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Printed, Flexible and Rechargeable Battery Can Power Wearable Sensors

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first printed battery that is flexible, stretchable and rechargeable. The zinc batteries could be used to power everything from wearable sensors to solar cells and other kinds of electronics. The work appears in the April 19, 2017 issue of Advanced Energy Materials.

Neutrons Provide the First Nanoscale Look at a Living Cell Membrane

A research team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has performed the first-ever direct nanoscale examination of a living cell membrane. In doing so, it also resolved a long-standing debate by identifying tiny groupings of lipid molecules that are likely key to the cell's functioning.

How X-Rays Helped to Solve Mystery of Floating Rocks

Experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking.

Special X-Ray Technique Allows Scientists to See 3-D Deformations

In a new study published last Friday in Science, researchers at Argonne used an X-ray scattering technique called Bragg coherent diffraction imaging to reconstruct in 3-D the size and shape of grain defects. These defects create imperfections in the lattice of atoms inside a grain that can give rise to interesting material properties and effects.

Neptune: Neutralizer-Free Plasma Propulsion

The most established plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit a larger number of positively charged particles than those that are negatively charged. To enable the spacecraft to remain charge-neutral, a "neutralizer" is used to inject electrons to exactly balance the positive ion charge in the exhaust beam. However, the neutralizer requires additional power from the spacecraft and increases the size and weight of the propulsion system. Researchers are investigating how the radio-frequency self-bias effect can be used to remove the neutralizer altogether, and they report their work in this week's Physics of Plasmas.

Report Sheds New Insights on the Spin Dynamics of a Material Candidate for Low-Power Devices

In a report published in Nano LettersArgonne researchers reveal new insights into the properties of a magnetic insulator that is a candidate for low-power device applications; their insights form early stepping-stones towards developing high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

Researchers Find Computer Code That Volkswagen Used to Cheat Emissions Tests

An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanism that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent U.S. and European emission tests over at least six years before the Environmental Protection Agency put the company on notice in 2015 for violating the Clean Air Act. During a year-long investigation, researchers found code that allowed a car's onboard computer to determine that the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test.

Physicists Discover That Lithium Oxide on Tokamak Walls Can Improve Plasma Performance

A team of physicists has found that a coating of lithium oxide on the inside of fusion machines known as tokamaks can absorb as much deuterium as pure lithium can.

Scientists Perform First Basic Physics Simulation of Spontaneous Transition of the Edge of Fusion Plasma to Crucial High-Confinement Mode

PPPL physicists have simulated the spontaneous transition of turbulence at the edge of a fusion plasma to the high-confinement mode that sustains fusion reactions. The research was achieved with the extreme-scale plasma turbulence code XGC developed at PPPL in collaboration with a nationwide team.

Green Fleet Technology

New research at Penn State addresses the impact delivery trucks have on the environment by providing green solutions that keep costs down without sacrificing efficiency.


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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Describing the dizzying pace of technological innovation, former United States Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz urged graduates to "anticipate career change, welcome it, and manage it to your and your society's benefit" at the 211th Commencement at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Saturday.

ORNL Welcomes Innovation Crossroads Entrepreneurial Research Fellows

Oak Ridge National Laboratory today welcomed the first cohort of innovators to join Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast region's first entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

Department of Energy Secretary Recognizes Argonne Scientists' Work to Fight Ebola, Cancer

Two groups of researchers at Argonne earned special awards from the office of the U.S. Secretary of Energy for addressing the global health challenges of Ebola and cancer.

Jefferson Science Associates, LLC Recognized for Leadership in Small Business Utilization

Jefferson Lab/Jefferson Science Associates has a long-standing commitment to doing business with and mentoring small businesses. That commitment and support received national recognition at the 16th Annual Dept. of Energy Small Business Forum and Expo held May 16-18, 2017 in Kansas City, Mo.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President's Commencement Colloquy to Address "Criticality, Incisiveness, Creativity"

To kick off the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Commencement weekend, the annual President's Commencement Colloquy will take place on Friday, May 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The discussion, titled "Criticality, Incisiveness, Creativity," will include the Honorable Ernest J. Moniz, former Secretary of Energy, and the Honorable Roger W. Ferguson Jr., President and CEO of TIAA, and will be moderated by Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson.

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has approved a new doctoral program in data science and engineering as part of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

SurfTec Receives $1.2 Million Energy Award to Develop Novel Coating

The Department of Energy has awarded $1.2 million to SurfTec LLC, a company affiliated with the U of A Technology Development Foundation, to continue developing a nanoparticle-based coating to replace lead-based journal bearings in the next generation of electric machines.

Ames Laboratory Scientist Inducted Into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Iver Anderson, senior metallurgist at Ames Laboratory, has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

DOE HPC4Mfg Program Funds 13 New Projects to Improve U.S. Energy Technologies Through High Performance Computing

A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to spur the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing is funding 13 new industry projects for a total of $3.9 million.

