SLAC's Ultrafast 'Electron Camera' Visualizes Ripples in 2-D Material

New research led by scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University shows how individual atoms move in trillionths of a second to form wrinkles on a three-atom-thick material. Revealed by a brand new "electron camera," one of the world's speediest, this unprecedented level of detail could guide researchers in the development of efficient solar cells, fast and flexible electronics and high-performance chemical catalysts.

Researchers See 'Spin Current' in Motion for the First Time

Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have for the first time seen a spin current - an inherent magnetic property common to all electrons - as it travels across materials. The result, which revealed a surprising loss of current along the way, is an important step toward realizing a next-generation breed of electronics known as "spintronics."

Making Fuel From Light

Refined by nature over a billion years, photosynthesis has given life to the planet, providing an environment suitable for the smallest, most primitive organism all the way to our own species. While scientists have been studying and mimicking the natural phenomenon in the laboratory for years, understanding how to replicate the chemical process behind it has largely remained a mystery -- until now.

Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory September 2015

ORNL lamp simulates sun in tests for NASA; ORNL model examines diabetes progression; Hybrid lubricant holds great promise for engine efficiency; ORNL, partners score success with wireless charging demo; New software helps in design of quantum computers, batteries

Tiny Drops of Early Universe 'Perfect' Fluid

New data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider confirm that small nuclei can create tiny droplets of a perfect liquid primordial soup when they collide with larger nuclei.

Q&A: Researchers Explain a Strange High-Intensity Result at SLAC's X-Ray Laser

At extremely high intensities, X-rays stop behaving like the ones in your doctor's office and begin interacting with matter in very different ways. This "nonlinear" X-ray behavior can only be seen at X-ray free-electron lasers. Recent experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have revealed a new, unexpected twist in that behavior that may be one for the textbooks and could change the way these powerful lasers probe matter.

Time-Lapse Analysis Offers New Look at How Cells Repair DNA Damage

Time-lapse imaging can make complicated processes easier to grasp. Berkeley Lab scientists are using a similar approach to study how cells repair DNA damage. Microscopy images are acquired about every thirty minutes over a span of up to two days, and the resulting sequence of images shows ever-changing hotspots inside cells where DNA is under repair.

Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide and Turning it into Valuable Products

Berkeley Lab researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs carbon dioxide, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.

ORNL Chemical Sampling Interface Features Simplicity, Speed

In mere seconds, a system can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample.

Antimatter Catches a Wave at SLAC

A study led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles has demonstrated a new, efficient way to accelerate positrons, the antimatter opposites of electrons. The method may help boost the energy and shrink the size of future linear particle colliders - powerful accelerators that could be used to unravel the properties of nature's fundamental building blocks.

Cellular Contamination Pathway for Plutonium, Other Heavy Elements, Identified

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.

Another Milestone in Hybrid Artificial Photosynthesis

Berkeley Lab researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.

Berkeley Lab Releases Most Comprehensive Analysis of Electricity Reliability Trends

In the most comprehensive analysis of electricity reliability trends in the United States, researchers at Berkeley Lab and Stanford University have found that, while, on average, the frequency of power outages has not changed in recent years, the total number of minutes customers are without power each year has been increasing over time.

Code Speedup Strengthens Researchers' Grasp of Neutrons

A team led by James Vary of Iowa State University simulated clusters of neutrons called "neutron drops" to understand their properties better. The ab initio calculations, or calculations based on fundamental forces and principles, were performed on the Titan supercomputer at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Titan is the flagship machine of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Leveraging Titan's massive memory and computing power, the team was able to determine the ground-state energies and other properties of systems of up to 40 neutrons. The results were published in the December 2014 issue of Physics Letters B.

Scientists Discover Atomic-Resolution Details of Brain Signaling

Scientists have revealed never-before-seen details of how our brain sends rapid-fire messages between its cells. They mapped the 3-D atomic structure of a two-part protein complex that controls the release of signaling chemicals, called neurotransmitters, from brain cells. Understanding how cells release those signals in less than one-thousandth of a second could help launch a new wave of research on drugs for treating brain disorders.

Major Innovation in Molecular Imaging Delivers Spatial and Spectral Info Simultaneously

Using physical chemistry methods to look at biology at the nanoscale, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher has invented a new technology to image single molecules with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution, thus leading to the first "true-color" super-resolution microscope.

Dark Energy Survey Finds More Celestial Neighbors

Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, have discovered eight more faint celestial objects hovering near our Milky Way galaxy. If these new discoveries are representative of the entire sky, there could be many more galaxies hiding in our cosmic neighborhood.

Surprising Discoveries about 2D Molybdenum Disulfide

Working at the Molecular Foundry, Berkeley Lab researchers used their "Campanile" nano-optical probe to make some surprising discoveries about molybdenum disulfide, a member of the "transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) semiconductor family whose optoelectronic properties hold great promise for future nanoelectronic and photonic devices.

BESC Creates Microbe That Bolsters Isobutanol Production

Another barrier to commercially viable biofuels from sources other than corn has fallen with the engineering of a microbe that improves isobutanol yields by a factor of 10.

Microscopic Rake Doubles Efficiency of Low-Cost Solar Cells

Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed a manufacturing technique that could double the electricity output of inexpensive solar cells by using a microscopic rake when applying light-harvesting polymers.

U.S. Distributed Solar Prices Fell 10 to 20 Percent in 2014, with Trends Continuing into 2015

The installed price of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States continues to fall precipitously. This is according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost tracking report produced by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

New ORNL Hybrid Microscope Offers Unparalleled Capabilities

A microscope that will allow scientists studying biological and synthetic materials to simultaneously observe chemical and physical properties on and beneath the surface.

Study Finds that the Price of Wind Energy in the United States is at an All-time Low, Averaging under 2.5 cents/kWh

Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Berkeley Lab. The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged under 2.5 cents/kWh for projects negotiating contracts in 2014, spurring demand for wind energy.

New Mathematics Advances the Frontier of Macromolecular Imaging

An emerging technique called fluctuation X-ray scattering (FXS) could provide much more detail about a protein's molecular structure than traditional solution scattering. But a major limitation for FXS has been a lack of math methods to efficiently interpret the data. That's where Berkeley Lab's M-TIP comes in.

Copper Clusters Capture and Convert Carbon Dioxide to Make Fuel

The chemical reactions that make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and Argonne scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.