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Scientists Developing Innovative Techniques for High-Resolution Analysis of Hybrid Materials

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new method of analyzing the molecular-scale structure of organo-lead halide perovskites, a promising class of materials that could energize the solar cell industry. They combined advanced X-ray spectroscopy measurements with calculations based on fundamental, “first principles” theory to obtain an atomic-scale view of the material.

A Semiconductor That Can Beat the Heat

A newly discovered collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor blocks most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity – a rare pairing that scientists say could reduce heat buildup in electronics devices and turbine engines, among other possible applications.

Lights! Action! Photo-Activated Catalyst Grabs CO2 to Make Ingredients for Fuel

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a “spongy,” light-activated material that converts carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can be further turned into liquid fuels and other useful products. This is done without generating unwanted chemical reactions and byproducts, a significant step forward in developing technology that could help mitigate levels of a potent greenhouse gas while generating solar-powered fuel.

NIH Awards $9.3M for Further Development of PHENIX Structural Biology Software

PHENIX, a software suite launched 17 years ago at Berkeley Lab to automate the analysis of structural biology data, has received $9.3 million from the National Institutes of Health for continued development. The grant will support the use of PHENIX to build and refine models to solve three-dimensional macromolecular structures.

Making Polymer Chemistry ‘Click’

A team including Berkeley Lab scientists has developed a faster and easier way to make a class of sulfur-containing plastics that will lower the cost of large-scale production.

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.