergy and battery manufacturing closer to the marketplace.

U.S. Department of Energy's INCITE Program Seeks Advanced Computational Research Proposals for 2018

The Department of Energy's INCITE program will be accepting proposals for high-impact, computationally intensive research campaigns in a broad array of science, engineering, and computer science domains.

New Berkeley Lab Project Turns Waste Heat to Electricity

A new Berkeley Lab project seeks to efficiently capture waste heat and convert it to electricity, potentially saving California up to $385 million per year. With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission, Berkeley Lab scientists will work with Alphabet Energy to create a cost-effective thermoelectric waste heat recovery system.

New SLAC Theory Institute Aims to Speed Research on Exotic Materials at Light Sources

A new institute at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is using the power of theory to search for new types of materials that could revolutionize society - by making it possible, for instance, to transmit electricity over power lines with no loss.

Lenvio Inc. Exclusively Licenses ORNL Malware Behavior Detection Technology

Virginia-based Lenvio Inc. has exclusively licensed a cyber security technology from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly detect malicious behavior in software not previously identified as a threat.

Argonne Scientist and Nobel Laureate Alexei Abrikosov Dies at 88

Alexei Abrikosov, an acclaimed physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory who received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on superconducting materials, died Wednesday, March 29. He was 88.

Jefferson Lab Accomplishes Critical Milestones Toward Completion of 12 GeV Upgrade

The Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has achieved two major commissioning milestones and is now entering the final stretch of work to conclude its first major upgrade. Recently, the CEBAF accelerator delivered electron beams into two of its experimental halls, Halls B and C, at energies not possible before the upgrade for commissioning of the experimental equipment currently in each hall. Data were recorded in each hall, which were then confirmed to be of sufficient quality to allow for particle identification, a primary indicator of good detector operation.

Valerie Taylor Named Argonne National Laboratory's Mathematics and Computer Science Division Director

Computer scientist Valerie Taylor has been appointed as the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science division at Argonne, effective July 3, 2017.


Uncrowded Coils

A new fast and robust algorithm for computing stellarator coil shapes yields designs that are easier to build and maintain.

Fast Electrons and the Seeds of Disruption

Physicists measured fast electron populations. They achieved this first-of-its-kind result by seeing the effect of the fast electrons on the ablation rate of small frozen argon pellets.

Plasma Turbulence Generates Flow in Fusion Reactors

Heating the core of fusion reactors causes them to develop sheared rotation that can improve plasma performance.

The Roadmap to Quark Soup

Scientists discover new signposts in the quest to determine how matter from the early universe turned into the world we know today.

Neutrons Play the Lead to Protons in Dance Around "Double-Magic" Nucleus

Electric and magnetic properties of a radioactive atom provide unique insight into the nature of proton and neutron motion.

Ultrafast Imaging Reveals the Electron's New Clothes

Scientists use high-speed electrons to visualize "dress-like" distortions in the atomic lattice. This work reveals the vital role of electron-lattice interactions in manganites. This material could be used in data-storage devices with increased data density and reduced power requirements.

One Small Change Makes Solar Cells More Efficient

For years, scientists have explored using tiny drops of designer materials, called quantum dots, to make better solar cells. Adding small amounts of manganese decreases the ability of quantum dots to absorb light but increases the current produced by an average of 300%.

Electronic "Cyclones" at the Nanoscale

Through highly controlled synthesis, scientists controlled competing atomic forces to let spiral electronic structures form. These polar vortices can serve as a precursor to new phenomena in materials. The materials could be vital for ultra-low energy electronic devices.

In a Flash! A New Way for Making Ceramics

A new process controllably but instantly consolidates ceramic parts, potentially important for manufacturing.

Deciphering Material Properties at the Single-Atom Level

Scientists determine the precise location and identity of all 23,000 atoms in a nanoparticle.


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Tuesday March 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

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Great Neck South High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab

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Middle Schoolers Test Their Knowledge at Science Bowl Competition

Argonne National Laboratory

Friday January 27, 2017, 04:00 PM

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

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University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

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Sunshine, Biofuel & the Tides, Oh My!

Article ID: 596854

Released: 2012-12-04 14:00:00

Source Newsroom: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    At today’s American Geophysical Union meeting, PNNL’s Chuck Long will discuss how he and his colleagues are using total/diffuse pyranometers (instrument pictured on the table, to the right) to measure solar radiation and use that data to predict when solar power production will ramp up or down. Pictured here is Long’s colleague on the project, Laura Riihimaki.

