A collaboration of Berkeley Lab and UC San Diego researchers has recorded the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms behind the ability of skin to resist tearing. The results could be applied to the improvement of artificial skin, or to the development of thin film polymers for flexible electronics.
Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated a micro-sized robotic torsional muscle/motor made from vanadium dioxide that for its size is a thousand times more powerful than a human muscle, able to catapult objects 50 times heavier than itself over a distance five times its length faster than the blink of an eye.
Berkeley Lab researchers have found a bulk metallic glass based on palladium that’s as strong as the best composite bulk metallic glasses and comparable to steel, aluminum and titanium.
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed advanced opto-mechanical stress probes based on tetrapod quantum dots (tQDs) that allow precise measurement of the tensile strength of polymer fibers with minimal impact on the polymer’s mechanical properties. These fluorescent tQDs could lead to stronger, self-repairing polymer nanocomposites.
The Materials Project—an open-access Google-like database for materials research developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—is working with Intermolecular, Inc. to enhance the tool’s modeling capabilities and thus accelerate the speed of new material development by tenfold or more over conventional approaches. New materials are key to addressing challenges in energy, healthcare and national security.
Electrons flowing swiftly across the surface of topological insulators (TIs) are “spin polarized,” their spin and momentum locked. This new way to control electron distribution in spintronic devices makes TIs a hot topic in materials science. Now Berkeley Lab scientists have discovered more surprises: contrary to assumptions, the spin polarization of photoemitted electrons from a topological insulator is wholly determined in three dimensions by the polarization of the incident light beam.
In bulk, topological insulators (TIs) are good insulators, but on their surface they act as metals, with a twist: the spin and direction of electrons moving across the surface of a TI are locked together. TIs offer unique opportunities to control electric currents and magnetism, and new research by a team of scientists from China
Space-age ceramics at their best promise advanced jet and gas turbine engines that burn with greater fuel efficiencies and less pollution. Berkeley Lab scientists have developed the first mechanical test rig for obtaining real-time X-ray computed microtomography images at ultrahigh temperatures for improving the composition and architecture of advanced ceramic composites.