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Outsmarting Thermodynamics in Self-assembly of Nanostructures

Simulation of feedback driven self-assembly in mass assembly-line. The tilted network indicates aqueous flow in space (blue reservoir). The plasmon gauged potential (red) phothermally dissociates unwanted assemblies and re-assembles into the desired dimers.

Berkeley Lab researchers have achieved symmetry-breaking in a bulk metamaterial solution for the first time, a critical step game toward achieving new and exciting properties in metamaterials.

Nanotubes that Insert Themselves into Cell Membranes

An artist’s interpretation of a nanotube embedded within a cell membrane, allowing a DNA molecule to pass through. Credit: Xavier Studios

Berkeley Lab researchers have helped show that short carbon nanotubes can make excellent artificial pores within cell membranes. Moreover, these nanotubes, which are far more rugged than their biological counterparts, can self-insert into a cell membrane or other lipid bilayers.

Berkeley Lab Study Reveals Molecular Structure of Water at Gold Electrodes

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Berkeley Lab researchers have recorded the first observations of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold electrode under different battery charging conditions.

Dispelling a Misconception About Mg-Ion Batteries

David Prendergast and Liwen Wan at the Molecular Foundry used supercomputer simulations to dispel a popular misconception about magnesium-ion batteries that should help advance the technology in the future. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

Berkeley Lab researchers, working under the JCESR Energy Hub, used supercomputer simulations to dispel a popular misconception about magnesium-ion batteries that should help advance the development of multivalent ion battery technology.

Berkeley Lab Helps Capture Birth of Mineral in Real Time

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Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California Berkeley, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have used a high-powered electron microscope to capture the birth of calcium carbonate crystals. It is a first step, the researchers say, to better understanding how it might be possible to pull excess carbon dioxide from the air and store it in rock where it wouldn’t contribute to global warming.

Peptoid Nanosheets at the Oil/Water Interface

Peptoid nanosheets are among the largest and thinnest free-floating organic crystals ever made, with an area-to-thickness equivalent of a plastic sheet covering a football field. Peptoid nanosheets can be engineered to carry out a wide variety of  functions.

Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have developed peptoid nanosheets that form at the interface between oil and water, opening the door to increased structural complexity and chemical functionality for a broad range of applications.

First Ab Initio Method for Characterizing Hot Carriers Could Hold the Key to Future Solar Cell Efficiencies

A new and better way to study “hot” carriers in semiconductors, a major source of efficiency loss in solar cells, has been developed by scientists at Berkeley Lab. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed the first ab initio method for characterizing the properties of “hot carriers” in semiconductors. This should help clear a major road block to the development of new, more efficient solar cells.

Unexpected Water Explains Surface Chemistry of Nanocrystals

Calculated atomic structure of a 5nm diameter nanocrystal passivated with oleate and hydroxyl ligands. (Image courtesy of Berkeley Lab)

Danylo Zherebetskyy and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found unexpected traces of water in semiconducting nanocrystals. The water as a source of small ions for the surface of colloidal lead sulfide (PbS) nanoparticles allowed the team to explain just how the surface of these important particles

Probing dopant distribution: Finding by Berkeley Lab Researchers at the Molecular Foundry Opens the Door to Better Doping of Semiconductor Nanocrystals

Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have shown that when doping a semiconductor to alter its electrical properties, equally important as the amount of dopant is how the dopant is distributed on the surface and throughout the material.

Berkeley Lab Launches Building Energy Performance Research Project at New FLEXLAB Testing Facility

The DOE’s David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, was on hand in Berkeley April 14 to tour FLEXLAB™, the Facility for Low Energy experiments in Buildings, run by Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Danielson and Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos also met with executives from construction firm Webcor. Webcor’s testing in FLEXLAB will allow its engineers to predict and improve the energy performance for a new building constructed for biotech company, Genentech. A building mockup for Genentech will be studied at different building orientations, specific to the actual construction site. As part of his visit to the Lab, Danielson also toured the Molecular Foundry.