Putting Quantum Scientists in the Driver's Seat

An interdisciplinary, interdepartmental group of scientists at ORNL conducted fundamental physics studies at the nanoscale to support development of experimental platforms that will control dissipation in quantum systems and materials.

The Future of Photonics Using Quantum Dots

Fiber-optic cables package everything from financial data to cat videos into light, but when the signal arrives at your local data center, it runs into a silicon bottleneck. Instead of light, computers run on electrons moving through silicon-based chips, which are less efficient than photonics. To break through, scientists have been developing lasers that work on silicon. In this week's APL Photonics, researchers write that the future of silicon-based lasers may be in quantum dots.

Research Hints at Double the Driving Range for Electric Vehicles

When it comes to the special sauce of batteries, researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered it's all about the salt concentration.

Nickel in the X-Ray Limelight

Argonne scientists and collaborators have identified another elemental actor in catalytic reactions that helps activate palladium while reducing the amount of the precious metal needed for those reactions to occur.

Underground Neutrino Experiment Sets the Stage for Deep Discovery About Matter

Collaborators of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR have shown they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity. This accomplishment is critical to developing and proposing a much larger future experiment to study neutrinos.

Sewage Sludge Leads to Biofuels Breakthrough

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million tons per year.

Argonne's Powerful X-Rays Key to Confirming Water Source Deep Below Earth's Surface

A study published in <em>Science</em> last week relies on extremely bright X-ray beams from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory to confirm the presence of naturally occurring water at least 410 kilometers below the Earth's surface. This exciting discovery could change our understanding of how water circulates deep in the Earth's mantle and how heat escapes from the lower regions of our planet.

Hubble Solves Cosmic 'Whodunit' with Interstellar Forensics

Scientists have used the Hubble Space Telescope to chemically analyze the gas in the Leading Arm (the arching collection of gas that connects the Magellanic Clouds to the Milky Way) and determine its origin.

Plants Really Do Feed Their Friends

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have discovered that as plants develop they craft their root microbiome, favoring microbes that consume very specific metabolites. Their study could help scientists identify ways to enhance the soil microbiome for improved carbon storage and plant productivity.

Halos Look Good on Angels, but Could Damage Fusion Energy Devices

A team of researchers has compiled a database of information from five fusion machines and found that halo currents could damage the walls of fusion devices like ITER, the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

Small Poke -- Huge Unexpected Response

Exotic material exhibits an optical response in enormous disproportion to the stimulus -- larger than in any known crystal.

Out of Thin Air

Argonne researchers conducted basic science computational studies as part of a collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago to design a "beyond-lithium-ion" battery cell that operates by running on air over many charge and discharge cycles. The design offers energy storage capacity about three times that of a lithium-ion battery, with significant potential for further improvements.

COSMIC Impact: Next-Gen X-ray Microscopy Platform Now Operational

COSMIC, a next-generation X-ray beamline now operating at Berkeley Lab, brings together a unique set of capabilities to measure the properties of materials at the nanoscale. It allows scientists to probe working batteries and other active chemical reactions, and to reveal new details about magnetism and correlated electronic materials.

Design Approach Developed for Important New Catalysts for Energy Conversion and Storage

Northwestern University researchers have discovered a new approach for creating important new catalysts to aid in clean energy conversion and storage. The method also has the potential to impact the discovery of new optical and data storage materials and catalysts for higher efficiency processing of petroleum products at lower cost. The researchers created a catalyst that is seven times more active than state-of-the-art commercial platinum by combining theory, a new tool for synthesizing nanoparticles and more than one metallic element.

Turning Up the Heat on Remote Research Plots Without Electricity

Flexible, tunable technique warms plants without need for electricity, aiding ecosystem research in remote locales.

Weird Superconductor Leads Double Life

Understanding strontium titanate's odd behavior will aid efforts to develop materials that conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at higher temperatures.

Engineering Yeast Tolerance to a Promising Biomass Deconstruction Solvent

Chemical genomic-guided engineering of gamma-valerolactone-tolerant yeast.

Beyond the WIMP: Unique Crystals Could Expand the Search for Dark Matter

A new particle detector design proposed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab could greatly broaden the search for dark matter - which makes up 85 percent of the total mass of the universe yet we don't know what it's made of - into an unexplored realm.

20 Percent of Americans Responsible for Almost Half of US Food-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On any given day, 20 percent of Americans account for nearly half of U.S. diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, and high levels of beef consumption are largely responsible, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan and Tulane University.

Saplings Survive Droughts via Storage

Certain species of trees retain stored water, limit root growth to survive three months without water.

Study Reveals New Insights into How Hybrid Perovskite Solar Cells Work

Scientists have gained new insights into a fundamental mystery about hybrid perovskites, low-cost materials that could enhance or even replace conventional solar cells made of silicon.

Want to Clean Up the Environment? Make Credit Easier to Get.

Research by Berkeley Haas Prof. Ross Levine, the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance, is the first to show that when lending conditions ease, businesses invest more in projects to cut pollution.

A Reference Catalog for the Rumen Microbiome

In Nature Biotechnology, an international team including JGI scientists presents a reference catalog of rumen microbial genomes and isolates, one of the largest targeted cultivation and sequencing projects to date.

Scientists Have a New Way to Gauge the Growth of Nanowires

n a new study, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories observed the formation of two kinds of defects in individual nanowires, which are smaller in diameter than a human hair.

A Future Colorfully Lit by Mystifying Physics of Paint-On Semiconductors

It defies conventional wisdom about semiconductors. It's baffling that it even works. It eludes physics models that try to explain it. This newly tested class of light-emitting semiconductors is so easy to produce from solution that it could be painted onto surfaces to light up our future in myriad colors shining from affordable lasers, LEDs, and even window glass.