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In Pursuit of Perfect Chemistry: A Vision for Unifying Catalysis

Several fields of research have sprung up around the chemical drivers, called catalysts, at work in many industrial processes – including those that boost the production of fuels, fertilizers, and foods – and there is a growing interest in coordinating these research activities to create new, hybrid catalysts with enhanced performance, say researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.

Chemical Sleuthing Unravels Possible Path to the Formation of Life’s Building Blocks in Space

Scientists have used experiments at Berkeley Lab to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.

X-Rays Provide Key Insights on Path to Lithium-Rich Battery Electrode

A research team including scientists from Berkeley Lab created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give lithium-rich battery cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap their performance.

New Catalyst Gives Artificial Photosynthesis a Big Boost

A research team including Berkeley Lab scientists has created a new catalyst on the path toward artificial photosynthesis — a system that would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy.

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.

New Studies of Ancient Concrete Could Teach Us to Do as the Romans Did

A new look inside 2,000-year-old concrete – made from volcanic ash, lime, and seawater – has provided new clues to the evolving chemistry and mineral cements that allow ancient harbor structures to withstand the test of time.

Chemicals Hitch a Ride onto New Protein for Better Compounds

Berkeley Lab chemists have developed a powerful new method of selectively linking chemicals to proteins, a major advance in the manipulation of biomolecules that could transform the way drugs are developed, proteins are probed, and molecules are tracked and imaged. This technique, called ReACT, is akin to a chemical Swiss army knife for proteins.

Chemistry on the Edge: Study Pinpoints Most Active Areas of Reactions on Nanoscale Particles

Defects and jagged surfaces at the edges of nanosized platinum and gold particles are key hot spots for chemical reactivity, researchers confirmed using a unique infrared probe.

New Graphene-Based System Could Help Us ‘See’ Electrical Signaling in Heart and Nerve Cells

Scientists have enlisted the exotic properties of graphene to function like the film of an incredibly sensitive camera system in visually mapping tiny electric fields. They hope to enlist the new method to image electrical signaling networks in our hearts and brains.

Scientists Trace ‘Poisoning’ in Chemical Reactions to the Atomic Scale

A combination of experiments, including X-ray studies at Berkeley Lab, revealed new details about pesky deposits that can stop chemical reactions vital to fuel production and other processes.