Sandia Researchers Use Direct Numerical Simulations to Enhance Combustion Efficiency and Reduce Pollution in Diesel Engines

A "cool flame" may sound contradictory, but it's an important element of diesel combustion -- one that, once properly understood, could enable better engine designs with higher efficiency and fewer emissions.

Converting Carbon Dioxide to Carbon Monoxide Using Water, Electricity

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis have determined how electrocatalysts can convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water and electricity. The discovery can lead to the development of efficient electrocatalysts for large scale production of synthesis gas -- a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

International Team Reconstructs Nanoscale Virus Features from Correlations of Scattered X-rays

Berkeley Lab researchers contributed key algorithms which helped scientists achieve a goal first proposed more than 40 years ago - using angular correlations of X-ray snapshots from non-crystalline molecules to determine the 3D structure of important biological objects.

Bio-Methane Transforms From Landfill Waste to Energy Source

Most manure just sits around. Anaerobic digesters take those piles and place them in large covered tanks and convert waste into an energy source. Chemical engineers from Michigan Tech examined the carbon footprint of anaerobic digestion.

Injecting Electrons Jolts 2-D Structure Into New Atomic Pattern

The same electrostatic charge that can make hair stand on end and attach balloons to clothing could be an efficient way to drive atomically thin electronic memory devices of the future, according to a new Berkeley Lab study. Scientists have found a way to reversibly change the atomic structure of a 2-D material by injecting it with electrons. The process uses far less energy than current methods for changing the configuration of a material's structure.

Ceramic Pump Moves Molten Metal at a Record 1,400 Degrees Celsius

A ceramic-based mechanical pump able to operate at record temperatures of more than 1,400 degrees Celsius (1,673 Kelvin) can transfer high temperature liquids such as molten tin, enabling a new generation of energy conversion and storage systems.

Tracking the Viral Parasites of Giant Viruses over Time

Viruses exist amidst all bacteria, usually in a 10-fold excess and include virophages which live in giant viruses and use their machinery to replicate and spread. In Nature Communications, a team including DOE JGI researchers reports effectively doubling the number of known virophages.

Scientists Develop Machine-Learning Method to Predict the Behavior of Molecules

An international, interdisciplinary research team of scientists has come up with a machine-learning method that predicts molecular behavior, a breakthrough that can aid in the development of pharmaceuticals and the design of new molecules that can be used to enhance the performance of emerging battery technologies, solar cells, and digital displays.

Solar-Powered Devices Made of Wood Could Help Mitigate Water Scarcity Crisis

Energy from the sun and a block of wood smaller than an adult's hand are the only components needed to heat water to its steaming point in these purifying devices.

Spin-Current Generation Gets Mid-IR Boost with Plasmonic Metamaterial

Researchers have begun to use metamaterials, engineered composites that have unique properties not found in nature, to enhance the absorption rates of plasmonic absorbers, and a team in Japan used a trilayered metamaterial to develop a wavelength-selective plasmonic metamaterial absorber on top of a spintronic device to enhance the generation of spin currents from the heat produced in the mid-infrared regime. The research is reported this week in APL Photonics.

Forget About It

Inspired by human forgetfulness - how our brains discard unnecessary data to make room for new information -- scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory and three universities, conducted a recent study that combined supercomputer simulation and X-ray characterization of a material that gradually "forgets." This could one day be used for advanced bio-inspired computing.

Precise Radioactivity Measurements: A Controversy Settled

Simultaneous measurements of x-rays and gamma rays emitted in radioactive nuclear decays show that the vacancy left by an electron's departure, not the atomic structure, influences whether gamma rays are released.

OLYMPUS Experiment Sheds Light on Inner Workings of Protons

Seven-year study explains how packets of light are exchanged when protons meet electrons.

Scientists Use Machine Learning to Translate 'Hidden' Information that Reveals Chemistry in Action

UPTON, NY--Chemistry is a complex dance of atoms. Subtle shifts in position and shuffles of electrons break and remake chemical bonds as participants change partners. Catalysts are like molecular matchmakers that make it easier for sometimes-reluctant partners to interact. Now scientists have a way to capture the details of chemistry choreography as it happens.

Understanding the Rice Genome for Bioenergy Research

Genome-wide rice studies yield first major, large-scale collection of mutations for grass model crops, vital to boosting biofuel production.

Columbia Researchers Observe Exotic Quantum Particle in Bilayer Graphene

A Columbia team has definitively observed an intensely studied anomaly in condensed matter physics--the even-denominator fractional quantum Hall  state--via transport measurement in bilayer graphene. "Observing the 5/2 state in any system is a remarkable scientific opportunity, since it encompasses some of the most perplexing concepts in modern condensed matter physics, such as emergence, quasi-particle formation, quantization, and even superconductivity ...[It may have] great potential for real-world applications, particularly in quantum computing." (Science)

Liverwort Genes and Land Plant Evolution

An international team including DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers analyzed the genome sequence of the common liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) to identify genes and gene families deemed crucial to plant evolution and have been conserved over millions of years and across plant lineages.

Paper-Based Supercapacitor Uses Metal Nanoparticles to Boost Energy Density

Using a simple layer-by-layer coating technique, researchers from the U.S. and Korea have developed a paper-based flexible supercapacitor that could be used to help power wearable devices. The device uses metallic nanoparticles to coat cellulose fibers in the paper, creating supercapacitor electrodes with high energy and power densities - and the best performance so far in a textile-based supercapacitor.

New 'Molecular Trap' Cleans More Radioactive Waste From Nuclear Fuel Rods

A new method for capturing radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is cheaper and more effective than current methods, a potential boon for the energy industry, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2017

A method developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory could protect connected and autonomous vehicles from possible network intrusion. A new ORNL technique makes ultrafast measurements using atomic force microscopy.

SLAC Invention Could Lead to Novel Terahertz Light Sources That Help Us See the World with Different Eyes

Ever since the discovery of X-rays in 1895, their ability to reveal things hidden to the human eye has created endless opportunities. But X-rays by far aren't the only option to see the world with different eyes. Researchers hope to make better use of a different form of light, called terahertz radiation, which has broad applications in science, radar, security, medicine and communications.

Assessing Regional Earthquake Risk and Hazards in the Age of Exascale

Researchers from Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore Lab and UC Davis are building the first-ever end-to-end simulation code to precisely capture the geology and physics of regional earthquakes, and how the shaking impacts buildings

In Iceland Stream, Possible Glimpse Of Warming Future

When a normally cold stream in Iceland was warmed, the make-up of life inside changed as larger organisms thrived while smaller ones struggled. The findings carry implications for life in a warming climate.

Tungsten Offers Nano-Interconnects a Path of Least Resistance

As microchips become smaller and faster, the shrinking size of their copper interconnects leads to increased electrical resistivity at the nanoscale. Finding a solution to this technical bottleneck is a problem for the semiconductor industry; one possibility involves reducing the resistivity size effect by altering the crystalline orientation of interconnect materials. Researchers conducted electron transport measurements in epitaxial single-crystal layers of tungsten as one potential solution. The work is published in this week's Journal of Applied Physics.

Benchmarking Computational Methods for Metagenomes

In Nature Methods, a team including DOE JGI researchers described the results of the Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation (CAMI) Challenge, the first-ever, community-organized benchmarking assessment of computational tools for metagenomes.