22-Aug-2014 Catalytic gold nanoclusters promise rich chemical yields
With scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a catalyst containing exactly 25 gold atoms that catalyzes the conversion of various molecules, including the transformation of poisonous carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide, a reaction that may find application in devices near gas flues or wood-burning stoves.
20-Aug-2014 Junior researchers showing world the way to advanced nuclear fuel design
Two early-career Idaho National Laboratory researchers are earning international attention for their groundbreaking work. They're getting a long-sought look into the 3-D microstructure of irradiated nuclear fuel, then feeding that data into cutting-edge fuel behavior models. Their work will make the design and testing of even safer nuclear fuels more informed and efficient.
20-Aug-2014 Ying Diao honored with 2014 Spicer Award for her work at SSRL
Ying Diao, a SLAC/Stanford postdoctoral researcher who brought key innovations to a printing technique for flexible electronics, solar panels and other uses, has been selected to receive this year's William E. and Diane M. Spicer Young Investigator Award.
18-Aug-2014 Berkeley Lab's SPOT Suite transforms beamline science
For decades, synchrotron light sources have been operating on a manual grab-and-go data management model, but a recent deluge of data is quickly making this practice implausible. So Berkeley Lab X-ray scientists, facility users, computer and computational scientists, teamed up to create new tools for reducing, managing, analyzing and visualizing beamline data.The result of this collaboration is SPOT Suite, and it is already transforming the way scientists run their experiments at the ALS.
22-Jul-2014 Sandia ensures US nuclear weapons deterrent can remain effective, credible
As part of its mission of ensuring the nation's stockpile is safe, secure and effective as a deterrent, Sandia National Laboratories must make sure crucial parts can function if they're hit by radiation, especially a type called fast neutrons. It created a science-based program called QASPR, which combines computer modeling and simulation, and experiments and technology development.
15-Jul-2014 Ames Laboratory home to first-in-nation DNP-NMR instrument to study materials
The US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is now the home to a dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer that helps scientists understand how individual atoms are arranged in materials. Ames Laboratory's DNP-NMR is the first to be used for materials science and chemistry in the United States.
14-Jul-2014 First anniversary gift for Critical Material Institute? Inventions. Eleven of them.
The Critical Materials Institute, an Energy Innovation Hub for the US Department of Energy, celebrated its first anniversary with 11 invention disclosures, all research milestones in a mission to assure the availability of rare earths and other materials critical to clean energy technologies.
The inventions include improved extractive processes, recycling techniques, and substitute materials -- technologies designed to increase production and efficiency of, and reduce reliance on, the use of rare earths and other critical materials.
25-Jun-2014 A model for success
Idaho National Laboratory researcher Blaise Collin works with software called PARFUME (particle fuel model) as part of an effort to find new, safer fuel sources for use in nuclear reactors.
29-May-2014 Get ready for the computers of the future
Sandia experts expect multiple computing device-level technologies in the future, rather than one dominant architecture. About a dozen possible next-generation candidates exist, including tunnel FETs (field effect transistors, in which the output current is controlled by a variable electric field), carbon nanotubes, superconductors and fundamentally new approaches, such as quantum computing and brain-inspired computing.
29-May-2014 Scientists pinpoint creeping nanocrystals behind lithium-ion battery degradation
Scientists from several US Department of Energy national laboratories -- Lawrence Berkeley, Brookhaven, SLAC, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory -- mapped the nanoscale dynamics of lithium-ion charge cycles and discovered never-before-seen evolution and degradation patterns in two key battery materials.
15-May-2014 The brain: Key to a better computer
Although brain-inspired computing is in its infancy, Sandia National Laboratories has included it in a long-term research project whose goal is future computer systems. Neuro-inspired computing seeks to develop algorithms that would run on computers that function more like a brain than a conventional computer.
12-May-2014 Industry research: Experiment enters next stage at new Idaho hot cell
To the average eye, the experimental specimens don't look like much: silver-colored squares about the size of a domino. But the samples represent several big milestones for Idaho National Laboratory, the Department of Energy and the US nuclear energy industry. The irradiated 'compact tension' specimens are the first to undergo analysis in a specialized test rig at INL. Plus, they're part of a first-of-its-kind collaboration through the DOE's Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility.
8-May-2014 Engineering better machines and buildings by understanding mechanics of materials
Sandia National Laboratories is working to fill gaps in the fundamental understanding of materials science through an ambitious long-term, multidisciplinary project called Predicting Performance Margins, or PPM. From the atomic level to full-scale components, the research links variability in materials' atomic configurations and microstructures with how actual parts perform.
29-Apr-2014 Label-free, sequence-specific, inexpensive fluorescent DNA sensors
Using principles of energy transfer more commonly applied to designing solar cells, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new highly sensitive way to detect specific sequences of DNA, the genetic material unique to every living thing. As described in a paper published in the journal Chemistry of Materials, the method is considerably less costly than other DNA assays and has widespread potential for applications in forensics, medical diagnostics, and the detection of bioterror agents.
25-Apr-2014 'Sweet spot' for salty water
Computational modeling has given materials researchers new insight into the properties of a membrane that purifies saltwater into potable water. The resulting technology could help speed up inefficient desalination processes in use today.
11-Apr-2014 Simulation solves mystery of how liquid-crystal thin films disintegrate
Approximately four decades ago, theoreticians believed that only one of two mechanisms could explain rupture of liquid-crystal thin films. They also believed that these two mechanisms could not coexist. But 10 years ago experiments showed that these two mechanisms in many cases do coexist, according to Trung Nguyen of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who ran unprecedented large-scale molecular dynamics simulations on Titan, America's fastest supercomputer, to model the beginnings of ruptures in thin films.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.