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Chemical Sleuthing Unravels Possible Path to the Formation of Life’s Building Blocks in Space

Scientists have used experiments at Berkeley Lab to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.

Scientists Confirm Century-Old Speculation on the Chemistry of a High-Performance Battery

Scientists have discovered a novel chemical state, first proposed about 90 years ago, that enables a high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery. The battery could quickly and efficiently store and distribute energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines across the electrical grid.

X-Ray Experiments Suggest High Tunability of 2-D Material

Researchers used MAESTRO, an X-ray platform at Berkeley Lab, to zero in on signatures of exotic electronic behavior in a 2-D material. They found that the material may be highly tunable, with potential applications in spintronics and other emerging fields.

Coupling Experiments to Theory to Build a Better Battery

A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

X-Rays Reveal ‘Handedness’ in Swirling Electric Vortices

Scientists used spiraling X-rays at Berkeley Lab to observe, for the first time, a property that gives left- or right-handedness to swirling electric patterns – dubbed polar vortices – in a layered material called a superlattice.

Ingredients for Life Revealed in Meteorites That Fell to Earth

A detailed study of blue salt crystals found in two meteorites that crashed to Earth – which included X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab – found that they contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids.

X-Rays Provide Key Insights on Path to Lithium-Rich Battery Electrode

A research team including scientists from Berkeley Lab created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give lithium-rich battery cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap their performance.

Studying Gas Mask Filters So People Can Breathe Easier

Berkeley Lab scientists have been putting the X-ray spotlight on composite materials in respirators used by the military, police, and first responders, work that could eventually lead to better gas masks.

Watching a Quantum Material Lose Its Stripes

In quantum materials, periodic stripe patterns can be formed by electrons coupled with lattice distortions. To capture the extremely fast dynamics of how such atomic-scale stripes melt and form, Berkeley Lab scientists used femtosecond-scale laser pulses at terahertz frequencies. Along the way, they found some unexpected behavior.

X-Rays Reveal the Biting Truth About Parrotfish Teeth

A new study has revealed a chain mail-like woven microstructure that gives parrotfish teeth their remarkable ability to chomp on coral all day long – the structure could serve as a blueprint for designing ultra-durable synthetic materials.