The Wet Road to Fast and Stable Batteries

An international team of scientists --- including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory -- - has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation over many thousands of cycles.

Light Perfects Interfaces

Shining light on a growing semiconductor modifies its interface with the surface and could improve the optical properties of each.

Advance in Light Filtering Technology Has Implications for LCD Screens, Lasers and Beyond

Vector polarizers are a light filtering technology hidden behind the operation of many optical systems. They can be found, for instance, in sunglasses, LCD screens, microscopes, microprocessors, laser machining and more. Optical physicists published details of their new vector polarizer design this week in APL Photonics. The newly proposed design is a major advance in polarization technology because it enables flexible filtering of a wide range of light sources and generation of new light states.

Johns Hopkins Scientists Chart How Brain Signals Connect to Neurons

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have used supercomputers to create an atomic scale map that tracks how the signaling chemical glutamate binds to a neuron in the brain. The findings, say the scientists, shed light on the dynamic physics of the chemical's pathway, as well as the speed of nerve cell communications.

Accelerating the Self-Assembly of Nanoscale Patterns for Next-Generation Materials

Scientists have come up with a way to massively speed up the ordering process for self-assembling materials. The resulting ultra-small, well-ordered patterns could be used in the fabrication of microelectronics, antireflective surfaces, magnetic data storage systems, and fluid-flow devices.

Beta of Neurodata Without Borders Software Now Available

Neuroscientists can now explore a beta version of the new Neurodata Without Borders: Neurophysiology (NWB:N 2.0) software and offer input to developers before it is fully released next year.

Scientists Discover Path to Improving Game-Changing Battery Electrode

Researchers from Stanford University, two Department of Energy national labs and the battery manufacturer Samsung created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap performance.

ESnet's Petascale DTN Project Speeds up Data Transfers between Leading HPC Centers

A new Petascale Data Transfer Node project aims to to achieve regular disk-to-disk, end-to-end transfer rates of one petabyte per week between major supercomputing facilities, which translates to achievable throughput rates of about 15 Gbps on real world science data sets.

Underappreciated Microbes Now Get Credit for Holding Down Two Jobs in Soil

Soil microbes work as both decomposers and synthesizers of carbon compounds in soil, offering new answers with impacts to crops and eco-health.

Energy, Economy, and the Earth: The Benefits of Creating Feedback Loops

Scientists reduce uncertainties in future climate prediction by directly coupling an energy-economy model to an Earth system model.

How Grasslands Regulate Their Productivity in Response to Droughts

Scientists show that grasslands are more sensitive to changes in the amount of moisture in the air than to changes in precipitation.

Building Confidence in Hydrologic Models

Scientists evaluate seven hydrologic models to understand how each model agrees and differs.

New Research Shows Hydropower Dams Can Be Managed Without an All-or-Nothing Choice Between Energy and Food

Nearly 100 hydropower dams are planned for construction along tributaries off the Mekong River's 2,700-mile stretch. In Science Magazine, researchers present a mathematical formula to balance power generation needs with needs of fisheries downstream.

El Nino and Liquid Water Clouds Contribute to Antarctic Melt in 2015-2016

Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) observations provide clues on atmospheric contributions to an Antarctic melt event.

Designer Yeast Consumes Plant Matter and Spits Out Fatty Alcohols for Detergents and Biofuels

Highest concentration and yield of valuable chemicals reported in industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Scientists Create Stretchable Battery Made Entirely Out of Fabric

A research team led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York has developed an entirely textile-based, bacteria-powered bio-battery that could one day be integrated into wearable electronics.

Old Rules Apply in Explaining Extremely Large Magnetoresistance

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory compared similar materials and returned to a long-established rule of electron movement in their quest to explain the phenomenon of extremely large magnetoresistance (XMR).

Scientists Craft World's Tiniest Interlinking Chains

For decades, scientists have been trying to make a true molecular chain: a repeated set of tiny rings interlocked together. In a study in Science published online Nov. 30, University of Chicago researchers announced the first confirmed method to craft such a molecular chain.

Heavy Metal: How First Supernovae Altered Early Star Formation

An international team of researchers ran multi-scale, multi-physics 2D and 3D simulations at NERSC to illustrate how heavy metals expelled from exploding supernovae held the first stars in the universe regulate subsequent star formation and influence the appearance of galaxies in the process.

Hybrid Electrolyte Enhances Supercapacitance in Vertical Graphene Nanosheets

Supercapacitors can store more energy than and are preferable to batteries because they are able to charge faster, mainly due to the vertical graphene nanosheets that are larger and positioned closer together. Using VGNs as the material for supercapacitor electrodes offers advantages due to their intriguing properties, and those advantages can be enhanced depending on how the material is grown, treated and prepared to work with electrolytes. In this week's Journal of Applied Physics, researchers discuss their work to improve the material's supercapacitance properties.

WVU Physicists Tune the Dynamics of Exotic Quantum Particles

Physicists at West Virginia University have discovered a way to control a newly discovered quantum particle, potentially leading to faster computers and other electronic devices.

Dark Fiber: Using Sensors Beneath Our Feet to Tell Us About Earthquakes, Water, and Other Geophysical Phenomenon

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have shown for the first time that dark fiber - the vast network of unused fiber-optic cables installed throughout the country and the world - can be used as sensors for detecting earthquakes, the presence of groundwater, changes in permafrost conditions, and a variety of other subsurface activity.

Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2017

U.S. cities could save billions with ORNL's precise approach to de-icing wintry roads; discovery of overlooked function of certain microbes could boost environmental clean-up strategies; novel tools can "see" atomic structures of aluminum-cerium alloys for automotive and aerospace applications.

Genes Found in Drought-Resistant Plants Could Accelerate Evolution of Water-Use Efficient Crops

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified a common set of genes that enable different drought-resistant plants to survive in semi-arid conditions, which could play a significant role in bioengineering and creating energy crops that are tolerant to water deficits.

Study Confirms that Cuprate Materials Have Fluctuating Stripes that May Be Linked to High-temperature Superconductivity

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have shown that copper-based superconductors, or cuprates - the first class of materials found to carry electricity with no loss at relatively high temperatures - contain fluctuating stripes of electron charge and spin that meander like rivulets over rough ground.