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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.

A Better Look at the Chemistry of Interfaces

Chuck Fadley feature image Large

SWAPPS – Standing Wave Ambient Pressure Photoelectron Spectroscopy – is a new X-ray technique developed at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source that provides sub-nanometer resolution of every chemical element to be found at heterogeneous interfaces, such as those in batteries, fuel cells and other devices.

A Cage Made of Proteins, Designed With Help From the Advanced Light Source

Protein Cage

With help from Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, scientists from UCLA recently designed a cage made of proteins. The nano-sized cage could lead to new biomaterials and new ways to deliver drugs inside cells. It boasts a record breaking 225-angstrom outside diameter, the largest to date for a designed protein assembly. It also has a 130-angstrom-diameter

Berkeley Lab and Scripps Research Institute Scientists Link ALS Progression to Increased Protein Instability


LA JOLLA, CA—October 13, 2014—A new study by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and other institutions suggests a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “Our work supports a common theme whereby loss of protein stability leads to disease,” said John A.

Advanced Light Source Sets Microscopy Record

Ptychographic image using soft X-rays of lithium iron phosphate nanocrystal after partial dilithiation. The delithiated region is shown in red.

Working at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), researchers used “soft” X-rays to image structures only five nanometers in size. This resolution is the highest ever achieved with X-ray microscopy.

Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed


The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA’s Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks, which likely originated from beyond our solar system, are more complex in composition and structure than previously imagined.

Cagey Material Acts as Alcohol Factory


Some chemical conversions are harder than others. Refining natural gas into an easy-to-transport, easy-to-store liquid alcohol has so far been a logistic and economic challenge. But now, a new material, designed and patented by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is making this process a little easier. The research, published earlier this year

Up in Flames: Evidence Confirms Combustion Theory

A graphical representation of the chemistry in the early stages of soot formation. The molecular formation to the right were demonstrated by experiment, while the formation to the left was not. Credit: Dorian Parker, University of Hawaii

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) and the University of Hawaii have uncovered the first step in the process that transforms gas-phase molecules into solid particles like soot and other carbon-based compounds.