Public Release: 1-Apr-2016
Nature Communications X-rays reveal how a solar cell gets its silver stripes
The silver electrical contacts that carry electricity out of about 90 percent of the solar modules on the market are also one of their most expensive parts. Now scientists from two Department of Energy national laboratories have used X-rays to observe exactly how those contacts form during manufacturing.
Public Release: 31-Mar-2016
Journal of The Electrochemical Society Argonne continues to pave way for improved battery performance testing
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have demonstrated that the placement and type of a tiny measurement device called a reference electrode enhances the quantity and quality of information that can be extracted from lithium-ion battery cells during cycling.
United States Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office
Public Release: 31-Mar-2016
Agewandte Chemie Proving the genetic code's flexibility
Three-letter codons in a genome sequence can represent one of the 20 regularly used amino acids or stops. In the journal Angewandte Chemie International Ed., researchers from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and Yale University have discovered that microorganisms recognize more than one codon for selenocysteine. The finding adds credence to recent studies indicating that an organism's genetic vocabulary is not as constrained as had been long held.
DOE Office of Science, National Institute for General Medical Sciences
Public Release: 30-Mar-2016
Nature Communications Revealing the fluctuations of flexible DNA in 3-D
Scientists have captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached to gold nanoparticles, which could aid in the use of DNA segments as building blocks for molecular devices that function as nanoscale drug-delivery systems, markers for biological research, and components for electronic devices.
Public Release: 25-Mar-2016 Smaller. Cheaper. Better.
A Sandia-led team has developed a way to make a magnetic material that could lead to lighter and smaller, cheaper and better-performing high-frequency transformers, needed for more flexible energy storage systems and widespread adoption of renewable energy.
DOE/Energy Storage Program, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
Public Release: 21-Mar-2016
ACS Nano ORNL-NIST team explores nanoscale objects and processes with microwave microscopy
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have demonstrated a nondestructive way to observe nanoscale objects and processes in conditions simulating their normal operating environments. Their novel approach combines ultrathin membranes with microwaves and a scanning probe.
Department of Energy Office of Science, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Public Release: 21-Mar-2016
Analytical Chemistry Lighting up disease-carrying mosquitoes
Robert Meagher, a chemical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a simple technique for simultaneously detecting RNA from West Nile and chikungunya virus in samples from mosquitoes. He is now working to add the ability to screen for Zika virus.
Public Release: 15-Mar-2016
PLOS ONE Microbes may not be so adaptable to climate change
Microbes in soil -- organisms that exert enormous influence over our planet's carbon cycle -- may not be as adaptable to climate change as most scientists have presumed.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 11-Mar-2016
Nature Communications New fuel cell design powered by graphene-wrapped nanocrystals
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a new materials recipe for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell that shields the nanocrystals from oxygen, moisture and contaminants while pushing its performance forward in key areas.
Public Release: 10-Mar-2016 PNNL gives a helping hand to small green businesses
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will help three small businesses reduce the cost of hydropower, cut building energy use, and make adhesives from plants through new projects announced today by DOE's Small Business Vouchers program.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
Advanced Materials Mix and match MOF
Inexpensive materials called MOFs pull gases out of air or other mixed gas streams, but fail to do so with oxygen. Now, a team has overcome this limitation by creating a composite of a MOF and a helper molecule in which the two work in concert to separate oxygen from other gases simply and cheaply, they report in Advanced Materials.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 7-Mar-2016
Nuclear Fusion Multi-scale simulations solve a plasma turbulence mystery
Cutting-edge simulations run at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center have yielded exciting answers to long-standing questions about plasma heat loss that have previously stymied efforts to predict the performance of fusion reactors. The findings could pave the way to developing fusion as an alternative energy source.
Public Release: 1-Mar-2016
Nature Energy NREL collaboration boosts potential for CdTe solar cells
A critical milestone has been reached in cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cell technology, helping pave the way for solar energy to directly compete with electricity generated by conventional energy sources.
Public Release: 1-Mar-2016 Belgium's Red Electrical Devils win $1 million for innovative inverter design
Google and IEEE announced today that Belgium's Red Electrical Devils, a team from CE+T Power, has won the Little Box Challenge, a competition to invent a much smaller inverter for interconnecting solar power systems to the power grid. The success earned the team a $1 million prize while proving that inverters can be the size of a tablet or smaller rather than the size of a picnic cooler, more than a factor of 10 reduction in size.
Public Release: 29-Feb-2016 Cyclotron Road announces the selection of its second cohort of innovators
Today, Berkeley Lab's Cyclotron Road program announced the selection of its second cohort of innovators, whose projects include next generation batteries, advanced materials, biomanufacturing, and solar technologies. Cyclotron Road recruits entrepreneurial researchers and embeds them at Berkeley Lab for up to two years in a mentored technology entrepreneurship program.
Dept. of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office
Public Release: 23-Feb-2016
Global Change Biology: Bioenergy A new recipe for biofuel: Genetic diversity can lead to more productive growth
A team of national laboratory and university researchers led by the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory is growing large test plots of switchgrass crops with the farmer in mind. For the first time, researchers have mixed different genetic varieties of switchgrass on production-size plots, hypothesizing this could increase yield by extending the growing season, varying the size of the switchgrass plants to produce a fuller crop and potentially reducing the crop's vulnerability to weather fluctuations.
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.