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.
8-Jun-2017 Tackling infectious disease -- one protein at a time
A team of scientists in the Pacific Northwest has solved the 3-D structure of 1,000 proteins from more than 70 organisms that cause infectious disease in people. The proteins the team has studied come from microbes that cause several serious diseases, including tuberculosis, Listeria, Giardia, Ebola, anthrax, C. diff., Legionella, Lyme, chlamydia and the flu.
3-May-2017 Researchers develop a new catalyst for water splitting
Water-splitting systems require a very efficient catalyst to speed up the chemical reaction that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, while preventing the gases from recombining back into water. Now an international research team, including scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has developed a new catalyst with a molybdenum coating that prevents this problematic back reaction and works well in realistic operating conditions.
14-Mar-2017 Two-dimensional MXene materials get their close-up
Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders. ORNL scientists using state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscopy provided the first direct evidence of the atomic-defect configurations in a titanium-carbide MXene synthesized at Drexel University. Published in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society, the study coupled atomic-scale characterization and electrical property measurements with theory-based simulation.
24-Jan-2017 The contradictory catalyst
One reason we can't bottle summer sunshine and save the solar energy for rainy days is that we don't have an efficient way to store it. Nature stores energy in chemical bonds, like when plants photosynthesize our food. Researchers are trying to design catalysts based on inexpensive metals to store energy like nature does.
11-Jan-2017 Brookhaven National Laboratory's top-10 science successes of 2016
From advances in accelerators and experiments exploring the building blocks of matter and making medical isotopes to new revelations about superconductors, nanomaterials, and biofuels, 2016 was a year of accomplishment at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Here are our Top-10 highlights.
21-Dec-2016 Filling in the nuclear data gaps
Berkeley Lab's Nuclear Data Group is conducting new experiments to address common data needs in nuclear medicine, nuclear energy and fusion R&D, security, and counterproliferation work.
11-Nov-2016 PPPL senior physicist Wei-li Lee honored at week-long symposium
Physicists from around the world gathered at the University of California, Irvine this past summer for a symposium in honor of Wei-li Lee, a senior physicist at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).
3-Nov-2016 Peering into batteries: X-rays reveal lithium-ion's mysteries
Scientists are using x-rays from the national laboratories' advanced light sources to study the movement and structure of lithium-ion batteries in real time, as the batteries function. This technique led to the development of the cathode used in the Chevrolet Volt and is now being used to further improve our understanding of batteries.
19-Oct-2016 Underground science: Berkeley Lab digs deep for clean energy solutions
About a mile beneath the Earth's surface in an old gold mine, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have built an observatory to study how rocks fracture. The knowledge they gain could ultimately help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies.
1-Sep-2016 Blowing bubbles to catch carbon dioxide
Sandia and UNM researchers developed a bio-inspired bubble-like membrane to capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants efficiently. The CO2 Memzyme could capture CO2 equivalent to planting 63 million trees and letting them grow for 10 years from just one power plant.
29-Jul-2016 Stanford, SLAC play key role in new DOE battery consortium
A newly formed Battery500 consortium, including researchers from Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will receive up to $10 million each year for the next five years to develop a new battery technology that could make electric vehicles go two to three times farther and make them less expensive.
29-Jun-2016 PNNL's Richard Moss to help guide new phase of US National Climate Assessment
Today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration opened a new chapter of the National Climate Assessment by announcing the appointment of new members to the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. Chairing this 15-member committee will be Richard Moss, a senior scientist with the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
27-May-2016 ORNL researchers use strain to engineer first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst
Catalysts make chemical reactions more likely to occur. In most cases, a catalyst that's good at driving chemical reactions in one direction is bad at driving reactions in the opposite direction. However, a research team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created the first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst and filed a patent application for the invention. The accomplishment is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
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.
11-May-2016 Sandia/California invites community to 60th anniversay celebration
Sandia will commemorate the 60th anniversary of its California site with a community event in downtown Livermore on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, it will feature technology displays and demonstrations, national security speakers, hands-on science activities and recruiting.
26-Apr-2016 The Pellet Stove Design Challenge: We have a winner!
At Brookhaven Lab last week, seven finalists competed to be designated the top-performing pellet stove. The three-day Pellet Stove Design Challenge, organized by the Alliance for Green Heat, featured stove demonstrations and testing as well as presentations and round-table discussions on a variety of issues.
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.