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.
17-Jul-2017 No assembly required: Nanoparticles that put themselves together
Scientists may be able to use self-assembly to design new materials with custom characteristics. Understanding self-assembly is particularly important for working with nanoparticles. Scientists supported by the Department of Energy are investigating two major methods of self-assembly. They are looking into both particles that assemble on their own as well as 'nano-Velcro' that can pull together particles that wouldn't otherwise connect on their own.
In a milestone for studying a class of chemical reactions relevant to novel solar cells and memory storage devices, an international team of researchers working at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used an X-ray laser to watch 'molecular breathing' -- waves of subtle in-and-out motions of atoms -- in real time and unprecedented detail.
27-Jun-2017 Yi Cui named Blavatnik National Laureate
Pioneering nanoscientist Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University and of photon science at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been named a 2017 Blavatnik National Laureate. The $250,000 award recognizes the most promising researchers age 42 and younger at top US academic and research institutions.
23-Jun-2017 World's biggest neutrino experiment moves one step closer
On June 21, a prototype detector at CERN for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment recorded its first particle tracks. So begins the largest ever test of an extremely precise method for measuring elusive particles called neutrinos, which may hold the key to why our universe looks the way it does and how it came into being.
22-Jun-2017 Our expanding universe: Delving into dark energy
The universe is stretching out ever more rapidly -- a phenomena known as cosmic acceleration -- and scientists don't know why. Understanding the "dark energy" that is causing this expansion would help them put together a clearer picture of the universe's history. Scientists supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Science are using massive telescopes to chart how dark energy has influenced the structure of the universe over time.
20-Jun-2017 Chicago Quantum Exchange to create technologically transformative ecosystem
The University of Chicago is collaborating with the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to launch an intellectual hub for advancing academic, industrial and governmental efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information.
14-Jun-2017 New research finds a missing piece to high-temperature superconductor mystery
An international team led by scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University has detected new features in the electronic behavior of a copper oxide material that may help explain why it becomes a perfect electrical conductor -- a superconductor -- at relatively high temperatures.
7-Jun-2017 Q&A: SLAC's Vera Lüth discusses the search for new physics
In this Q&A, particle physicist Vera Lüth discusses scientific results that potentially hint at physics beyond the Standard Model. The professor emerita of experimental particle physics at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is co-author of a review article published today in Nature that summarizes the findings of three experiments: BABAR at SLAC, Belle in Japan and LHCb at CERN.
19-May-2017 A fresh math perspective opens new possibilities for computational chemistry
A new mathematical "shortcut" developed by Berkeley Lab researchers is speeding up molecular absorption calculations by a factor of five, so simulations that used to take 10 to 15 hours to compute can now be done in approximately 2.5 hours. These algorithms will be incorporated in an upcoming release of the widely used NWChem computational chemistry software suite later this year.
10-May-2017 Low-energy RHIC electron cooling gets green light, literally
Scientists at Brookhaven Lab have produced a powerful green laser‹the highest average power green laser ever generated by a single fiber-based laser‹which will be crucial to experiments in nuclear physics at the Lab¹s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).
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.
21-Apr-2017 What can you study in femtoseconds? Materials
When Aaron Lindenberg was introduced to ultrafast science as a first-year grad student at UC Berkeley, he was immediately hooked. He knew he wanted to be part of a hot research field that explores nature's speediest processes and lets us see the world with different eyes.
17-Apr-2017 How X-rays pushed topological matter research over the top
Pioneering X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source (ALS) helped bring to life decades-old theories about exotic topological states of matter, and the ALS continues to play an important role in this flourishing field of research.
13-Apr-2017 SLAC celebrates Femtosecond Week
Got a millionth of a billionth of a second? There's science that actually happens on this timescale. Join us online for a week of ultrafast science from April 17 to 21. Learn more about how scientists and engineers use electron beams and bright pulses of light from the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser and other advanced lasers to capture some of nature's speediest processes that occur in just femtoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second.
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.