29-May-2014 Scientists pinpoint creeping nanocrystals behind lithium-ion battery degradation
Scientists from several US Department of Energy national laboratories -- Lawrence Berkeley, Brookhaven, SLAC, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory -- mapped the nanoscale dynamics of lithium-ion charge cycles and discovered never-before-seen evolution and degradation patterns in two key battery materials.
15-May-2014 The brain: Key to a better computer
Although brain-inspired computing is in its infancy, Sandia National Laboratories has included it in a long-term research project whose goal is future computer systems. Neuro-inspired computing seeks to develop algorithms that would run on computers that function more like a brain than a conventional computer.
12-May-2014 Industry research: Experiment enters next stage at new Idaho hot cell
To the average eye, the experimental specimens don't look like much: silver-colored squares about the size of a domino. But the samples represent several big milestones for Idaho National Laboratory, the Department of Energy and the US nuclear energy industry. The irradiated 'compact tension' specimens are the first to undergo analysis in a specialized test rig at INL. Plus, they're part of a first-of-its-kind collaboration through the DOE's Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility.
8-May-2014 Engineering better machines and buildings by understanding mechanics of materials
Sandia National Laboratories is working to fill gaps in the fundamental understanding of materials science through an ambitious long-term, multidisciplinary project called Predicting Performance Margins, or PPM. From the atomic level to full-scale components, the research links variability in materials' atomic configurations and microstructures with how actual parts perform.
29-Apr-2014 Label-free, sequence-specific, inexpensive fluorescent DNA sensors
Using principles of energy transfer more commonly applied to designing solar cells, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new highly sensitive way to detect specific sequences of DNA, the genetic material unique to every living thing. As described in a paper published in the journal Chemistry of Materials, the method is considerably less costly than other DNA assays and has widespread potential for applications in forensics, medical diagnostics, and the detection of bioterror agents.
25-Apr-2014 'Sweet spot' for salty water
Computational modeling has given materials researchers new insight into the properties of a membrane that purifies saltwater into potable water. The resulting technology could help speed up inefficient desalination processes in use today.
11-Apr-2014 Simulation solves mystery of how liquid-crystal thin films disintegrate
Approximately four decades ago, theoreticians believed that only one of two mechanisms could explain rupture of liquid-crystal thin films. They also believed that these two mechanisms could not coexist. But 10 years ago experiments showed that these two mechanisms in many cases do coexist, according to Trung Nguyen of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who ran unprecedented large-scale molecular dynamics simulations on Titan, America's fastest supercomputer, to model the beginnings of ruptures in thin films.
7-Apr-2014 Generations of supercomputers pin down primordial plasma
Brookhaven Lab's Lattice Gauge Theory Group hunts for equations to describe the early universe and the forces binding matter together. Their search spans generations of supercomputers and parallels studies of the primordial plasma discovered and explored at Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
3-Apr-2014 'Smart window' material may make better batteries
Windows that darken to filter out sunlight in response to electric current, function much like batteries. Now, X-ray studies at SLAC provide a crystal-clear view into how this color-changing material behaves in a working battery -- information that could benefit next-generation rechargeable batteries.
12-Mar-2014 Deep insights from thin layers
Imaging -- and understanding -- proteins may become a bit easier thanks to a team of researchers led by scientists at DOE's Pacific Northwest and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
3-Mar-2014 Particle beam cancer therapy: The promise and challenges
Advances in accelerators built for fundamental physics research have inspired improved cancer treatment facilities. But will one of the most promising -- a carbon ion treatment facility -- be built in the US? Participants at a symposium organized by Brookhaven Lab for the 2014 AAAS meeting explored the science and surrounding issues.
26-Feb-2014 New perspective on a corrosive problem
Researchers at Argonne Lab took a peek at the problem of corrosion from the perspective of the water, and found a critical transition that drives the creation of corrosive conditions.
30-Jan-2014 Early Edison users deliver results
Before any supercomputer is accepted at NERSC, scientists are invited to put the system through its paces during an "early science" phase. While the main aim of this period is to test the new system, many scientists are able to use the time to significantly advance their work.
29-Jan-2014 NERSC celebrates 40 years at the forefront
This year, the Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is celebrating yet another milestone: its 40th anniversary.
29-Jan-2014 Letting in the light
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a low-cost, transparent, anti-soiling coating for solar reflectors to optimize energy efficiency while lowering operating and maintenance costs and avoiding negative environmental impacts.
27-Jan-2014 Deployments of network monitoring software perfSONAR hit 1,000
Finding the network bottlenecks that can slow the flow of science data sets and impede research can be extremely complex, especially as such data transfers cross a multitude of linked networks. But perfSONAR, a network monitoring software package developed jointly by DOE's Energy Sciences Network, national labs, universities and Internet 2, is making that task much easier. In January 2014, the number of perfSONAR instances installed in the US and 13 other countries reached 1,000.
16-Jan-2014 Top 10 Brookhaven Lab breakthroughs of 2013
2013 was a banner year for science at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratoryfrom our contributions to Nobel Prize-winning research to new insights into catalysts, superconductors, and other materials key to advancing energy-efficient technologies.
7-Jan-2014 The play-by-play of energy conversion: Catching catalysts in action
Before catalysis unfolds in a laboratory, scientists painstakingly assemble the materials and spark a reaction. But many experimental techniques only capture the static details before and after the reaction. Now, researchers at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have demonstrated an unprecedented ability to peer into the dynamic, real-time reactions blazing along at scales spanning just billionths of a meter, producing a sort of play-by-play view of the chemistry in action.
16-Dec-2013 Small size enhances charge transfer in quantum dots
In a study just published in the journal Chemical Communications, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, and Syracuse University show that shrinking the core of a quantum dot can enhance the ability of a surrounding polymer to extract electric charges generated in the dot by the absorption of light.
29-Oct-2013 NREL brings precision, savings to energy audits
An energy audit tool that more accurately pinpoints potential energy savings while potentially costing 35 percent to 75 percent less than traditional audits is set to hit the multi-billion-dollar energy retrofit industry next year.
17-Oct-2013 Architects and building engineers flock to NREL
Eight busloads of architects and mechanical engineers toured one of the world's largest net-zero-energy office building this summer at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and came away inspired with new ideas for how to design and build beautiful, eco-friendly structures on a budget.
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.