Penn State Wind Energy Club Breezes to Victory in Collegiate Wind Competition

The Penn State Wind Energy Club breezed through the field at the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2017 Technical Challenge, held April 20-22 at the National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado--earning its third overall victory in four years at the Collegiate Wind Competition.


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Casting a Wide Net

Designed molecules will provide positive impacts in energy production by selectively removing unwanted ions from complex solutions.

New Software Tools Streamline DNA Sequence Design-and-Build Process

Enhanced software tools will accelerate gene discovery and characterization, vital for new forms of fuel production.

The Ultrafast Interplay Between Molecules and Materials

Computer calculations by the Center for Solar Fuels, an Energy Frontier Research Center, shed light on nebulous interactions in semiconductors relevant to dye-sensitized solar cells.

Supercapacitors: WOODn't That Be Nice

Researchers at Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage, an Energy Frontier Research Center, take advantage of nature-made materials and structure for energy storage research.

Groundwater Flow Is Key for Modeling the Global Water Cycle

Water table depth and groundwater flow are vital to understanding the amount of water that plants transmit to the atmosphere.

Finding the Correct Path

A new computational technique greatly simplifies the complex reaction networks common to catalysis and combustion fields.

Opening Efficient Routes to Everyday Plastics

A new material from the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center, facilitates the production of key industrial supplies.

Fight to the Top: Silver and Gold Compete for the Surface of a Bimetallic Solid

It's the classic plot of a buddy movie. Two struggling bodies team up to drive the plot and do good together. That same idea, when it comes to metals, could help scientists solve a big problem: the amount of energy consumed by making chemicals.

Saving Energy Through Light Control

New materials, designed by researchers at the Center for Excitonics, an Energy Frontier Research Center, can reduce energy consumption with the flip of a switch.

Teaching Perovskites to Swim

Scientists at the ANSER Energy Frontier Research Center designed a two-component layer protects a sunlight-harvesting device from water and heat.


Saturday May 20, 2017, 12:05 PM

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday May 15, 2017, 01:05 PM

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday April 07, 2017, 11:05 AM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jonathan Kirzner

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Wednesday April 05, 2017, 12:05 PM

High-Schooler Solves College-Level Security Puzzle From Argonne, Sparks Interest in Career

Argonne National Laboratory

Tuesday March 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jenica Jacobi

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Friday March 24, 2017, 10:40 AM

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

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Wednesday February 15, 2017, 04:05 PM

Middle Schoolers Test Their Knowledge at Science Bowl Competition

Argonne National Laboratory

Friday January 27, 2017, 04:00 PM

Haslam Visits ORNL to Highlight State's Role in Discovering Tennessine

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tuesday November 08, 2016, 12:05 PM

Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday May 13, 2016, 04:05 PM

More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Monday April 25, 2016, 05:05 PM

Giving Back to National Science Bowl

Ames Laboratory

Friday March 25, 2016, 12:05 PM

NMSU Undergrad Tackles 3D Particle Scattering Animations After Receiving JSA Research Assistantship

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tuesday February 02, 2016, 10:05 AM

Shannon Greco: A Self-Described "STEM Education Zealot"

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Monday November 16, 2015, 04:05 PM

Rare Earths for Life: An 85th Birthday Visit with Mr. Rare Earth

Ames Laboratory

Tuesday October 20, 2015, 01:05 PM

Meet Robert Palomino: 'Give Everything a Shot!'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Tuesday April 22, 2014, 11:30 AM

University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

University of Utah

Wednesday March 06, 2013, 03:40 PM

Student Innovator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seeks Brighter, Smarter, and More Efficient LEDs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday November 16, 2012, 10:00 AM

Texas Tech Energy Commerce Students, Community Light up Tent City

Texas Tech University

Wednesday November 23, 2011, 10:45 AM

Don't Get 'Frosted' Over Heating Your Home This Winter

Temple University

Wednesday July 06, 2011, 06:00 PM

New Research Center To Tackle Critical Challenges Related to Aircraft Design, Wind Energy, Smart Buildings

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday April 22, 2011, 09:00 AM

First Polymer Solar-Thermal Device Heats Home, Saves Money

Wake Forest University

Friday April 15, 2011, 12:25 PM

Like Superman, American University Will Get Its Energy from the Sun

American University

Thursday February 10, 2011, 05:00 PM

ARRA Grant to Help Fund Seminary Building Green Roof

University of Chicago

Tuesday December 07, 2010, 05:00 PM

UC San Diego Installing 2.8 Megawatt Fuel Cell to Anchor Energy Innovation Park

University of California San Diego

Monday November 01, 2010, 12:50 PM

Rensselaer Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center Announces First Deployment of New Technology on Campus

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday September 10, 2010, 12:40 PM

Ithaca College Will Host Regional Clean Energy Summit

Ithaca College

Tuesday July 27, 2010, 10:30 AM

Texas Governor Announces $8.4 Million Award to Create Renewable Energy Institute

Texas Tech University

Friday May 07, 2010, 04:20 PM

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Creighton University

Wednesday May 05, 2010, 09:30 AM

National Engineering Program Seeks Subject Matter Experts in Energy

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Wednesday April 21, 2010, 12:30 PM

