The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it will invest $16 million over the next four years to accelerate the design of new materials through use of supercomputers. Two four-year projects—including one team led by Berkeley Lab — will leverage the Lab’s expertise in materials and take advantage of superfast computers at DOE national laboratories to develop software for designing new functional materials to revolutionize applications in alternative and renewable energy, electronics, and more.
As the number of data centers continues to increase in the United States, the good news is that they are becoming much more energy efficient. A new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that electricity consumption by data centers nationwide, after rising rapidly for more than a decade, started to plateau in 2010 and has remained steady since, at just under 2 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.
Berkeley Lab researchers in the Computing Sciences Division have developed a new mathematical framework that allows researchers to capture fluid dynamics at unprecedented detail. The work could be used in a range of applications, like optimizing the shape of a propeller blade and the ejection of ink droplets in printers.
Scientists have identified a mechanism that could turn out to be a big contributor to warming in the Arctic and melting sea ice. They found that open oceans are much less efficient than sea ice when it comes to emitting in the far-infrared region of the spectrum, a previously unknown phenomenon that is likely contributing to the warming of the polar climate.
Eight Department of Energy national laboratories, including Berkeley Lab, are combining forces with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and other institutions in a project called Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy, or ACME, which is designed to accelerate the development and application of fully coupled, state-of-the-science Earth system models for scientific and energy applications.
Berkeley Lab has won three 2014 R&D 100 awards. This year’s winners include a fast way to analyze the chemical composition of cells, a suite of genetic tools to improve crops, and a method to screen images of 3-D cell cultures for cancer cells. The technologies could lead to advances in biofuels, food crops, drug development, and biomaterials, and a to better understanding of microbial communities, to name a few potential benefits.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have discovered a unique new two-dimensional semiconductor, rhenium disulfide, that behaves electronically as if it were a 2D monolayer even as a 3D bulk material. This not only opens the door to 2D electronic applications with a 3D material, it also makes it possible to study 2D physics with easy-to-make 3D crystals.