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    A Simple Way to Make Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes That Protect Themselves

    A Simple Way to Make Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes That Protect Themselves

    Scientists at three Department of Energy national laboratories have discovered how to keep a promising new type of lithium ion battery cathode from developing a crusty coating that degrades its performance. The solution: Use a simple manufacturing technique to form the cathode material into tiny, layered particles that store a lot of energy while protecting themselves from damage.

    Unique Two-Level Cathode Structure Improves Battery Performance

    Unique Two-Level Cathode Structure Improves Battery Performance

    A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory say they've found a way to make a battery cathode with a hierarchical structure where the reactive material is abundant yet protected--key points for high capacity and long battery life.

    Technique Matters: A Different Way to Make a Cathode May Mean Better Batteries

    Technique Matters: A Different Way to Make a Cathode May Mean Better Batteries

    Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide, or NMC, is one of the most promising chemistries for better lithium batteries, especially for electric vehicle applications, but scientists have been struggling to get higher capacity out of them. Now researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that using a different method to make the material can offer substantial improvements.

    How Seashells Get Their Strength

    How Seashells Get Their Strength

    Seashells and lobster claws are hard to break, but chalk is soft enough to draw on sidewalks. Though all three are made of calcium carbonate crystals, the hard materials include clumps of soft biological matter that make them much stronger. A study today in Nature Communications reveals how soft clumps get into crystals and endow them with remarkable strength.

    A Nanoscale Look at Why a New Alloy Is Amazingly Tough

    A Nanoscale Look at Why a New Alloy Is Amazingly Tough

    A team of researchers led by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has identified several mechanisms that make a new, cold-loving material one of the toughest metallic alloys ever.

    Renewable Energy for State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yielded Sizable Benefits and Other Impacts in 2013

    Renewable Energy for State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yielded Sizable Benefits and Other Impacts in 2013

    A new study estimates that billions in dollars in benefits come from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013. RPS policies require utilities or other electricity providers to meet a minimum portion of their load with eligible forms of renewable electricity.

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2016

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2016

    Unmanned Aerial Systems Research Center at ORNL offers world of opportunities; New ORNL material offers clear advantages for consumer products and more; Hospital occupancy data helping ORNL study population distribution; Laser beams, plasmonic sensors able to detect trace biochemical compounds; ORNL devises new tool to map vegetation, wildlife habitat; ORNL software connects dots of disparate data; ORNL breaks mold with steel like none other

    PPPL Physicists Simulate Innovative Method for Starting Up Tokamaks Without Using a Solenoid

    PPPL Physicists Simulate Innovative Method for Starting Up Tokamaks Without Using a Solenoid

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have produced self-consistent computer simulations that capture the evolution of an electric current inside fusion plasma without using a central electromagnet, or solenoid.

    Q&A: Biologist Describes Milestone toward a Universal Flu Vaccine

    Q&A: Biologist Describes Milestone toward a Universal Flu Vaccine

    Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Crucell Vaccine Institute have now designed a protein fragment called mini-HA that stimulates the production of antibodies against a variety of influenza viruses. A key part of the work took place at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where the scientists used a technique called X-ray crystallography to look at the atomic structure of the mini-HA at each stage of its development.

    Beam-Beam Compensation Scheme Doubles Proton-Proton Collision Rates at RHIC

    Beam-Beam Compensation Scheme Doubles Proton-Proton Collision Rates at RHIC

    Accelerator physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have successfully implemented an innovative scheme for increasing proton collision rates at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). More proton collisions at this DOE Office of Science User Facility produce more data for scientists to sift through to answer important nuclear physics questions, including the search for the source of proton spin.

    Ames Laboratory Scientist's Calculation Featured on Cover of Physical Review Letters

    Ames Laboratory Scientist's Calculation Featured on Cover of Physical Review Letters

    Research performed by U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory Associate Scientist Durga Paudyal was recently featured on the cover of the November 13, 2015, issue of Physical Review Letters.

    ORNL Cell-Free Protein Synthesis Is Potential Lifesaver

    ORNL Cell-Free Protein Synthesis Is Potential Lifesaver

    Lives of soldiers and others injured in remote locations could be saved with a cell-free protein synthesis system developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    Nature's Microscopic Masonry: The First Steps in How Thin Protein Sheets Form Polyhedral Shells

    Nature's Microscopic Masonry: The First Steps in How Thin Protein Sheets Form Polyhedral Shells

    Scientists have for the first time viewed how bacterial proteins self-assemble into thin sheets and begin to form the walls of the outer shell for nano-sized polyhedral compartments that function as specialized factories. The new insight may aid scientists who seek to tap this natural origami by designing novel compartments or using them as scaffolding for new types of nanoscale architectures, such as drug-delivery systems.

