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Newly Discovered ‘Design Rule’ Brings Nature-Inspired Nanostructures One Step Closer

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Scientists aspire to build nanostructures that mimic the complexity and function of nature’s proteins, but are made of durable and synthetic materials. These microscopic widgets could be customized into incredibly sensitive chemical detectors or long-lasting catalysts, to name a few possible applications. A discovery by Berkeley Lab scientists is a step in that direction.

A Different Type of 2D Semiconductor

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Berkeley Lab researchers have produced the first atomically thin 2D sheets of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites. These ionic materials exhibit optical properties not found in 2D covalent semiconductors such as graphene, making them promising alternatives to silicon for future electronic devices.

New Support for CAMERA to Develop Computational Mathematics for Experimental Facilities Research


With the advent of new technology, scientific facilities are collecting data at increasing rates and higher resolution. However, making sense of this data is becoming a major bottleneck. To address these growing needs, the Department of Energy has announced approval of a grant of $10.5 million over three years to expand the Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications at Berkeley Lab.

Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide and Turning it into Valuable Products

Structural model showing a covalent organic framework (COF)  embedded with a cobalt porphyrin.

Berkeley Lab researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs CO2, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.

New Mathematics Advances the Frontier of Macromolecular Imaging

Structures to the left are models of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel (pLGIC), which mediate fast synaptic communication by converting chemical signals into an electrical response. The structures on the right are reconstructions of pLGIC from FXS data using M-TIP. (Image Credit: Jeffrey J. Donatelli, Berkeley Lab)

A comprehensive understanding of complex nanostructures—like proteins and viruses—could lead to breakthroughs in some of the most challenging problems in biology and medicine. But because these objects are a thousand times smaller than the width of human hair, scientists can’t directly see into them to determine their shape and function.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Observe Shortest Wavelength Plasmons Ever in Single Walled Nanotubes

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Working at the Advanced Light Source, Berkeley Lab researchers have observed “Luttinger-liquid” plasmons in metallic single-walled nanotubes. This holds great promise for novel plasmonic and nanophotonic devices over a broad frequency range, including telecom wavelengths.

Orange is the New Red

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Berkeley Lab researchers discovered that a photoprotective mechanism in cyanobacteria is triggered by an unprecedented, large-scale movement from one location to another of the carotenoid pigment within the Orange Carotenoid Protein.

New Magnet Center Brings Together Research and Development

This undulator is an insertion device as used in storage-ring-based synchrotron light sources like the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley Lab.

Initiative taps magnet expertise from across Berkeley Lab to develop state-of-the art magnetic systems.

Investigating Buried Interfaces in Ferroelectric Materials

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Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the Soleil Synchrotron in Paris have developed a new technique for investigating buried interfaces in ferroelectric materials.

On-demand X-rays at Synchrotron Light Sources


Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) have developed an “X-rays on demand” technique in which ALS users can have access to the X-ray beams they want without affecting beams for other users.