News Center

Energy Department to Invest $16 Million in Computer Design of Materials

NERSC Cray Cori supercomputer at Wang Hall - graphic panels installation - November 09, 2015.

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.

5 Nanoscience Research Projects That Could Deliver Big Results

Peptoid Nanotube

Berkeley Lab researchers are using the science of the very small to help solve big challenges. That’s because, at the nanoscale—the scale of molecules and proteins—new and exciting properties emerge that can possibly be put to use. Here are five projects, now underway and recently highlighted in the News Center, which promise big results from the

Berkeley Lab Scientists Grow Atomically Thin Transistors and Circuits

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In an advance that helps pave the way for next-generation electronics and computing technologies—and possibly paper-thin gadgets —Berkeley Lab scientists developed a way to chemically assemble transistors and circuits that are only a few atoms thick.

Scientists See Electron Bottleneck in Simulated Battery

A scanning electron microscopy image of vanadium pentoxide nanowires. The inset shows a ball-and-stick model of vanadium pentoxide's atomic structure before and after inserting lithium ions. (Credit: Texas A&M University)

An international team of scientists that includes Berkeley Lab researchers has revealed how interactions between electrons and ions can slow down the performance of vanadium pentoxide, a material considered key to the next generation of batteries.

Massive Trove of Battery and Molecule Data Released to Public

Kristin Persson - Materials Sciences Division

The Materials Project, a Google-like database of material properties aimed at accelerating innovation, has released an enormous trove of data to the public, giving scientists working on fuel cells, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and a host of other advanced materials a powerful tool to explore new research avenues. But it has become a particularly important resource for researchers working on batteries.

Copper is Key in Burning Fat

Chris Chang and UC Berkeley graduate student Sumin Lee carry out experiments to find proteins that bind to copper and potentially influence the storage and burning of fat. (Credit: Peg Skorpinski/UC Berkeley)

A new study led by a Berkeley Lab scientist and UC Berkeley professor establishes for the first time copper’s role in fat metabolism, further burnishing the metal’s reputation as an essential nutrient for human physiology.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Discover Surprising New Properties in a 2-D Semiconductor

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Researchers found how substantial linear defects in a new semiconductor create entirely new properties. Some of these properties indicate the defects might even mediate superconducting states.

Four Berkeley Lab Researchers Named to National Academy of Sciences

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Four Berkeley Lab-affiliated researchers were elected members to the National Academy of Sciences this week. The four make up a class of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates this year from 14 different countries. The election recognizes their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Scientists Push Valleytronics One Step Closer to Reality

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Scientists have taken a big step toward the practical application of “valleytronics,” which is a new type of electronics that could lead to faster and more efficient computer logic systems and data storage chips in next-generation devices.

Nature-Inspired Nanotubes That Assemble Themselves, With Precision

Precision meets nano-construction, as seen in this illustration. Berkeley Lab scientists discovered a peptoid composed of two chemically distinct blocks (shown in orange and blue) that assembles itself into nanotubes with uniform diameters. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Scientists have discovered a family of nature-inspired polymers that, when placed in water, spontaneously assemble into hollow crystalline nanotubes. What’s more, the nanotubes can be tuned to all have the same diameter of between five and ten nanometers.