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    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2015

    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2015

    High octane rating makes ethanol attractive; ORNL has potential solution to congestion, collisions; ORNL using advanced methods to discover new materials; ORNL hosting molten salt reactor workshop; Virginia Tech using ORNL computing resources for energy exploration

    ORNL Researchers Find 'Greener' Way to Assemble Materials for Solar Applications

    ORNL Researchers Find 'Greener' Way to Assemble Materials for Solar Applications

    Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a "greener" way to control the assembly of photovoltaic polymers in water using a surfactant--a detergent-like molecule--as a template.

    Flipping Molecular Attachments Amps Up Activity of CO2 Catalyst

    Flipping Molecular Attachments Amps Up Activity of CO2 Catalyst

    New research by chemists at Brookhaven Lab offers clues that could help scientists design more effective catalysts for transforming carbon dioxide (CO2) to useful products. The study reveals how a simple rearrangement of molecular attachments on an iridium hydride catalyst can greatly improve its ability to coax notoriously stable CO2 molecules to react.

    A Simpler Way to Estimate the Feedback Between Permafrost Carbon and Climate

    A Simpler Way to Estimate the Feedback Between Permafrost Carbon and Climate

    Researchers led by a scientist from Berkeley Lab have developed a simple model of permafrost carbon based on direct observations. Their approach could help climate scientists evaluate how well permafrost dynamics are represented in the Earth system models used to predict climate change.

    Ames Laboratory Scientists Create an All-Organic UV on-Chip Spectrometer

    Ames Laboratory Scientists Create an All-Organic UV on-Chip Spectrometer

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has developed a near ultra-violet and all-organic light emitting diode (OLED) that can be used as an on-chip photosensor.

    Quark Matter 2015: Scientists Present, Discuss Latest Data from Experiments Smashing Nuclei at the Speed of Light

    Quark Matter 2015: Scientists Present, Discuss Latest Data from Experiments Smashing Nuclei at the Speed of Light

    Scientists intent on unraveling the mystery of the force that binds the building blocks of visible matter are gathered in Kobe, Japan, this week to present and discuss the latest results from "ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions." Known more colloquially as Quark Matter 2015, the conference convenes scientists studying smashups of nuclei traveling close to the speed of light at the world's premier particle colliders-the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC, https://www.bnl.gov/rhic/) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN).

    ORNL Microscopy Finds Evidence of High-Temperature Superconductivity in Single Layer

    ORNL Microscopy Finds Evidence of High-Temperature Superconductivity in Single Layer

    Electron microscopy is pointing researchers closer to the development of ultra-thin materials that transfer electrons with no resistance at relatively high temperatures.

    Price of Solar Energy in the United States Has Fallen to 5 cents/kWh on Average

    Price of Solar Energy in the United States Has Fallen to 5 cents/kWh on Average

    Solar energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by Berkeley Lab. Driven by lower installed costs, improved project performance, and a race to build projects ahead of a reduction in a key federal incentive, utility-scale solar project developers have been negotiating power sales agreements with utilities at prices averaging just 5 cents/kWh.

    A Different Type of 2D Semiconductor

    A Different Type of 2D Semiconductor

    Berkeley Lab researchers have produced the first atomically thin 2D sheets of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites. These ionic materials exhibit optical properties not found in 2D covalent semiconductors such as graphene, making them promising alternatives to silicon for future electronic devices.

    ORNL Demonstrates Road to Supercapacitors for Scrap Tires

    ORNL Demonstrates Road to Supercapacitors for Scrap Tires

    Some of the 300 million tires discarded each year in the United States alone could be used in supercapacitors for vehicles and the electric grid using a technology developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Drexel University.

    ORNL Integrated Energy Demo Connects 3D-Printed Building, Vehicle

    ORNL Integrated Energy Demo Connects 3D-Printed Building, Vehicle

    A research demonstration unveiled today at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory combines clean energy technologies into a 3D-printed building and vehicle to showcase a new approach to energy use, storage and consumption.

