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Five Berkeley Lab Researchers Receive DOE Early Career Research Awards

Five researchers at Berkeley Lab were named today as recipients of the Early Career Research Program managed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The program is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

Revealing the Fluctuations of Flexible DNA in 3-D

Scientists have captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached to gold nanoparticles, which could aid in the use of DNA segments as building blocks for molecular devices that function as nanoscale drug-delivery systems, markers for biological research, and components for electronic devices.

Nature-Inspired Nanotubes That Assemble Themselves, With Precision

Scientists have discovered a family of nature-inspired polymers that, when placed in water, spontaneously assemble into hollow crystalline nanotubes. What’s more, the nanotubes can be tuned to all have the same diameter of between five and ten nanometers.

New Carbon Capture Membrane Boasts CO2 Highways

A new, highly permeable carbon capture membrane could lead to more efficient ways of separating carbon dioxide from power plant exhaust, preventing the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

New Fuel Cell Design Powered by Graphene-wrapped Nanocrystals

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a new materials recipe for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell that shields the nanocrystals from oxygen, moisture, and contaminants while pushing its performance forward in key areas.

Modernizing a Technology From the Vacuum Tube Era To Generate Cheap Power

When scientists Daniel Riley and Jared Schwede left Stanford University last year to join Cyclotron Road, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s program for entrepreneurial researchers, their vision was to take thermionics, an all-but-forgotten technology, and develop it into a clean, compact, and efficient source of power.

New Form of Electron-beam Imaging Can See Elements that are ‘Invisible’ to Common Methods

A new Berkeley Lab-developed electron-beam imaging technique, tested on samples of nanoscale gold and carbon, greatly improves images of light elements. The technique can reveal structural details for materials that would be overlooked by some traditional methods.

‘Lasers Rewired’: Scientists Find a New Way to Make Nanowire Lasers

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have found a simple new way to produce nanoscale wires that can serve as bright, stable and tunable lasers—an advance toward using light to transmit data.

Simplifying Solar Cells with a New Mix of Materials

Scientists have simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. The special blend of materials eliminates the need for a process known as doping that steers the device’s properties by introducing foreign atoms. Doping can also degrade performance.

How to Train Your Bacterium

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.