News Center

CLAIRE Brings Electron Microscopy to Soft Materials

CLAIRE image of Al nanostructures with an inset that shows a cluster of six Al nanostructures.

Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Molecular Foundry, have invented a technique called “CLAIRE” that extends the incredible resolution of electron microscopy to the non-invasive nanoscale imaging of soft matter, including biomolecules, liquids, polymers, gels and foams.

Channeling Valleytronics in Graphene

Feng Wang IR feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Advanced Light Source, have discovered topologically protected 1D electron conducting channels at the domain walls of bilayer graphene that should prove useful for valleytronics.

Major Advance in Artificial Photosynthesis Poses Win/Win for the Environment

Peidong feature image

By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, a potentially game-changing new artificial photosynthesis system offers a win/win situation for the environment: solar-powered green chemistry using sequestered carbon dioxide.

Electrolyte Genome Could Be Battery Game-Changer

Berkeley Lab scientist Kristin Persson and her electrolyte genome team.

A new breakthrough battery—one that has significantly higher energy, lasts longer, and is cheaper and safer—will likely be impossible without a new material discovery. And a new material discovery could take years, if not decades, since trial and error has been the best available approach. But Berkeley Lab scientist Kristin Persson says she can take some of the guesswork out of the discovery process with her Electrolyte Genome.

On the Road to Spin-orbitronics

These schematics of magnetic domain walls in perpendicularly magnetized thin films show (a) left-handed and (b) right-handed Neel-type walls; and (c) left-handed and (d) right-handed Bloch-type walls. The directions of the arrows correspond to the magnetization direction.

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a new way of manipulating the magnetic domain walls in ultrathin magnets that could one day revolutionize the electronics industry through a technology called “spin-orbitronics.”

Berkeley Lab Director Announces Intention to Step Down


After six years as Lab Director, Paul Alivisatos announced he will leave his position once a successor can be recruited to lead the Lab. Alivisatos will return to his research and teaching activities as a senior scientist in the Materials Sciences Division and as a faculty member on the UC Berkeley campus.

A Better Way of Scrubbing CO2

Manganese-based MOF

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today. By appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs), the researchers were able to more than triple the CO2-scrubbing capacity of the MOFs, while significantly reducing parasitic energy.

Bigger steps: Berkeley Lab researchers develop algorithm to make simulation of ultrafast processes possible

Rachel feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new algorithm that makes it easier to produce real-time numerical simulations of ultrafast physical phenomena, such as electrical charge transfer.

Bacterial Armor Holds Clues for Self-Assembling Nanostructures

S-layer bacteria

Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have uncovered key details in the process by which bacterial proteins self-assemble into a protective coating, like chainmail armor. This process can be a model for the self-assembly of 2D and 3D nanostructures.

Solving an Organic Semiconductor Mystery

Sketch of organic semiconductor thin film shows that the interfacial region between larger domains (blue and green) consists of randomly oriented small, nano-crystalline domains (purple).

Organic semiconductors are prized for light emitting diodes (LEDs), field effect transistors (FETs) and photovoltaic cells. As they can be printed from solution, they provide a highly scalable, cost-effective alternative to silicon-based devices. Uneven performances, however, have been a persistent problem. That’s now changed.