News Center

7 Imaging Tools Pushing Science Forward

Berkeley Lab scientists are developing new ways to see the unseen. Here are seven imaging advances (recently reported in our News Center) that are helping to push science forward, from developing better batteries to peering inside cells to exploring the nature of the universe.   1. Seeing DNA nanostructures in 3-D DNA segments can serve as a

Glowing Crystals Can Detect, Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a team of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that can detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.

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.

X-Rays Capture Unprecedented Images of Photosynthesis in Action

An international team of scientists is providing new insight into the process by which plants use light to split water and create oxygen. In experiments led by Berkeley Lab scientists, ultrafast X-ray lasers were able to capture atomic-scale images of a protein complex found in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria at room temperature.

A New Understanding of Metastability Clears Path for Next-Generation Materials

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have published a new study that, for the first time, explicitly quantifies the thermodynamic scale of metastability for almost 30,000 known materials. This paves the way for designing and making promising next-generation materials for use in everything from semiconductors to pharmaceuticals to steels.

Crop Yield Gets Boost with Modified Genes in Photosynthesis

Berkeley and Illinois researchers have bumped up crop productivity by as much as 20 percent by increasing the expression of genes that result in more efficient use of light in photosynthesis. Their work could potentially be used to help address the world’s future food needs.

3-D Imaging Technique Maps Migration of DNA-carrying Material at the Center of Cells

Scientists have produced detailed 3-D visualizations that show an unexpected connectivity in the genetic material at the center of cells, providing a new understanding of a cell’s evolving architecture.

A New Way to Image Solar Cells in 3-D

Scientists have developed a way to use optical microscopy to map thin-film solar cells in 3-D as they absorb photons. The new method could help researchers learn new ways to boost photovoltaic efficiency.

Solar Cells Get Boost with Integration of Water-Splitting Catalyst onto Semiconductor

Berkeley Lab scientists have found a way to engineer the atomic-scale chemical properties of a water-splitting catalyst for integration with a solar cell, and the result is a big boost to the stability and efficiency of artificial photosynthesis. The research comes out of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), established to develop a cost-effective method of turning sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel.

Berkeley Lab Takes Home Five R&D 100 Awards for Environmental, Battery, and X-ray Technologies

Berkeley Lab-developed tech enabling energy-saving roofs, long-lived batteries, better data from X-ray experiments, safer drinking water, and reduced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have received 2016 R&D 100 awards.