    ORNL Achieves Milestone with Plutonium-238 Sample

    ORNL Achieves Milestone with Plutonium-238 Sample

    With the production of 50 grams of plutonium-238, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have restored a U.S. capability dormant for nearly 30 years and set the course to provide power for NASA and other missions.

    Neutrons Offer Guide to Getting More Out of Solid-State Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Neutrons Offer Guide to Getting More Out of Solid-State Lithium-Ion Batteries

    A new study conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), has revealed promising results that could drastically boost the performance of solid-state electrolytes, and could potentially lead to a safer, even more efficient battery. Researchers used neutron diffraction (the VULCAN instrument, SNS beam line 7) to conduct an in-depth study probing the entire structure evolution of doped garnet-type electrolytes during the synthesis process to unravel the mechanism that boosts the lithium-ionic conductivity.

    New Flow Battery Offers Lower-Cost Energy Storage

    New Flow Battery Offers Lower-Cost Energy Storage

    Renewable energy can be stored for less with PNNL's new organic aqueous flow battery, which uses inexpensive and readily available materials. The new battery is expected to cost about 60 percent less than today's standard flow batteries.

    ORNL Technique Could Set New Course for Extracting Uranium From Seawater

    ORNL Technique Could Set New Course for Extracting Uranium From Seawater

    An ultra-high-resolution technique used for the first time to study polymer fibers that trap uranium in seawater may cause researchers to rethink the best methods to harvest this potential fuel for nuclear reactors.

    Some Like It Hot: Simulating Single Particle Excitations

    Some Like It Hot: Simulating Single Particle Excitations

    Understanding and manipulating plasmons is important for their potential use in photovoltaics, solar cell water splitting, and sunlight-induced fuel production from CO2. Now, for the first time, the interplay between the plasmon mode and the single particle excitation within a small metal cluster has been simulated directly. Researchers with Berkeley Lab used a real-time numerical algorithm to study both the plasmon and hot carrier within the same framework. That is critical for understanding how long a particle stays excited, and whether there is energy backflow from hot carrier to plasmon.

    LUX Experiment Draws Best Picture Yet of What Dark Matter Particles Cannot Be

    LUX Experiment Draws Best Picture Yet of What Dark Matter Particles Cannot Be

    The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Now scientists have significantly enhanced its ability to look for WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, which are among the leading candidates for dark matter.

    New Results From World's Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector

    New Results From World's Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector

    The Large Underground Xenon dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive detector in the hunt for dark matter, the unseen stuff believed to account for most of the matter in the universe. Now, a new set of calibration techniques employed by LUX scientists has again dramatically improved the detector's sensitivity.

    To Get More Oomph From an Electron Gun, Tip It with Diamondoids

    To Get More Oomph From an Electron Gun, Tip It with Diamondoids

    They sound like futuristic weapons, but electron guns are actually workhorse tools for research and industry: They emit streams of electrons for electron microscopes, semiconductor patterning equipment and particle accelerators, to name a few important uses. Now scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have figured out how to increase these electron flows 13,000-fold by applying a single layer of diamondoids - tiny, perfect diamond cages - to an electron gun's sharp gold tip.

    Innovation Boosts Study of Fragile Biological Samples at SLAC's X-Ray Laser

    Innovation Boosts Study of Fragile Biological Samples at SLAC's X-Ray Laser

    Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a simple new way to study very delicate biological samples - like proteins at work in photosynthesis and components of protein-making machines called ribosomes - at the atomic scale using SLAC's X-ray laser.

    Titan Helps Researchers Explore Explosive Star Scenarios

    Titan Helps Researchers Explore Explosive Star Scenarios

    A team led by Michael Zingale of Stony Brook University is exploring the physics of Type Ia supernovas using the Titan supercomputer at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The team's latest research focuses on a specific class of Type Ia supernovas known as double-detonation supernovas. This year, the team completed a three-dimensional (3-D), high-resolution investigation of the thermonuclear burning a double-detonation white dwarf undergoes before explosion. The study expands upon the team's initial 3-D simulation of this supernova scenario, which was carried out in 2013.

    RHIC Particle Smashups Find that Shape Matters

    RHIC Particle Smashups Find that Shape Matters

    Peering into the seething soup of primordial matter created in particle collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) -- an "atom smasher" dedicated to nuclear physics research at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory -- scientists have come to a new understanding of how particles are produced in these collisions.