Nature provides myriad examples of unique materials and structures developed for specialized applications or adaptations. An interdisciplinary group of researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is trying to unlock the secrets that organisms use to build such complex structures so that power can be used to create materials not found in nature and not capable of being synthesized by conventional means.
27-Mar-2017 The power of 1
When it comes to creating new materials, single crystals play an important role in presenting a clearer picture of a material's intrinsic properties. A typical material will be comprised of lots of smaller crystals and the grain boundaries between these crystals can act as impediments, affecting properties such as electrical or thermal resistance.
10-Feb-2017 Exploring mysteries on the surface
Ames Laboratory scientists Pat Thiel and Michael Tringides are explorers, discovering the unique properties of two-dimensional (2-D) materials and metals grown on graphene, graphite, and other carbon coated surfaces.
12-May-2016 Solving the biomass puzzle
Biomass holds great promise as a petroleum replacement, but unlocking its true potential remains a puzzle. A group of researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory hope to develop the pieces of that puzzle to create a clearer picture of what takes place within a plant and how that applies to its downstream uses as biomass.
25-Apr-2016 Giving back to National Science Bowl
In the 1990s, Dean Jens and Doug Fuller were high school students playing on teams from Ankeny High School that were competing to secure coveted spots in the US Department of Energy's National Science Bowl (NSB) ® competition. Today, they're professionals, fathers, and devoted alumni whose annual volunteer commitment to the NSB allows them to give back to a competition that helped shape their lives.
21-Mar-2016 Sisters in science
Emma and Molly White and Ru-Shyan and Ru-Huey Yen, a pair of twin sisters and close friends who met in high school 16 years ago. Flash forward to today, and the four all have science-based careers, and look back at their shared-sisterhood-times-two as vital in getting them to where they are today.
4-Feb-2016 Canfield to head APS Condensed Matter Division
Ames Laboratory physicist Paul Canfield has always been a vocal proponent of his field, condensed matter physics, but he's about to take it up a notch. In March, Canfield will begin a four-year leadership stint heading up the Condensed Matter Physics Division of the American Physical Society. APS recently announced that Canfield had been elected vice-chair of the CMP division.
21-Jan-2016 Higher speed, more precision
In just a little over a year of operation, the US Department of Energy Ames Laboratory's dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer has successfully characterized materials at the atomic scale level with more speed and precision than ever possible before.
9-Dec-2015 Mr. Rare Earth easing into retirement
When Karl A. Gschneidner Jr. began work on his Ph.D. at Iowa State University and hired on as an Ames Laboratory graduate researcher in metallurgy, Dwight Eisenhower was serving his first term in the White House. Now, more than six decades later, Gschneidner is formally retiring effective Jan. 5, 2016 after a distinguished career that led him to become internationally recognized as Mr. Rare Earth.
14-Aug-2015 The critical second: CMI's second year doubles research milestones
The Department of Energy's Critical Materials Institute, led by Ames Laboratory, has more than doubled its research accomplishments in its second year, bringing the total number of invention disclosures to 34. The CMI addresses possible of shortages in rare-earth and other materials necessary for clean energy technologies like wind turbines, electric vehicles, efficient lighting, advanced batteries, and other products used by Americans every day.
31-Jul-2015 Magnetism at nanoscale
As the demand grows for ever smaller, smarter electronics, so does the demand for understanding materials' behavior at ever smaller scales. Physicists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are building a unique optical magnetometer to probe magnetism at the nano- and mesoscale.
30-Jun-2015 Homegrown solution for synchrotron light source
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have made advances in angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) to help better study electronic properties of new materials.
6-Apr-2015 'Explosive' atom movement is new window into growing metal nanostructures
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory expected to see slow, random movement when they dropped lead atoms on a lead-on-silicon surface. 'But what we saw? BOOM! Fast, explosive and organized!' said Michael Tringides, Ames Laboratory physicist. The unusual atom movement may represent a new way to grow perfect, tiny metal nanostructures for nanostransistors, nanoswitches, and nanomagnets.
25-Sep-2014 Breakthrough: Nanote creates more electron beam than large laser system
A collaboration led by RadiaBeam Technologies, a California-based technology firm actively involved in accelerator R&D, is designing an electron beam source that doesn't need a laser. The team led by Luigi Faillace, a scientist at RadiaBeam, is testing a carbon nanotube cathode -- about the size of a nickel -- in Fermilab's High-Brightness Electron Source Lab that completely eliminates the need for a room-sized laser system currently used to generate the electron beam.
24-Sep-2014 Ames Laboratory 3-D printing technology research taking shape
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory see amazing potential in 3-D printing and additive manufacturing, and are focusing research toward further advances in the technology. Ames Lab researchers have at their command four experimental 3-D printers that cover a range of unique capabilities.
22-Sep-2014 Ames Laboratory and Japanese R&D organization discuss rare earths
The US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, a Japanese energy and industrial technology research and development organization, held a bilateral meeting on rare-earth materials in Ames on Sept. 10.
12-Sep-2014 CMI hosts EU, Japan to discuss global critical materials strategy
Finding ways to ensure the planet's supply of rare earths and other materials necessary for clean energy technologies is a global challenge, and experts from around the world gathered to meet it at the fourth annual EU-US-Japan Trilateral Conference on Critical Materials on Sept. 8.
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.