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Scientists Help Thin-Film Ferroelectrics Go Extreme

Scientists have created the first-ever polarization gradient in thin-film ferroelectrics, greatly expanding the range of functional temperatures for a key material used in a variety of everyday applications. The discovery could pave the way for developing devices capable of supporting wireless communications in extreme environments.

Scientists Print Nanoscale Imaging Probe onto Tip of Optical Fiber

Combining speed with incredible precision, a team of researchers has developed a way to print a nanoscale imaging probe onto the tip of a glass fiber as thin as a human hair, accelerating the production of the promising new device from several per month to several per day.

Coming to a Lab Bench Near You: Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy

Berkeley Lab researchers have, for the first time, captured the ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a chemical reaction using ultrafast, tabletop X-ray spectroscopy. The researchers used femtosecond pulses of X-ray light to catch the unraveling of a ring molecule that is important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes.

New Materials Could Turn Water into the Fuel of the Future

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Caltech have—in just two years—nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels. They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of commercially viable generation of solar fuels that could replace coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

Scientists Determine Precise 3-D Location and Identity of All 23,000 Atoms in a Nanoparticle

Scientists used one of the world’s most powerful electron microscopes to map the precise location and chemical type of 23,000 atoms in an extremely small particle made of iron and platinum. Insights gained from the particle’s structure could lead to new ways to improve its magnetic performance for use in high-density, next-generation hard drives.

For This Metal, Electricity Flows, But Not the Heat

Berkeley scientists have discovered that electrons in vanadium dioxide can conduct electricity without conducting heat, an exotic property in an unconventional material. The characteristic could lead to applications in thermoelectrics and window coatings.

A New Way to Image Solar Cells in 3-D

Scientists have developed a way to use optical microscopy to map thin-film solar cells in 3-D as they absorb photons. The new method could help researchers learn new ways to boost photovoltaic efficiency.

Solar Cells Get Boost with Integration of Water-Splitting Catalyst onto Semiconductor

Berkeley Lab scientists have found a way to engineer the atomic-scale chemical properties of a water-splitting catalyst for integration with a solar cell, and the result is a big boost to the stability and efficiency of artificial photosynthesis. The research comes out of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), established to develop a cost-effective method of turning sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel.

Berkeley Lab Takes Home Five R&D 100 Awards for Environmental, Battery, and X-ray Technologies

Berkeley Lab-developed tech enabling energy-saving roofs, long-lived batteries, better data from X-ray experiments, safer drinking water, and reduced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have received 2016 R&D 100 awards.

Workshop Focuses in on Electron Microscopy

A “Future Electron Microscopy” workshop held Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the ALS User Support Building showcased the breadth and depth of electron microscopy at Berkeley Lab.