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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.

Researchers Map Quantum Vortices Inside Superfluid Helium Nanodroplets

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Researchers have, for the first time, characterized so-called quantum vortices that swirl within tiny droplets of liquid helium, opening new avenues to studying quantum rotation.

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.

Shapes of Things to Come: Exotic Shapes for Liquid Drops Have Many Possible Uses

Through a combination of water, oil and nanoparticle surfactants plus an external field, spherical droplets are being transformed into ellipsoids and other unusual shapes that could find many valuable uses.

3D Dynamic Imaging of Soft Materials

Through a combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and a unique graphene liquid cell, Berkeley Lab researchers have recorded the three-dimensional motion of DNA connected to gold nanocrystals, the first reported use of TEM for 3D dynamic imaging of soft materials.

One-Pot to Prep Biomass for Biofuels:

Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) researchers save water and reduce pollution with the first one-pot, wash-free, process for the ionic liquid pretreatment and saccharification of switchgrass, one of the leading biofuel feedstock candidates.

A Path to Better MTV-MOFs:

A team of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers have developed a method for accurately predicting the ability of MTV-MOFs (multivariate metal organic frameworks) to scrub carbon dioxide from the exhaust gases of fossil fuel power plants.

Speeding the Search for Better Methane Capture

Systematic in silico studies have identified several zeolite compounds that show technological promise for capturing methane, the main component of natural gas that can serve as an ally or an adversary in combating global climate change.

In the Blink of an Eye: X-ray Imaging on the Attosecond Timescale

In the blink of an eye, more attoseconds have expired than the age of Earth measured in – minutes. A lot more. To be precise, an attosecond is one billionth of a billionth of a second. The attosecond timescale is where you must go to study the electron action that is the starting point of

Searching for the Solar System’s Chemical Recipe

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The ratio of isotopes in elements like oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen were once thought to be much the same everywhere, determined only by their different masses. Then isotope ratios in meteorites, interplanetary dust and gas, and the sun itself were found to differ from those on Earth. Planetary researchers now use Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source to study these “mass-independent” effects and their origins in the chemical processes of the early solar system.