Public Release: 2-Aug-2017
Nature 'Perfect liquid' quark-gluon plasma is the most vortical fluid
Particle collisions recreating the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) that filled the early universe reveal that droplets of this primordial soup swirl far faster than any other fluid. The new analysis from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) shows that the 'vorticity' of the QGP surpasses the whirling fluid dynamics of super-cell tornado cores and Jupiter's Great Red Spot, and even beats out the fastest spin record held by nanodroplets of superfluid helium.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation
Public Release: 1-Aug-2017
ChemistrySelect Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Aug. 2017
New method turns used cooking oil into biofuel with carbon derived from recycled tires; novel technique protects innermost fusion reactor wall from energy created when hydrogen isotopes reach sun-like temps; new catalyst production process doubles output of high-value renewable BTX used in plastics and tires; crystalline thin film vanadium dioxide makes outstanding electrode for lithium-ion batteries.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 31-Jul-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences A semiconductor that can beat the heat
A newly discovered collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor blocks most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity - a rare pairing that scientists say could reduce heat buildup in electronic devices and turbine engines, among other possible applications.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 31-Jul-2017
Nature Scientists watch 'artificial atoms' assemble into perfect lattices with many uses
Some of the world's tiniest crystals are known as 'artificial atoms' because they can organize themselves into structures that look like molecules, including 'superlattices' that are potential building blocks for novel materials. Now scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have made the first observation of these nanocrystals rapidly forming superlattices while they are themselves still growing.
Public Release: 28-Jul-2017
Science Advances New light-activated catalyst grabs CO2 to make ingredients for fuel
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a 'spongy,' light-activated material that converts carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can be used to turn into liquid fuels and other useful products. This is done without generating unwanted by products, a significant step forward in developing technology that could help mitigate levels of a potent greenhouse gas while generating solar-powered fuel.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 26-Jul-2017
Nature Strange electrons break the crystal symmetry of high-temperature superconductors
Scientists have found surprising electron behavior that may help unravel the ever-elusive mechanism behind high-temperature superconductivity -- a phenomenon in which electrical current flows freely without resistance through a material at unusually high temperatures relative to those of conventional superconductors.
US Department of Energy Office of Science
Public Release: 26-Jul-2017
Science Advances Atomic movies may help explain why perovskite solar cells are more efficient
Experiments with a powerful 'electron camera' at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered that light whirls atoms around in perovskites, potentially explaining the high efficiency of these next-generation solar cell materials and providing clues for making better ones.
Public Release: 25-Jul-2017 Qubitekk licenses ORNL single-photon source approach for quantum encryption
Qubitekk has non-exclusively licensed an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed method to produce quantum light particles, known as photons, in a controlled, deterministic manner that promises improved speed and security when sharing encrypted data.
DOE/Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability's Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems, ORNL's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program
Public Release: 25-Jul-2017
Nature Chemistry Making polymer chemistry 'click'
A team including Berkeley Lab scientists has developed a faster and easier way to make a class of sulfur-containing plastics that will lower the cost of large-scale production.
Public Release: 17-Jul-2017 Lighting up the study of low-density materials
Sandia National Laboratories studies myriads of low-density materials, from laminate layers in airplane wings to foams and epoxies that cushion parts. So Sandia borrowed and refined a technique being studied by the medical field, X-ray phase contrast imaging, to look inside the softer side of things without taking them apart.
Public Release: 17-Jul-2017
Nature Communications Studying argon gas trapped in two-dimensional array of tiny 'cages'
For the first time, scientists have trapped a noble gas in a two-dimensional porous structure at room temperature. This achievement will enable detailed studies of individual gas atoms in confinement -- research that could inform the design of new materials for gas separation and nuclear waste remediation.
US Department of Energy, National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina
Public Release: 14-Jul-2017
Nature Communications Mica provides clue to how water transports minerals
In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Delaware, chemists have been able to look at the interface between water and muscovite mica, a flat mineral commonly found in granite, soils and many sediments. In particular, the researchers looked at the capture and release of rubidium - a metal closely related to but more easily singled out than common elements like potassium and sodium.
Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion Machine learning technique offers insight into plasma behavior
A paper by graduate student Matthew Parsons describes the application of machine learning to avoiding plasma disruptions, which will be crucial to ensuring the longevity of future large tokamaks.
Fulbright US Student Program, US Department of Energy, DOE/Fusion Energy Sciences
Public Release: 12-Jul-2017 Algae production research gets boost at Los Alamos
Today, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of three projects to receive up to $8 million, aimed at reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts.
Public Release: 11-Jul-2017 Clean water that's 'just right' with Sandia sensor solution
Working with Parker Hannifin, Sandia National Laboratories combined basic research on an interesting form of carbon with a unique microsensor to make an easy-to-use, table-top tool that quickly and cheaply detects disinfection byproducts in our drinking water before it reaches consumers.
Public Release: 10-Jul-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences New Berkeley lab algorithms extract biological structure from limited data
A new Berkeley Lab algorithmic framework called multi-tiered iterative phasing (M-TIP) utilizes advanced mathematical techniques to determine 3-D molecular structure of important nanoobjects like proteins and viruses from very sparse sets of noisy, single-particle data.
Public Release: 6-Jul-2017 Heart of matter studies resonate with award winner
Raul Briceno was presented with the 2017 Kenneth G. Wilson Award for Excellence in Lattice Field Theory on June 22. The award citation noted his 'groundbreaking contributions to the study of resonances using lattice QCD.'
International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory, DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 6-Jul-2017
Science Scientists get first direct look at how electrons 'dance' with vibrating atoms
Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have made the first direct measurements, and by far the most precise ones, of how electrons move in sync with atomic vibrations rippling through an exotic material, as if they were dancing to the same beat.
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.