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    Towards Super-Efficient, Ultra-Thin Silicon Solar Cells

    Towards Super-Efficient, Ultra-Thin Silicon Solar Cells

    Researchers from Ames Laboratory used supercomputers at NERSC to evaluate a novel approach for creating more energy-efficient ultra-thin crystalline silicon solar cells by optimizing nanophotonic light trapping.

    Study IDs Link Between Sugar Signaling and Regulation of Oil Production in Plants

    Study IDs Link Between Sugar Signaling and Regulation of Oil Production in Plants

    UPTON, NY--Even plants have to live on an energy budget. While they're known for converting solar energy into chemical energy in the form of sugars, plants have sophisticated biochemical mechanisms for regulating how they spend that energy. Making oils costs a lot. By exploring the details of this delicate energy balance, a group of scientists from the U.

    High-Energy Electrons Probe Ultrafast Atomic Motion

    High-Energy Electrons Probe Ultrafast Atomic Motion

    A new technique synchronized high-energy electrons with an ultrafast laser pulse to probe how vibrational states of atoms change in time.

    Rare Earth Recycling

    Rare Earth Recycling

    A new energy-efficient separation of rare earth elements could provide a new domestic source of critical materials.

    Two-Dimensional MXene Materials Get Their Close-Up

    Two-Dimensional MXene Materials Get Their Close-Up

    Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders.

    Discovery in New Material Raises Questions About Theoretical Models of Superconductivity

    Discovery in New Material Raises Questions About Theoretical Models of Superconductivity

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has successfully created the first pure, single-crystal sample of a new iron arsenide superconductor, CaKFe4As4, and studies of this material have called into question some long-standing theoretical models of superconductivity.

    Study: Soils Could Release Much More Carbon Than Expected as Climate Warms

    Study: Soils Could Release Much More Carbon Than Expected as Climate Warms

    Soils could release much more CO2 than expected into the atmosphere as the climate warms, according to new research by Berkeley Lab scientists. Their findings are based on a field experiment that, for the first time, explored what happens to organic carbon trapped in soil when all soil layers are warmed, which in this case extend to a depth of 100 centimeters.

    The Future of Coastal Flooding

    The Future of Coastal Flooding

    Better storm surge prediction capabilities could help reduce the impacts of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes.

    Estimating Global Energy Use for Water-Related Processes

    Estimating Global Energy Use for Water-Related Processes

    Scientists find that water-related energy consumption is increasing across the globe, with pronounced differences across regions and sectors.

    Small Nanoparticles Have Surprisingly Big Effects on Polymer Nanocomposites

    Small Nanoparticles Have Surprisingly Big Effects on Polymer Nanocomposites

    When a team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory tried to verify that shrinking the nanoparticle size would adversely affect the mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites, they got a big surprise.

    Argonne Invents Reusable Sponge That Soaks Up Oil, Could Revolutionize Oil Spill and Diesel Cleanup

    Argonne Invents Reusable Sponge That Soaks Up Oil, Could Revolutionize Oil Spill and Diesel Cleanup

    Scientists at Argonne have invented a new foam, called Oleo Sponge, that not only easily adsorbs spilled oil from water, but is also reusable and can pull dispersed oil from the entire water column--not just the surface.

    Study Examines Tungsten in Extreme Environments to Improve Fusion Materials

    Study Examines Tungsten in Extreme Environments to Improve Fusion Materials

    Chad Parish of Oak Ridge National Laboratory is senior author of a study that explored degradation of tungsten under reactor-relevant conditions. Learning how energetic atomic bombardment affects tungsten microscopically helps engineers improve nuclear materials.

    New Materials Could Turn Water Into the Fuel of the Future

    New Materials Could Turn Water Into the Fuel of the Future

    Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Caltech have--in just two years--nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels. They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of commercially viable generation of solar fuels that could replace coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

    Imaging the Inner Workings of a Sodium-Metal Sulfide Battery for First Time

    Imaging the Inner Workings of a Sodium-Metal Sulfide Battery for First Time

    Scientists discover that the iron sulfide battery material undergoes significant changes in its microstructure and chemical composition as sodium ions enter and leave the material during the first discharge/charge cycle, leading to an initial loss in battery capacity.

    New Evidence for a Water-Rich History on Mars

    New Evidence for a Water-Rich History on Mars

    Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to research on simulated Martian meteorites conducted, in part, at Berkeley Lab.

    Water-Repellent Nanotextures Found to Have Excellent Anti-Fogging Abilities

    Water-Repellent Nanotextures Found to Have Excellent Anti-Fogging Abilities

    Nanotextures inspired by cone-shaped structures found on the surface of cicada wings could inform new designs for materials prone to fogging, such as car and aircraft windshields.

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2017

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2017

    Rapid prototyping aids small manufacturer; accelerated method could separate CO2 from flue gases; EBM technique controls microstructure, locates properties in 3-D printed parts; open-source, user-friendly software monitors, controls energy use; drones to aid electric utilities to enhance safety, system reliability; ORNL cyberspace conf.

    Scientists Discover Magnetic "Persuasion" in Neighboring Metals

    Scientists Discover Magnetic "Persuasion" in Neighboring Metals

    Summary (1-3 sentences): Certain materials can be swayed by their neighbors to become magnetic, according to a new Argonne study.

    Corrective 'Eyeglasses' Now Available For X-Ray Research Facilities

    Corrective 'Eyeglasses' Now Available For X-Ray Research Facilities

    A research collaboration designed and built special spectacles, or corrective phase plates, for use at light sources that use high-intensity X-rays to probe matter in fine detail. Nature Communications published the details of the method, developed in part by researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    Tweaking Electrolyte Makes Better Lithium-Metal Batteries

    Tweaking Electrolyte Makes Better Lithium-Metal Batteries

    New research shows adding a pinch of chemical additive to a lithium-metal battery's electrolyte helps make rechargeable batteries that are stable, charge quickly, and go longer in between charges.

    Researchers Coax Particles to Form Vortices Using Magnetic Fields

    Researchers Coax Particles to Form Vortices Using Magnetic Fields

    Researchers at Argonne created tiny swirling vortices out of magnetic particles, providing insight into the behavior that governs such systems -- which opens up new opportunities for materials and devices with new properties.

    The Heat Is On

    The Heat Is On

    NASA is developing a new family of flexible heat-shield systems with a woven carbon-fiber base material, and is using X-rays at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source to test the designs.

    New Droplet-on-Tape Method Assists Biochemical Research at X-Ray Lasers

    New Droplet-on-Tape Method Assists Biochemical Research at X-Ray Lasers

    scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and other institutes designed a new assembly-line system that rapidly replaces exposed biological samples by moving droplets along a miniature conveyor belt, timed to coincide with the arrival of the X-ray pulses. The droplet-on-tape system now allows the team to study the biochemical reactions in real-time from microseconds to seconds, revealing the stages of these complex reactions.

    The Brown Rot Two-Step

    The Brown Rot Two-Step

    Understanding how brown rot fungi degrade wood could lead to new tools for more efficient biofuel production.

    Protein Structure Solved From Smallest Crystals Yet

    Protein Structure Solved From Smallest Crystals Yet

    An international team of scientists used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to determine the structure of an insect virus's crystalline protein "cocoon."