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How to Train Your Bacterium

Peidong solar feature

Berkeley Lab researchers are using the bacterium Moorella thermoacetica to perform photosynthesis and also to synthesize semiconductor nanoparticles in a hybrid artificial photosynthesis system for converting sunlight into valuable chemical products.

PIMs May Be the Cup of Choice for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Brett Helms PIMs feature

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a membrane made from polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) that extends the life and improves the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries.

Newly Discovered ‘Design Rule’ Brings Nature-Inspired Nanostructures One Step Closer

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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.

New Support for CAMERA to Develop Computational Mathematics for Experimental Facilities Research


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.

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.