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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.

Moore Foundation Funds Berkeley Lab Researchers for Promising New Technique for Studying Materials

ALS for cappa

A novel X-ray scattering concept by researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) is receiving support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in the amount of $2.4 million. The grant was announced last month by the foundation which awarded the funding for the development of a new spectrometer for studying materials using X-ray scattering. The lead investigator on the effort will be ALS Division Deputy Zahid Hussain with ALS Director Roger Falcone acting as co-PI on the project.

A Hot Start to the Origin of Life?

Composite image of an energetic star explosion taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in March of 1997. Credit: NASA

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and the University of Hawaii at Manoa have shown for the first time that cosmic hot spots, such as those near stars, could be excellent environments for the creation of molecular precursors to DNA.

Channeling Valleytronics in Graphene

Feng Wang IR feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Advanced Light Source, have discovered topologically protected 1D electron conducting channels at the domain walls of bilayer graphene that should prove useful for valleytronics.

Skin Tough

Robert Ritchie feature star

A collaboration of Berkeley Lab and UC San Diego researchers has recorded the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms behind the ability of skin to resist tearing. The results could be applied to the improvement of artificial skin, or to the development of thin film polymers for flexible electronics.

A New Level of Earthquake Understanding

Martin Kunz SA fault Feature

Working at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), researchers studied quartz from the San Andreas Fault at the microscopic scale, the scale at which earthquake-triggering stresses originate. The results could one day lead to a better understanding of earthquake events.

First Detailed Microscopy Evidence of Bacteria at the Lower Size Limit of Life

A lifeline to other cells? Cryo-transmission electron microscopy captured numerous hairlike appendages radiating from the surface of this ultra-small bacteria cell. The scientists theorize the pili-like structures enable the cell to connect with other microbes and obtain life-giving resources. The scale bar is 100 nanometers. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Scientists have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get. The research was led by scientists from Berkeley Laboratory and UC Berkeley.

Making a Good Thing Better: Berkeley Lab Researchers Open a Possible Avenue to Better Electrolyte for Lithium Ion Batteries

X-ray absorption spectra, interpreted using first-principles electronic structure calculations, provide insight into the solvation of the lithium ion in propylene carbonate. (Image courtesy of Rich Saykally, Berkeley)

Berkeley Lab researchers carried out the first X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of a model electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries and may have found a pathway forward to improving LIBs for electric vehicles and large-scale electrical energy storage.

Switching to Spintronics


Berkeley Lab researchers used an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature, a demonstration that points a new way towards spintronics and smaller, faster and cheaper ways of storing and processing data.

Back to the Future with Roman Architectural Concrete

Roman concerete Feature Image

A key discovery to understanding Roman architectural concrete that has stood the test of time and the elements for nearly two thousand years has been made by researchers using beams of X-rays at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source.