Students Using Solar Power To Create Sustainable Solutions for Haiti, Peru

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Wednesday March 03, 2010, 07:00 PM

Helping Hydrogen: Student Inventor Tackles Challenge of Hydrogen Storage

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Thursday February 04, 2010, 02:00 PM

Turning Exercise into Electricity

Furman University

Thursday November 12, 2009, 12:45 PM

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Tuesday November 03, 2009, 04:20 PM

Furman University Receives $2.5 Million DOE Grant for Geothermal Project

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Thursday September 17, 2009, 02:45 PM

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Friday October 12, 2007, 09:35 AM

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X-Ray Imaging and Computer Modeling Help Map Electric Properties of Nanomaterials

Article ID: 674264

Released: 2017-05-05 18:05:34

Source Newsroom: Argonne National Laboratory

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Show above from left to right are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar.

  • Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

    Participating authors behind the study include researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne’s X-ray Science Division. Co-authors pictured above (beginning clockwise from the left) include: Kiran Sasikumar, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen, Eric Dufresne, Badri Narayanan, Ian McNulty, Tom Peterka and Mathew Cherukara. Other co-authors who are not pictured are Wonsuk Cha from the Advanced Photon Source and Steven J. Leake from The European Synchrotron.

With the tap of your finger, your tablet comes to life – thanks to tiny force sensors and accelerometers that contain piezoelectric materials.

These materials generate electricity whenever mechanical pressure is applied to them, and they’ve helped shape how we use and interact with technology today. Piezoelectric devices can be found everywhere, from consumer electronics like wearable fitness trackers and smart clothing, to medical devices and motors.

Now researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new approach for studying piezoelectric materials by using ultrafast 3-D X-ray imaging and computer modeling. Their integrated approach, reported in Nano Letters, can help us better understand material behavior and engineer more powerful and energy-efficient technologies.

“By integrating theory and modeling with experiments, we’re providing a more complete picture of the material behavior.” 

“Our approach reveals a wealth of information about the underlying mechanisms that regulate the transfer of energy in such materials, as well as how stable these materials are under extreme conditions,” said Argonne computational scientist and co-author Subramanian Sankaranarayanan.

“Using experimental data, we make informed models which in turn make predictions at space and time scales that experiments cannot reach,” said Mathew Cherukara, the lead author of the study.

The researchers applied their new approach to the study of zinc oxide, a material that can generate electricity when twisted, bent or deformed in other ways. With its desirable piezoelectric and semiconducting properties, zinc oxide has emerged as a promising material for generating electricity in small-scale devices.

In their experimental approach, known as ultrafast X-ray coherent imaging, researchers took a nanocrystal of zinc oxide and exposed it to intense, short X-ray and optical laser pulses at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The ultrafast laser pulses excited the crystal, and the X-ray pulses imaged the crystal structure as it changed over time. This enabled researchers to capture very small changes in the material at a high resolution in both time and space.

“Unlike an optical microscope, which enables you to see an object but doesn’t allow you to see what’s happening inside of it, X-ray coherent diffractive imaging lets us see inside materials as they’re bending, twisting and deforming, in full 3-D,” said Argonne physicist and co-author Ross Harder. This is the first time such a time-resolved study has been performed at a synchrotron source.

Researchers identified the deformation modes – meaning new ways in which the material could bend, twist, rotate, etc. – from this experimental approach, and used this insight to build a model that would describe the behavior of the nanocrystal.

“By integrating theory and modeling with experiments, we’re providing a more complete picture of the material behavior,” said Argonne postdoctoral researcher and lead theory author Kiran Sasikumar. “Modeling provides additional insight into the problem – insights that experiments alone cannot probe.”

With this model, researchers discovered additional twisting modes that can generate 50 percent more electricity than the bending modes of the crystal.

“Now we can use this information to create devices that exploit these twisting modes,” Cherukara said. “This additional insight generated from the theory demonstrates how experimentation and theory together can enable us to make more accurate and useful predictions.”

Combining modeling and experimental approaches can also help researchers explore various other material systems and processes, such as corrosion and heat management across thermal devices. Such work will also be advanced with the upgrade of the Advanced Photon Source, which will increase the flux of the facility’s high-energy coherent X-ray beams by one hundred fifty-fold, the researchers said.

“With this upgrade, we’ll be able to apply coherent imaging techniques to a wider class of materials, with less data acquisition time and even higher spatial resolution,” said Argonne physicist and co-author Haidan Wen.

The study, titled “Ultrafast Three-Dimensional X-ray Imaging of Deformation Modes in ZnO Nanocrystals” was published in Nano Letters.

This work was supported by Argonne’s Laboratory-Directed Research and Development program. Computer time was awarded through the DOE Office of Science-supported Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. The study used resources at the Advanced Photon Source, the Center for Nanoscale Materials and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, all DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

The INCITE program promotes transformational advances in science and technology through large allocations of time on state-of-the-art supercomputers.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.