Public Release: 1-May-2015
American Chemical Society ORNL researchers probe chemistry, topography and mechanics with one instrument
ORNL scientists combined atomic force microscopy and mass spectrometry into one instrument that can probe a polymer sample in three dimensions and overlay information about the topography of its surface, the atomic-scale mechanical behavior of the bulk sample, and subsurface chemistry. Their results are published in ACS Nano.
Public Release: 28-Apr-2015 Counting all costs, Berkeley Lab researchers find that saving energy is still cheap
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have conducted the most comprehensive study yet of the full cost of saving electricity by US utility efficiency programs and now have an answer: 4.6 cents. That's the average total cost of saving a kilowatt-hour in 20 states from 2009 to 2013.
US Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis
Public Release: 23-Apr-2015
Nature Communications Scientists use nanoscale building blocks and DNA 'glue' to shape 3-D superlattices
Taking child's play with building blocks to a whole new level-the nanometer scale-scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have constructed 3-D 'superlattice' multicomponent nanoparticle arrays where the arrangement of particles is driven by the shape of the tiny building blocks. The method uses linker molecules made of complementary strands of DNA to overcome the blocks' tendency to pack together in a way that would separate differently shaped components.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 16-Apr-2015
Nano Letters Major advance in artificial photosynthesis poses win/win for the environment
By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, a potentially game-changing
new artificial photosynthesis system offers a win/win situation for the environment: solar-powered green chemistry using sequestered carbon dioxide.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 15-Apr-2015
Green Chemistry Packing heat: New fluid makes untapped geothermal energy cleaner
More American homes could be powered by the Earth's natural underground heat with a nontoxic fluid that could cut in half the amount of water needed for a new power generation method called enhanced geothermal systems.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 13-Apr-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences X-ray ptychography, fluorescence microscopy combo sheds new light on trace elements
Scientists have developed a new approach that combines ptychographic X-ray imaging and fluorescence microscopy to study the important role trace elements play in biological functions on hydrated cells.
National Institutes of Health, US Department of Energy, National Center for Research Resources
Public Release: 9-Apr-2015
Nano Letters Erupting electrodes: How recharging leaves behind microscopic debris inside batteries
An eruption of lithium at the tip of a battery's electrode, cracks in the electrode's body, and a coat forming on the electrode's surface reveal how recharging a battery many times leads to its demise. Using a powerful microscope to watch multiple cycles of charging and discharging under real battery conditions, researchers have gained insight into the chemistry that clogs rechargeable lithium batteries in work appearing in the March issue of the journal Nano Letters.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 1-Apr-2015 Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, April 2015
By studying fish and invertebrates in a creek with known mercury contamination, researchers are gaining a better understanding of the relationship between the toxin in the stream and bioaccumulation in organisms. While mercury concentrations in East Fork Poplar Creek in Oak Ridge, Tenn., have decreased significantly over the last 30 years, levels in tissue from fish have remained the same or increased. To understand why, a team led by Monica Poteat of Oak Ridge National Laboratory is examining the intricacies of the food chain and the biodiversity of the stream at locations about 10 kilometers apart.
Public Release: 1-Apr-2015
Genome Research Longer DNA fragments reveal rare species diversity
A challenge in metagenomics is that the more commonly used sequencing machines generate data in short lengths, while short-read assemblers may not be able to distinguish among multiple occurrences of the same or similar sequences, making it difficult to identify all the members in a microbial community. In the April 2015 issue of Genome Research, a team including DOE JGI researchers compared two ways of using next generation Illumina sequencing machines to help with this.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 30-Mar-2015
Journal of Power Sources Goodbye, range anxiety? Electric vehicles may be more useful than previously thought
In the first study of its kind, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory quantitatively show that electric vehicles will meet the daily travel needs of drivers longer than commonly assumed. They found that batteries that have lost 20 percent of their originally rated energy storage capacity can still meet the daily travel needs of more than 85 percent of US drivers.
Public Release: 26-Mar-2015
Science Using magnetic fields to understand high-temperature superconductivity
Taking our understanding of quantum matter to new levels, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are exposing high-temperature superconductors to very high magnetic fields, changing the temperature at which the materials become perfectly conducting and revealing unique properties of these substances.
National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research, DOE/Office of Science, Florida State University, State of Florida, and Los Alamos National Laboratory/LDRD Program
Public Release: 25-Mar-2015
Nature Nanotechnology ORNL-led team demonstrates desalination with nanoporous graphene membrane
Desalination is an energy-intensive process, which concerns those wanting to expand its application. Now, a team of experimentalists led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated an energy-efficient desalination technology that uses a porous membrane made of strong, slim graphene -- a carbon honeycomb one atom thick. The results are published in the March 23 advance online issue of Nature Nanotechnology.
Public Release: 24-Mar-2015
American Chemical Society 249th National Meeting & Exposition PNNL team wins American Chemical Society award
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory wins the first-ever team award for the American Chemical Society's Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science.
Public Release: 19-Mar-2015 Sandia showcases biology breakthroughs available for licensing
Technologies developed in Sandia National Laboratories' biosciences program could soon find their way into doctors' offices -- devices like wearable microneedles that continuously analyze electrolyte levels and a lab-on-a-disk that can test a drop of blood for 64 different diseases in minutes. At a recent seminar for potential investors and licensees, part of the Sandia Technology Showcase series, Sandia bioscientists presented eight ready-to-license technologies in three key areas: medical diagnostics, biosurveillance and therapeutics and drug discovery.
Public Release: 18-Mar-2015
Nature Geoscience Iron rain fell on early Earth, new Z machine data supports
Physical tests at Sandia's Z machine reveal that, at pressures rivaling those when worlds collide, iron vaporizes at far lower pressures than assumed by theoreticians, explaining why the element is distributed in Earth's mantle rather than collected at its core.
National Nuclear Security Administration
Public Release: 18-Mar-2015
Nucleic Acids Research Los Alamos creates bioinformatics tool for metagenome analysis
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a new method for DNA analysis of microbial communities such as those found in the ocean, the soil, and our own guts.
Defense Threat Reduction Agency/Chemical and Biological Technologies-Joint Science and Technology Office
Public Release: 17-Mar-2015 ORNL and SINAP cooperate on development of salt-cooled reactors
Representatives from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics are meeting at ORNL this week as part of an agreement between the two institutions to work together on the advancement of salt-cooled nuclear reactor technologies.
Public Release: 17-Mar-2015
Nature A better way of scrubbing CO2
Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today. By appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs), the researchers were able to more than triple the CO2-scrubbing capacity of the MOFs, while significantly reducing parasitic energy.
US Department of Energy Office of Science ARPA-E
Public Release: 17-Mar-2015
Nature Communications Graphene 'gateway' discovery opens possibilities for improved energy technologies
Graphene, a strong, lightweight carbon honeycombed structure, only one atom thick, holds great promise for energy research and development. Recently scientists with the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures, and Transport Energy Frontier Research Center, led by the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, revealed graphene can serve as a proton-selective permeable membrane, providing a new basis for streamlined and more efficient energy technologies such as improved fuel cells.
US Department of Energy's Office of Science
Public Release: 16-Mar-2015
Scientific Reports Los Alamos offers new insights into radiation damage evolution
Two reports from Los Alamos National Laboratory this week in the Nature journal Scientific Reports are helping crack the code of how certain materials respond in the highly damaging radiation environments within a nuclear reactor.
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.