    Dirty, Crusty Meals Fit for (Long-Dormant) Microbes

    Dirty, Crusty Meals Fit for (Long-Dormant) Microbes

    Deploying a set of tools called "exometabolomics," a Berkeley Lab team harnessed the analytical capabilities of mass spectrometry techniques to quantitatively measure how individual microbes and the biocrust community transform complex mixtures of metabolites from soil. The study published September 22, 2015 in Nature Communications.

    Making 3D Objects Disappear

    Making 3D Objects Disappear

    Berkeley researchers have devised an ultra-thin invisibility "skin" cloak that can conform to the shape of an object and conceal it from detection with visible light. Although this cloak is only microscopic in size, the principles behind the technology should enable it to be scaled-up to conceal macroscopic items as well.

    Nano-Trapped Molecules Are Potential Path to Quantum Devices

    Nano-Trapped Molecules Are Potential Path to Quantum Devices

    Single atoms or molecules imprisoned by laser light in a doughnut-shaped metal cage could unlock the key to advanced storage devices, computers and high-resolution instruments.

    Q&A: Biologist Describes Milestone in Watching Proteins Boogie

    Q&A: Biologist Describes Milestone in Watching Proteins Boogie

    Using an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, researchers have for the first time directly seen myoglobin move within quadrillionths of a second after a bond breaks and the protein releases a gas molecule. The Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser is a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and its short, bright pulses were essential for observing these ultrafast, atomic-scale motions.

    Scientists Use Lasers to Simulate Shock Effects of Meteorite Impact on Silica

    Scientists Use Lasers to Simulate Shock Effects of Meteorite Impact on Silica

    Scientists used high-power laser beams at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to simulate the shock effects of a meteorite impact in silica, one of the most abundant materials in the Earth's crust. They observed, for the first time, its shockingly fast transformation into the mineral stishovite - a rare, extremely hard and dense form of silica.

    New ORNL Catalyst Addresses Engine Efficiency, Emissions Quandary

    New ORNL Catalyst Addresses Engine Efficiency, Emissions Quandary

    A catalyst being developed by researchers could overcome one of the key obstacles still preventing automobile engines from running more cleanly and efficiently.

    Team Announces Breakthrough Observation of Mott Transition in a Superconductor

    Team Announces Breakthrough Observation of Mott Transition in a Superconductor

    An international team of researchers announced today in Science the observation of a dynamic Mott transition in a superconductor. The discovery experimentally connects the worlds of classical and quantum mechanics and illuminates the mysterious nature of the Mott transition. It also could shed light on non-equilibrium physics, which is poorly understood but governs most of what occurs in our world. The finding may also represent a step towards more efficient electronics based on the Mott transition.

    Extreme Pressure Causes Osmium to Change State of Matter

    Extreme Pressure Causes Osmium to Change State of Matter

    Using metallic osmium (Os) in experimentation, an international group of researchers have demonstrated that ultra-high pressures cause core electrons to interplay, which results in experimentally observed anomalies in the compression behavior of the material.

    Insight Into Obscure Transition Uncovered by X-Rays

    Insight Into Obscure Transition Uncovered by X-Rays

    The list of potential mechanisms that underlie an unusual metal-insulator transition has been narrowed by a team of scientists using a combination of X-ray techniques. This transition has ramifications for material design for electronics and sensors.

    Best Precision Yet for Neutrino Measurements at Daya Bay

    Best Precision Yet for Neutrino Measurements at Daya Bay

    Today, the international Daya Bay Collaboration announces new findings on the measurements of neutrinos, paving the way forward for further neutrino research, and confirming that the Daya Bay neutrino experiment continues to be one to watch.

    Best Precision Yet for Neutrino Measurements at Daya Bay

    Best Precision Yet for Neutrino Measurements at Daya Bay

    Today, the international Daya Bay Collaboration announces new findings on the measurements of neutrinos, paving the way forward for further neutrino research, and confirming that the Daya Bay neutrino experiment continues to be one to watch.

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

    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 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

    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.