Media contact: Franny White, franny.white@pnnl.gov, 509-375-6904

SAN FRANCISCO - Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will present a variety of alternative energy-related research at the 2012 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, which runs Monday, Dec. 3 through Friday, Dec. 7 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Topics to be discussed include improving solar power forecasting, measuring the resources needed to grow algae for biofuel and predicting the environmental impacts of ocean energy. Summaries of some of PNNL’s noteworthy presentations are below.

Forecasting clouds to improve solar power

The sun’s fleeting nature has limited our ability to turn sunshine into electricity. While we can easily foretell when the sun will rise and fall each day, predicting the intermittent daytime shading created by continually morphing clouds is much more difficult. Repeated appearing and disappearing acts by clouds lead to large fluctuations in solar power generation, which makes balancing supply and demand on the power grid a challenge. But now PNNL scientists propose using a new approach to predict clouds from 5 minutes to about an hour ahead of time, giving grid operators a chance to adapt before solar power ramps up or down. Initially created for climate research, the approach uses an instrument called a total/diffuse pyranometer. Depending on their size, shape and thickness, clouds can affect light coming from the sun in many different ways to produce varying amounts of sunshine. Total/diffuse pyranometers enable scientists to measure direct and indirect solar radiation, both of which are used in different types of solar power generation. Next, the new approach uses a PNNL-developed method to forecast the clouds that will appear in the near future, what properties those clouds will have and how much direct and indirect solar radiation will make it past the clouds and onto the earth’s surface. PNNL’s Chuck Long will present the research.

A24E-04: “Near-term forecasting of solar total and direct irradiance for solar energy applications,” 5-5:15 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4, Room 3008, Moscone West. Media contact: Franny White, franny.white@pnnl.gov, 509-375-6904.

Digging for details on growing algae for biofuel

Algae have been touted as a promising source of renewable fuel, but questions remain about whether the U.S. has the resources needed to grow it on a large scale. Ongoing PNNL research indicates that algal biofuel’s sustainability can be increased by carefully analyzing the resources available at specific growing sites. Current efforts are building on earlier PNNL research, which involved developing a detailed map of the nation’s freshwater and land resources to calculate algal biofuel production potential. PNNL researchers are digging deeper by also examining alternative water sources such as seawater, the nutrients needed to grow algae, real estate prices and costs to transport algal oil to existing refineries. The combined information will help determine the financial and environmental bottom lines of U.S. algal biofuel. PNNL’s Mark Wigmosta will present a poster that describes early results, including that the Gulf Coast region generally has the nation’s best water supplies and climate for growing algae.

H53H-1632: “A high-resolution national microalgae biofuel production and resource assessment,” 1:40-6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, Hall A-C, Moscone South. Media contact: Franny White, franny.white@pnnl.gov, 509-375-6904.

Modeling tidal power’s environmental effect

Extracting energy from the natural ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides could help wean the world off of greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels. But, with very few tidal power projects in existence, it’s difficult to know how such efforts could affect the marine environment. To help answer that question, PNNL scientists developed a detailed, 3-D computer model of a hypothetical bay where seawater enters through a coastal channel. They added tidal turbines to the digitized channel and ran simulations to find out how water flow could be impacted. They found that installing large numbers of turbines can decrease the flushing rate¬ -- the amount of time it takes to replace the bay’s water with new ocean water. The longer it takes to flush out a bay, the longer it takes to remove contaminants from river runoff and human activity. This could worsen the conditions of bays already experiencing low levels of dissolved oxygen. On the other hand, simulations also showed turbines increase mixing in the water column, which could breathe more life into a bay’s lower waters by transporting more oxygen from the surface. PNNL’s Taiping Wang will discuss the computer model and some of its simulation results.

OS53D-07: “A Modeling Study of In-stream Tidal Energy Extraction and Its Potential Environmental Impacts in a Tidal Channel and Bay System,” 3:10-3:25 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, Room 3024, Moscone West. Media contact: Franny White, franny.white@pnnl.gov, 509-375-6904.

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Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. PNNL employs 4,500 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion, and has been managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by Ohio-based Battelle since the laboratory's inception in 1965. For more, visit the PNNL's News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.