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.
13-Apr-2015 Long-sought magnetic mechanism observed in exotic hybrid materials
Scientists have measured the subatomic intricacies of an exotic phenomenon first predicted more than 60 years ago. This so-called van Vleck magnetism is the key to harnessing the quantum quirks of topological insulators -- hybrid materials that are both conducting and insulating -- and could lead to unprecedented electronics.
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.
27-Mar-2015 Collaborative vision, saving sight
A meeting to explore research collaborations between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee set the foundation for a company that provides accessible and remote health screenings for patients concerned about diabetic related eye diseases.
25-Mar-2015 Protein shake-up
For living organisms proteins are an essential part of their body system and are needed to thrive. In recent years, a certain class of proteins has challenged researchers' conventional notion that proteins have a static and well-defined structure.
20-Mar-2015 Organic photovoltaics experiments showcase HPC 'superfacility' concept
A collaborative effort linking the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with supercomputing resources at NERSC and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is yielding exciting results in organic photovoltaics research that could transform the way researchers use these facilities and improve scientific productivity in the process.
18-Mar-2015 Scientists watch quantum dots 'breathe' in response to stress
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory watched nanoscale semiconductor crystals expand and shrink in response to powerful pulses of laser light. This ultrafast 'breathing' provides new insight about how such tiny structures change shape as they start to melt -- information that can help guide researchers in tailoring their use for a range of applications.
18-Mar-2015 Nanostructure complex materials modeling
Brookhaven physicist Simon Billinge illustrates how advances in computing and applied mathematics can improve the predictive value of models used to design new materials.
17-Mar-2015 Part II, Tackling grand challenges in geochemistry: Q&A with Andrew Stack
In this Q&A Andrew Stack, a geochemist at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, advances understanding of the dynamics of minerals underground. Stack and his team make discoveries that will help to improve our understanding of a wide range of energy-related issues, such as geologic storage of carbon dioxide, oil and gas discovery and development, and remediation of toxic contaminants. His current research spans three disciplines -- geology, chemistry and computing.
9-Mar-2015 Scientists gather at SLAC to prepare for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
When the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope begins in 2022 to image the entire southern sky from a mountaintop in Chile, it will produce the widest, deepest and fastest views of the night sky ever observed -- and a flood of 6 million gigabytes of data per year that are expected to provide new insights into dark matter, dark energy and other cosmic mysteries.
4-Mar-2015 The making of a geochemist: Q&A with Andrew Stack
In this Q&A Andrew Stack of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory calls on expertise in geology, chemistry and computing to advance understanding of the dynamics of minerals underground. He investigates chemical processes that take place on mineral surfaces at scales ranging from individual atoms to entire rocks. These processes can trap contaminants, such as nuclear waste, carbon dioxide and toxic by-products from hydraulic fracturing.
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.