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Berkeley Lab Scientists Developing Paint-on Coating for Energy Efficient Windows

It’s estimated that 10 percent of all the energy used in buildings in the U.S. can be attributed to window performance, costing building owners about $50 billion annually, yet the high cost of replacing windows or retrofitting them with an energy efficient coating is a major deterrent. Berkeley Lab researchers are seeking to address this problem with creative chemistry—a polymer heat-reflective coating that can be painted on at one-tenth the cost.

Simplifying Solar Cells with a New Mix of Materials

Scientists have simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. The special blend of materials eliminates the need for a process known as doping that steers the device’s properties by introducing foreign atoms. Doping can also degrade performance.

Polar Vortices Observed in Ferroelectric

Berkeley Lab researchers have observed polar vortices in a ferroelectric material that appear to be the electrical cousins of magnetic skyrmions. This discovery holds intriguing possibilities for advanced electronic devices and could also rewrite our basic understanding of ferroelectrics.

Weaving a New Story for COFS and MOFs

An international collaboration led by Berkeley Lab scientists
has woven the first 3D covalent organic frameworks (COFs) from helical organic threads. The woven COFs display significant advantages in structural flexibility, resiliency and reversibility over previous COFs.

Researchers Pinpoint the Drivers for Low-Priced PV Systems in the United States

The price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on homes and small businesses spans a wide range, and researchers from Berkeley Lab have published a new study that reveals the key market and system drivers for low-priced PV systems.

Seeing the Big Picture in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

Berkeley Lab scientists have created the first computational model that simulates the light-harvesting activity of thousands of antenna proteins that would interact in the chloroplast of an actual leaf. The results point the way to improving the yields of food and fuel crops, and developing artificial photosynthesis technologies for next generation solar energy systems.

One-Stop Shop for Biofuels

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a “high-gravity” one-pot process for producing ethanol from cellulosic biomass that gives unprecedented yields while minimizing water use and waste disposal.

Technique Matters: A Different Way to Make a Cathode May Mean Better Batteries

Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide, or NMC, is one of the most promising chemistries for better lithium batteries, especially for electric vehicle applications, but scientists have been struggling to get higher capacity out of them. Now researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that using a different method to make the material can offer substantial improvements.

Renewable Energy for State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yielded Sizable Benefits and Other Impacts in 2013

A new study estimates that billions in dollars in benefits come from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013. RPS policies require utilities or other electricity providers to meet a minimum portion of their load with eligible forms of renewable electricity.

How to Train Your Bacterium

Berkeley Lab researchers are using the bacterium Moorella thermoacetica to perform photosynthesis and also to synthesize semiconductor nanoparticles in a hybrid artificial photosynthesis system for converting sunlight into valuable chemical products.