Smart Glass Made Better, and Cheaper

New "smart glass" technology developed at the University of Delaware could make curtains and blinds obsolete. This isn't the first "smart glass," but it's one-tenth the price of other versions and more transparent in its transparent state and more reflective in its reflective state than competitors.

New Insights Could Pave The Way For Self-Powered Low Energy Devices

Researchers have discovered more details about the way certain materials hold a static charge even after two surfaces separate, information that could help improve devices that leverage such energy as a power source.

Catalysts: High Performance Lies on the Edge

Iron may be more valuable than platinum. Sometimes.

Big Steps Toward Control of Production of Tiny Building Blocks

Article describes use of new diagnostics to advance understanding of the plasma nanosynthesis of widely used nanoparticles.

Lithium-Related Discovery Could Extend Battery Life and Improve Safety

New research from Arizona State University shows that using a 3-dimensional layer of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) can mitigate dendrite formation and stands to both dramatically extend battery life and diminish safety risks.

Teaching Computers to Guide Science: New Machine Learning Method Sees the Forests and the Trees

While it may be the era of supercomputers and "big data," without smart methods to mine all that data, it's only so much digital detritus. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have come up with a novel machine learning method that enables scientists to derive insights from systems of previously intractable complexity in record time.

Chemical Sleuthing Unravels Possible Path to the Formation of Life's Building Blocks in Space

Scientists have used experiments at Berkeley Lab to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.

Mapping Nanoscale Chemical Reactions Inside Batteries in 3-D

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new technique that lets them pinpoint the location of chemical reactions happening inside lithium-ion batteries in three dimensions at the nanoscale level. Their results are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Assessing the Impact of Hurricanes on Puerto Rico's Forests

Building on methods they used to assess the impact of hurricanes such as Katrina, Gustav, and Rita on forests and tree mortality, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have produced a rapid mapping of the disturbance intensity across Puerto Rico's forests with the help of Google Earth Engine.

The Nucleus: Coming Soon in 3D!

Physicians have long used CT scans to get 3D imagery of the inner workings of the human body. Now, physicists are working toward getting their first CT scans of the inner workings of the nucleus. A measurement of quarks in helium nuclei published last fall in Physical Review Letters demonstrates that 3D imaging of the inner structure of the nucleus is now possible.

Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2018

ORNL model could better predict tiny methylmercury pockets lurking in creek algae; engines work smarter with new fuel innovation; making narrow metallic structures to advance tiny electronics, drug delivery; certain enzymes that try to break down antibiotics may inform better drug designs for fighting resistant bacteria; current software simulations for small modular reactors upscaled to run on future supercomputers.

Discovery of a New Microbe that Produces Methane in Oxygenated Soils

Global models may be underestimating net wetland methane emissions.

Can Strongly Lensed Type Ia Supernovae Resolve Cosmology's Biggest Controversy?

Using NERSC supercomputers, astrophysicists at Berkeley Lab and the University of Portsmouth discovered how to control the effects of "micolensing." Armed with this knowledge they believe they will be able to find 1000 strongly lensed Type Ia supernovae in real-time from LSST data--that's 20 times more than previous expectations.

CUORE Constrains Neutrino Properties

The CUORE experiment set the tightest limits yet on the rare decay of tellurium-130, providing insights into the nature of neutrinos.

Sandwich Battery with 'Melty' Layer is Safe, Robust

Engineers from the University of Maryland created a non-flammable battery from ceramic materials by using a 'melty' layer that, when cool, unites a solid-state battery.

Scientists Confirm Century-Old Speculation on the Chemistry of a High-Performance Battery

Scientists have discovered a novel chemical state, first proposed about 90 years ago, that enables a high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery. The battery could quickly and efficiently store and distribute energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines across the electrical grid.

Plasma Bubbles Help Trigger Massive Magnetic Events in Outer Space

Scientists at PPPL have discovered key conditions that give rise to fast magnetic reconnection, the process that triggers solar flares, auroras, and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt signal transmissions and other electrical activities, including cell phone service.

A Marriage of Light-Manipulation Technologies

Researchers from Argonne and Harvard University built a metasurface-based lens atop a Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) platform. The result is a new, infrared light-focusing system that combines the best features of both technologies while reducing the size of the optical system.

Wind and Solar Power Could Meet Four-Fifths of U.S. Electricity Demand, Study Finds

The United States could reliably meet about 80 percent of its electricity demand with solar and wind power generation, according to scientists at the University of California, Irvine; the California Institute of Technology; and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

First Nanoscale Look at How Lithium Ions Navigate a Molecular Maze to Reach Battery Electrode

Lithium ions have to travel through layers of molecules in the electrolyte liquid before they can enter or leave a lithium-ion battery electrode. Tweaking this process could help batteries charge faster.

Neutrons Reveal Promising Properties of Novel Antioxidant Polymer

A team of researchers from ORNL and the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently developed the antioxidant manganoporphyrin, a new polymer that could potentially improve drug delivery methods and other biomedical applications. Using neutrons, they studied the strength and efficiency of a compound made from this material and tannic acid, a natural antioxidant.

The Fine-Tuning of Two-Dimensional Materials

In two recent publications, teams of researchers led by Penn State provide new understanding of why synthetic two-dimensional materials often perform orders of magnitude worse than predicted, and how to improve their performance in future electronics, photonics, and memory storage applications.

For Energy Experts, New Method Is a Gas

Researchers have developed a method that will help natural gas experts better understand shale samples and eventually help them decide whether to invest time and resources to extract gas from the formation the samples came from.

Opening Windows for New Spintronic Studies

A surprising discovery could potentially offer major advantages in speed, heat dissipation and power consumption in electronic devices.

Sunlight Stimulates Microbial Respiration of Carbon in Surface Waters

This research offers new information to understand the role of microorganisms in elemental cycling in the Arctic.