Scientists aspire to build nanostructures that mimic the complexity and function of nature’s proteins, but are made of durable and synthetic materials. These microscopic widgets could be customized into incredibly sensitive chemical detectors or long-lasting catalysts, to name a few possible applications. A discovery by Berkeley Lab scientists is a step in that direction.
With the advent of new technology, scientific facilities are collecting data at increasing rates and higher resolution. However, making sense of this data is becoming a major bottleneck. To address these growing needs, the Department of Energy has announced approval of a grant of $10.5 million over three years to expand the Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications at Berkeley Lab.
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.
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.
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