27-May-2015 The 'why' of models
An international team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry set out to assess how two Free-Air CO2 Enrichment projects compared to eleven vegetation models that simulate various ecological processes. Instead of only benchmarking whether or not an individual model matched the experimental data, the researchers developed an 'assumption-centered' approach to evaluate why certain models performed better than others.
21-May-2015 Shape-shifting plastic
Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Washington State University and the University of Idaho have developed a process to make a thermoset that can be reshaped and reused. The new plastic is a shape-memory polymer, so named because the material can 'remember' its original shape and return to it after being deformed with heat or other forces.
18-May-2015 Optical diagnostics researcher at Sandia wins DOE Early Career award
Sandia National Laboratories researcher Christopher Kliewer has won a $2.5 million, five-year Early Career Research Program award from the Department of Energy's Office of Science for his fundamental science proposal to develop new optical diagnostic tools to study interfacial combustion interactions that are major sources of pollution and vehicle inefficiency.
13-May-2015 Digitizing neurons
Supercomputing resources at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will support a new initiative designed to advance how scientists digitally reconstruct and analyze individual neurons in the human brain.
12-May-2015 ORNL group leads calorimeter upgrade for Large Hadron Collider experiment
Run-2 for the Large Hadron Collider -- the world's largest and most powerful particle collider -- began April 5 at CERN. In preparation, Thomas M. Cormier, who leads the LHC Heavy Ion group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led an upgrade of the electromagnetic calorimeter used for LHC's experiment called ALICE (for A Large Ion Collider Experiment). This detector measures the energies of high-energy electrons and gamma rays emitted from the quark-gluon plasma.
11-May-2015 'Chombo-crunch' sinks its teeth into fluid dynamics
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are breaking new ground in the modeling of complex flows in energy and oil and gas applications, thanks to a computational fluid dynamics and transport code dubbed 'Chombo-Crunch.'
10-May-2015 Metamaterials shine bright as new terahertz source
Terahertz waves are used in information, communication, processing, and data storage technologies, yet few terahertz sources are available due to the limitations of natural materials. Scientists discovered an efficient terahertz emission from two-dimensional arrays of gold split-ring resonator metamaterials, which allow design and use of light-matter interactions at a fundamental level. This discovery opens new ways to use such materials.
8-May-2015 SLAC researcher receives DOE 'Early Career' grant to support X-ray optics and imaging
Anne Sakdinawat, an associate staff scientist at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been recognized with a prestigious DOE Early Career Research Program grant to advance her work in creating and using next-generation focusing and imaging devices for X-ray experiments at SLAC and other research sites.
8-May-2015 Intertwining of superconductivity and magnetism
Experiments reveal nearly static, spatially modulated magnetism in a copper-oxide superconductor. Because static magnetism and superconductivity prefer not to coexist in the same material, the superconducting wave function is also likely modulated in space and phase-shifted to minimize overlap, consistent with recent theory. This study will assist in developing a predictive theory for high-temperature superconductivity that can assist in the design and discovery of improved superconductors.
30-Apr-2015 New path to loss-free electricity
Electric current flows without any resistance in a superconducting state thanks to a surprising redistribution of bonding electrons and the associated electronic and atomic behavior after substitution of some cobalt atoms for iron in barium iron arsenide.
29-Apr-2015 SIMES researchers elected to National Academy of Sciences
Materials scientists and professors at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Zhi-Xun Shen, Shoucheng Zhang and Aharon Kapitulnik were elected to the National Academy of Sciences. All three researchers are principal investigators at the joint SLAC and Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences.
28-Apr-2015 Direct visualization of magnetoelectric domains
A novel microscopy technique called magnetoelectric force microscopy was developed to detect the local cross-coupling between magnetic and electric dipoles. Combined experimental observation and theoretical modeling provide understanding on how a bulk linear magnetoelectric effect can be realized in a new family of materials.
27-Apr-2015 Unexpected success
While experimenting with a heat treatment process he modified by eliminating a couple of steps, Klett made a discovery that caused quite a stir and prompted hundreds of inquiries from scientists, academia and industry.
27-Apr-2015 Sticky fingers
Researcher applies materials science techniques to the field of forensics, and some of her research has helped crime scene investigators rebuild fingerprints after they have faded over time.
27-Apr-2015 Insulator-to-metal transition of vanadium dioxide
When heated to just above room temperature, the electrical conductivity of vanadium dioxide abruptly increases by a factor of 10,000. Experiments and high-performance computation reveal how the unusually large lattice vibrations stabilize this highly conductive metallic phase.
23-Apr-2015 Optimizing atomic neighborhoods for speedier chemical reactions
Scientists have discovered that for palladium-nickel catalysts, certain surface characteristics, measured at the atomic level, sped the creation of carbon dioxide from carbon monoxide. This type of atomic detail has not been available by traditional studies and can aid the cycle of catalyst design by optimizing for structural parameters at the nearest neighbor level of an atomic environment.
22-Apr-2015 Multimetal nanoframes improve catalyst performance
Researchers synthesized a highly active and durable class of electrocatalysts by exploiting the structural evolution of solid Pt-Ni bimetallic nanocrystals into porous cage-like structures or nanoframes. This approach to synthesizing the material is a significant advance towards realizing electrocatalysts with superior catalytic properties and lower cost.
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.