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X-Rays Reveal the Biting Truth About Parrotfish Teeth

A new study has revealed a chain mail-like woven microstructure that gives parrotfish teeth their remarkable ability to chomp on coral all day long – the structure could serve as a blueprint for designing ultra-durable synthetic materials.

Scientists Harness Ultrafast Magnetism for Low-Power Memory

Scientists have developed a new, ultrafast method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals, a development that could lead to greatly increased performance and more energy-efficient computer memory and processing technologies.

New Studies on Disordered Cathodes May Provide Much-Needed Jolt to Lithium Batteries

In a pair of papers published in Nature Communications and Physical Review Letters, a team of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has come up with a set of rules for making new disordered materials, a process that had previously been driven by trial-and-error. They also found a way to incorporate fluorine, which makes the material both more stable and have higher capacity.

Injecting Electrons Jolts 2-D Structure Into New Atomic Pattern

The same electrostatic charge that can make hair stand on end and attach balloons to clothing could be an efficient way to drive atomically thin electronic memory devices of the future, according to a new Berkeley Lab study. Scientists have found a way to reversibly change the atomic structure of a 2-D material by injecting it with electrons. The process uses far less energy than current methods for changing the configuration of a material’s structure.

Nanoparticle Supersoap Creates ‘Bijel’ With Potential as Sculptable Fluid

Berkeley Lab scientists used nanoparticle surfactants to create a new type of “bijel,” a material that holds promise as a malleable liquid with applications in liquid circuitry, energy conversion, and soft robotics.

Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, scientists at Berkeley Lab have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.

A Semiconductor That Can Beat the Heat

A newly discovered collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor blocks most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity – a rare pairing that scientists say could reduce heat buildup in electronics devices and turbine engines, among other possible applications.

Lights! Action! Photo-Activated Catalyst Grabs CO2 to Make Ingredients for Fuel

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a “spongy,” light-activated material that converts carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can be further turned into liquid fuels and other useful products. This is done without generating unwanted chemical reactions and byproducts, a significant step forward in developing technology that could help mitigate levels of a potent greenhouse gas while generating solar-powered fuel.

Could This Strategy Bring High-Speed Communications to the Deep Sea?

Berkeley Lab researchers are proposing a new method for sending acoustic waves through water that could dramatically increase communication speeds for scuba divers, deep sea robots, and remote ocean monitors. By taking advantage of the dynamic rotation generated as waves travel, the researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.

New Class of ‘Soft’ Semiconductors Could Transform HD Displays

New research by Berkeley Lab scientists could help usher in a new generation of high-definition displays, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, and more. They have shown that a class of “soft” semiconductors can be used to emit multiple, bright colors from a single nanowire at resolutions as small as 500 nanometers. The work could challenge quantum dot displays that rely upon traditional semiconductor nanocrystals to emit light.