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Surprising Discoveries about 2D Molybdenum Disulfide

Jim Schuck MoS2_Feature new

Working at the Molecular Foundry, Berkeley Lab researchers used their “Campanile” nano-optical probe to make some surprising discoveries about molybdenum disulfide, a member of the “transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) semiconductor family whose optoelectronic properties hold great promise for future nanoelectronic and photonic devices.

Meet the High-Performance Single-Molecule Diode

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University have
created the world’s highest-performance single-molecule diode using a combination of gold electrodes and an ionic solution. (Image courtesy of Latha Venkataraman, Columbia University)

Researchers from Columbia University and Berkeley Lab have created the world’s highest-performance single-molecule diode. Development of a functional single-molecule diode is a major pursuit of the electronics industry.

A Most Singular Nano-Imaging Technique

SINGLE uses in situ TEM imaging of platinum nanocrystals freely rotating in a graphene liquid cell to determine the 3D structures of individual colloidal nanoparticles.

“SINGLE” is a new imaging technique that provides the first atomic-scale 3D structures of individual nanoparticles in solution. This is an important step for improving the design of colloidal nanoparticles for catalysis and energy research applications.

A New Look at Surface Chemistry

Jim Ciston feature image

A multi-institutional team of researchers, including scientists from Berkeley Lab, have used a new scanning electron microscopy technique to resolve the unique atomic structure at the surface of a material. This new technique holds promise for the study of catalysis, corrosion and other critical chemical reactions.

Using Robots at Berkeley Lab, Scientists Assemble Promising Antimicrobial Compounds

Peptoids are chainlike structure of non-natural amino acids that can be assembled to carry out very specific functions, such as fighting harmful microbes. (Credit: Annelise Barron)

There’s an urgent demand for new antimicrobial compounds that are effective against constantly emerging drug-resistant bacteria. Two robotic chemical-synthesizing machines at the Molecular Foundry have joined the search.

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.

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.”

A Robot Chemist, at Your Service

Symphony X is an automated molecular synthesizer used at Berkeley Lab. Credit: Ron Zuckermann

Earlier this year, Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry got a new suite of robotic synthesis tools called the Overture and the Symphony X (pictured above), automated chemical synthesizers that assemble custom molecular structures called peptoids. Peptoid nanostructures, pioneered at Berkeley Lab, have molecular shapes similar to biological molecules like proteins, but are made with synthetic building

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.

Precision Growth of Light-emitting Nanowires


A novel approach to growing nanowires promises a new means of control over their light-emitting and electronic properties. Berkeley Lab researchers demonstrated a new growth technique that uses specially engineered catalysts. These catalysts have given scientists more options than ever in tuning the color of light-emitting nanowires.