Erupting Electrodes: How Recharging Leaves Behind Microscopic Debris Inside Batteries

Using a powerful microscope to watch multiple cycles of charging and discharging under real battery conditions, researchers have gained insight into the chemistry that clogs rechargeable lithium batteries in work appearing in the March issue of the journal Nano Letters.

A Potential Rosetta Stone of High Temperature Superconductivity

Just as the Rosetta Stone has the same message in three different scripts giving scholars insights into ancient languages, so cerium-cobalt-indium5 is offering insights into the interplay between magnetism, superconductivity, and disorder in three classes of unconventional superconductors.

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

To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications staff member identified at the end of each tip. For more information on ORNL and its research and development activities, please refer to one of our media contacts. If you have a general media-related question or comment, you can send it to news@ornl.gov.

Researchers Use Mira to Peer Inside High-Temperature Superconductors

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) are using supercomputing resources at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, to shed light on the mysterious nature of high-temperature superconductors.

ORNL-Led Team Demonstrates Desalination with Nanoporous Graphene Membrane

Desalination is an energy-intensive process, which concerns those wanting to expand its application. Now, a team of experimentalists led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated an energy-efficient desalination technology that uses a porous membrane made of strong, slim graphene--a carbon honeycomb one atom thick. The results are published in the March 23 advance online issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Protein Shake-Up

A certain class of proteins has challenged researchers' conventional notion that proteins have a static and well-defined structure.

A Mathematical Explanation for the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam System Problem First Proposed in 1953

A team of researchers, led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Yuri Lvov, has found an elegant explanation for the long-standing Fermi-Pasta-Ulam (FPU) problem, first proposed in 1953, investigated with one of the world's first digital computers, and now considered the foundation of experimental mathematics.

Rise of Marine Diatoms Linked to Vast Increase in Continental Weathering

A team of researchers, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Morgan Schaller, has used mathematical modeling to show that continental erosion over the last 40 million years has contributed to the success of diatoms, a group of tiny marine algae that plays a key role in the global carbon cycle. The research was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Graphene 'Gateway' Discovery Opens Possibilities for Improved Energy Technologies

Graphene, a strong, lightweight carbon honeycombed structure, only one atom thick, holds great promise for energy research and development. Recently scientists with the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures, and Transport Energy Frontier Research Center, led by the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, revealed graphene can serve as a proton-selective permeable membrane, providing a new basis for streamlined and more efficient energy technologies such as improved fuel cells.

Data Driven Discoveries

The Array of Things, The Internet of Things, ultimately, "smart" cities have to feature hundreds, maybe thousands, of strategically placed sensors. These devices would record everything from air pressure and temperature to microbial content. The newly developed Waggle platform is the system on a chip that will enable this to happen.

ORNL Microscopy Directly Images Problematic Lithium Dendrites in Batteries

Scientists have captured the first real-time nanoscale images of lithium dendrite structures known to degrade lithium-ion batteries.

Big Box Stores Could Ditch the Grid, Use Natural Gas Fuel Cells Instead

Natural gas powered solid oxide fuel cells, located at the point of use to produce electricity for facilities the size of big box stores, could provide economic and environmental benefits, with additional research, according to new study.

Argonne Research Expanding from Injectors to Inhalers

In collaboration with Australian researchers, Argonne National Laboratory's scientists are using decades of experience analyzing vehicle fuel injectors to study medical inhalers, hoping to unlock the secrets of the devices that are so well known to asthma sufferers everywhere.

New CMI Process Recycles Valuable Rare Earth Metals From Old Electronics

Scientists at the Critical Materials Institute have developed a two-step recovery process that makes recycling rare-earth metals easier and more cost-effective.

Innovative, Lower Cost Sensors and Controls Yield Better Energy Efficiency

Buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. Studies indicate that advanced sensors and controls have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 20-30 percent.

New Flow Battery to Keep Big Cities Lit, Green & Safe

The new zinc-polyiodide redox flow battery uses an electrolyte that has more than two times the energy density of the next-best flow battery used to store renewable energy and support the power grid. It's high energy density, and resulting lower cost, make it ideal for large cities where space is at a premium.

Dendrite Eraser: New Electrolyte Rids Batteries of Short-Circuiting Fibers

A new electrolyte allows rechargeable batteries to operate well without growing dendrites, tiny pin-like fibers that short-circuit rechargeable batteries.

Using 'Fuzzy Logic' to Optimize Hybrid Solar/Battery Systems

A group of researchers in Tunisia and Algeria show how fuzzy logic has helped them create an ideal photovoltaic system that obeys the supply-and-demand principle and its delicate balance. They describe this new sizing system of a solar array and a battery in a standalone photovoltaic system in The Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Searching for Signs of a Force from the 'Dark Side' in Particle Collisions at RHIC

Scientists searching for signs of elusive "dark photons" as an explanation for an anomaly in a groundbreaking physics experiment have nearly ruled out their role.

New Solder for Semiconductors Creates Technological Possibilities

A research team led by the University of Chicago's Dmitri Talapin has demonstrated how semiconductors can be soldered and still deliver good electronic performance.

Scientists Get First Glimpse of a Chemical Bond Being Born

Scientists have used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to get the first glimpse of the transition state where two atoms begin to form a weak bond on the way to becoming a molecule.

Better Catalysts, Made-to-Order

University of Utah scientists captured enough data on crucial steps in a chemical reaction to accurately predict the structures of the most efficient catalysts, those that would speed the process with the least amount of unwanted byproducts. The new approach could help chemists design catalysts that are not just incrementally better, but entirely new.

Scientists Take First X-ray Portraits of Living Bacteria at the LCLS

Researchers working at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the first X-ray portraits of living bacteria. This milestone, reported in the Feb. 11 issue of Nature Communications, is a first step toward possible X-ray explorations of the molecular machinery at work in viral infections, cell division, photosynthesis and other processes that are important to biology, human health and our environment.

Direct Measurement of Key Molecule Will Increase Accuracy of Combustion Models

Sandia National Laboratories researchers are the first to directly measure hydroperoxyalkyl radicals -- a class of reactive molecules denoted as "QOOH" -- that are key in the chain of reactions that controls the early stages of combustion. This breakthrough has generated data on QOOH reaction rates and outcomes that will improve the fidelity of models used by engine manufacturers to create cleaner and more efficient cars and trucks. A paper describing the work, performed by David Osborn, Ewa Papajak, John Savee, Craig Taatjes and Judit Zador at Sandia's Combustion Research Facility, is featured in the Feb. 6 edition of Science.

Tracking Glaciers with Accelerators

To predict Earth's future, geologists use particle accelerators to understand its past.