18-Dec-2014 Crown ethers flatten in graphene for strong, specific binding
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a way to dramatically increase the selectivity and binding strength of crown ethers by incorporating them within a rigid framework of graphene. Strong, specific electrostatic binding of crown ethers may advance sensors, chemical separations, nuclear-waste cleanup, extraction of metals from ores, purification and recycling of rare-earth elements, water purification, biotechnology, energy production in durable lithium-ion batteries, catalysis, medicine and data storage.
4-Dec-2014 Rattled atoms mimic high-temperature superconductivity
An experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory provided the first fleeting glimpse of the atomic structure of a material as it entered a state resembling room-temperature superconductivity -- a long-sought phenomenon in which materials might conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency under everyday conditions.
1-Dec-2014 Optimized algorithms boost combustion research
Turbulent combustion simulations, used in the design of more fuel-efficient combustion systems, have gotten their own efficiency boost, thanks to researchers from Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division. They developed new algorithmic features that streamline turbulent flame simulations, which are commonly used in the design of combustion systems such as diesel engines; after testing the enhanced code on NERSC supercomputers, they were able to achieve dramatic improvements in simulation times, which will help reduce the time -- and thus the cost -- of designing new engines.
20-Nov-2014 Agreement gives energy storage companies easier access to SLAC
More than a dozen energy-storage companies now have streamlined access to research facilities and expertise at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory under a new cooperative research and development agreement, or CRADA.
20-Oct-2014 Puzzling new behavior found in high-temperature superconductors
Research by an international team led by SLAC and Stanford scientists has uncovered a new, unpredicted behavior in a copper oxide material that becomes superconducting -- conducting electricity without any loss -- at relatively high temperatures.
17-Oct-2014 Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms
A new study at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, published Sept. 24 in Nature Communications, has cracked one mystery of glass to shed light on the mechanism that triggers its deformation before shattering. The study improves understanding of glassy deformation and may accelerate broader application of metallic glass, a moldable, wear-resistant, magnetically exploitable material that is thrice as strong as the mightiest steel and ten times as springy.
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.
18-Sep-2014 Factors underlying nuclear fuel swelling seen at nanoscale for first time
Understanding factors that drive nuclear fuel swelling will help engineers develop higher performance fuels, which could be even safer and more efficient than those used in current nuclear energy plants. As uranium atoms split to produce energy, fission products build up within fuel rods, which impacts nuclear fuel performance inside a reactor. But, a clear picture of the size and location of these solid fission products has been elusive until now.
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.