DOE News
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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2016-07-22 15:05:28
    • Article ID: 657801

    Newly Discovered Material Property May Lead to High Temp Superconductivity

    • Credit: Ames Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy

      High-energy x-ray diffraction patterns of the reciprocal lattice plane (H K 0). The CDW superstructure peaks are marked by blue arrows (logarithmic color scale).

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

    While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.

    A charge density wave (CDW) is a state of matter where electrons bunch together in a repeating pattern, like a standing wave on the surface of water. Superconductivity and charge density waves share a common origin, often co-exist, and can compete for dominance in certain materials.

    Conventional CDWs and superconductivity both arise from electron-phonon interactions, the interaction of electrons with the vibrations of the crystal lattice. Electron-electron interactions are the likely origin of unconventional, high-temperature superconductivity such as found in copper- and iron-based compounds.

    Unconventional, electron-electron driven CDW are extremely rare and its discovery here is important, because the material showed an ‘extraordinary’ increase of CDW transition temperature from 130K (-143°C) to 220K (-53 °C) and a huge increase of energy gap at the surface.

    Both are properties essential for CDW and high-temperature superconductivity, explained Adam Kaminski, Ames Laboratory scientist and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University.

    “This was an accidental but very exciting discovery,” said Kaminski. “We were studying this material because its one-dimensional structure makes it quite interesting. We saw strange things happening to the electronic band structure, but when we looked at the surface we were stunned by extraordinary enhancement of transition temperature and energy gap.”

    The science is further discussed in the paper, “Discovery of an Unconventional Charge Density Wave at the Surface of K0.9Mo6O17”, co-authored by Daixiang Mou, A. Sapkota, H.-H. Kung, Viktor Krapivin, Yun Wu, A. Kreyssig, Xingjiang Zhou, A. I. Goldman, G. Blumberg, Rebecca Flint, and Adam Kaminski; and featured as an Editor’s Suggestion in Physical Review Letters.

    The research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Argonne National Laboratory.

    Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.

    DOE’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, please visit science.energy.gov.

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    Scientists Successfully Demonstrate a New Experiment in the Search for Theorized 'Neutrinoless' Process

    Scientists Successfully Demonstrate a New Experiment in the Search for Theorized 'Neutrinoless' Process

    Nuclear physicists affiliated with Berkeley Lab played a leading role in analyzing data for a demonstration experiment in France that has achieved record precision for a specialized detector material.

    Argonne soil carbon research reduces uncertainty in predicting climate change impacts

    Argonne soil carbon research reduces uncertainty in predicting climate change impacts

    DOE and USDA researchers use new global models to study how environmental controllers affect soil organic carbon, changes in which can alter atmospheric carbon concentrations and affect climate. Predictions could benefit industry mitigation plans.

    Learning more about particle collisions with machine learning

    Learning more about particle collisions with machine learning

    A team of Argonne scientists has devised a machine learning algorithm that calculates, with low computational time, how the ATLAS detector in the Large Hadron Collider would respond to the ten times more data expected with a planned upgrade in 2027.

    New cathode coating extends lithium-ion battery life, boosts safety

    New cathode coating extends lithium-ion battery life, boosts safety

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, has developed a new particle-level cathode coating for lithium ion batteries meant to increase their life and safety.

    Scientists Dive Deep Into Hidden World of Quantum States

    Scientists Dive Deep Into Hidden World of Quantum States

    A research team led by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed a technique that could lead to new electronic materials that surpass the limitations imposed by Moore's Law.

    Precise Measurement of Pions Confirms Understanding 
of Fundamental Symmetry

    Precise Measurement of Pions Confirms Understanding of Fundamental Symmetry

    Nuclear physicists have announced the most precise measurement yet of the ultra-short lifetime of the neutral pion. The result is an important validation of our understanding of the theory of quantum chromodynamics, which describes the makeup of ordinary matter. The research, carried out at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, was recently published in the journal Science.

    Story Tips: Predicting fire risk, solid state stability check and images in a flash

    Story Tips: Predicting fire risk, solid state stability check and images in a flash

    ORNL Story Tips: Predicting fire risk, solid state stability check and images in a flash

    Summit Helps Predict Molecular Breakups

    Summit Helps Predict Molecular Breakups

    A team used the Summit supercomputer to simulate transition metal systems--such as copper bound to molecules of nitrogen, dihydrogen, or water--and correctly predicted the amount of energy required to break apart dozens of molecular systems, paving the way for a greater understanding of these materials.

    Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions

    Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions

    Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are advancing gas membrane materials to expand practical technology options for reducing industrial carbon emissions.

    Science Snapshots July 2020

    Science Snapshots July 2020

    Berkeley Lab Science Snapshots July 2020


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    Fundamental Exploration Into Future Clean Energy Technologies Receives DOE Support

    Fundamental Exploration Into Future Clean Energy Technologies Receives DOE Support

    The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $65 million in grants to support research that will advance safe, reliable, and clean nuclear energy. Among those projects are two led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which received a combined total of $1.2 million.

    Argonne to explore how digital twins may transform nuclear energy with $8 million from ARPA-E's GEMINA program

    Argonne to explore how digital twins may transform nuclear energy with $8 million from ARPA-E's GEMINA program

    ARPA-E's GEMINA funding will allow Argonne's nuclear scientists to partner with industry and develop tools for the advanced reactors of tomorrow.

    Brookhaven and Forge Nano to Mature Noble Gas-Trapping Technology

    Brookhaven and Forge Nano to Mature Noble Gas-Trapping Technology

    Through DOE's Technology Commercialization Fund, the national lab-startup team will develop "nanocages" for nuclear applications.

    Chicago Quantum Exchange welcomes seven new partners in tech, computing and finance, to advance research and training

    Chicago Quantum Exchange welcomes seven new partners in tech, computing and finance, to advance research and training

    The Chicago-based research hub expands to include 13 total industry leaders in tech, computing, finance.

    EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Six New Research Awards

    EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Six New Research Awards

    The Electron-Ion Collider Center at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (EIC Center at Jefferson Lab) has announced the winners of six international fellowships. The fellows will pursue research over the next year related to advancing the science program of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC), a one-of-a-kind nuclear physics research facility to be built over the next decade at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, in partnership with Jefferson Lab.

    Department of Energy awards $3.15 million to Argonne to support collaborations with industry

    Department of Energy awards $3.15 million to Argonne to support collaborations with industry

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $33 million in funding for 82 projects aimed at advancing commercialization of promising energy technologies and strengthening partnerships between DOE's National Laboratories and private-sector companies.

    Analyzing Matter's Building Blocks

    Analyzing Matter's Building Blocks

    Nobuo Sato is working to put the know in femto. He's just been awarded a five-year, multimillion dollar research grant by the Department of Energy to develop a "FemtoAnalyzer" that will help nuclear physicists image the three-dimensional internal structure of protons and neutrons. Now, Sato is among 76 scientists nationwide who have been awarded a grant through the DOE Office of Science's Early Career Research Program to pursue their research.

    Particle Physicist Takes the Lead on Groundbreaking Electron Measurement

    Particle Physicist Takes the Lead on Groundbreaking Electron Measurement

    James "Jim" Fast has joined Jefferson Lab as the MOLLER Project Manager. MOLLER is the "Measurement of a Lepton-Lepton Electroweak Reaction" experiment that will measure the weak charge of the electron.

    Six Argonne researchers receive DOE Early Career Research Program awards

    Six Argonne researchers receive DOE Early Career Research Program awards

    Argonne scientists Michael Bishof, Maria Chan, Marco Govini, Alessandro Lovato, Bogdan Nicolae and Stefan Wild have received funding for their research as part of DOE's Early Career Research Program.

    Three Fermilab scientists receive DOE Early Career Research Awards

    Three Fermilab scientists receive DOE Early Career Research Awards

    The Department of Energy's Office of Science has selected three Fermilab scientists to receive the 2020 DOE Early Career Research Award, now in its 11th year. The prestigious award is designed to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early years, when many scientists do their most formative work.


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    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Bone and mollusk shells are composite systems that combine living cells and inorganic components. This allows them to regenerate and change structure while also being very strong and durable. Borrowing from this amazing complexity, researchers have been exploring a new class of materials called engineered living materials (ELMs).

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Researchers developed two new methods to assess and remove error in how scientists measure quantum systems. By reducing quantum "noise" - uncertainty inherent to quantum processes - these new methods improve accuracy and precision.

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    Lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) is a widely applicable material, from magnetic tunnel junctions to solid oxide fuel cells. However, when it gets thin, its behavior changes for the worse. The reason why was not known. Now, using two theoretical methods, a team determined what happens.

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.


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