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Berkeley Lab Appoints Polly Arnold as Chemical Sciences Division Director

Renowned heavy-element chemist Polly Arnold has been appointed Chemical Sciences Division Director within Berkeley Lab’s Energy Sciences Area. Arnold will join Berkeley Lab in late September this year. Concurrent with her role at Berkeley Lab, she will also join the Chemistry Department faculty at UC Berkeley in January 2020.

Here Comes the Sun: A New Framework for Artificial Photosynthesis

A study led by Berkeley Lab has uncovered new insight into how to better control the catalyst cobalt oxide for artificial photosynthesis.

Separation Anxiety No More: A Faster Technique to Purify Elements

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new chemical separation method that is vastly more efficient than conventional processes, opening the door to faster discovery of new elements, easier nuclear fuel reprocessing, and, most tantalizing, a better way to attain actinium-225, a promising therapeutic isotope for cancer treatment.

Royal Society of London Elects Two Berkeley Lab Scientists

Two Berkeley Lab scientists – climate scientist Inez Fung of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, and chemist Martin Head-Gordon of the Energy Sciences Area – have been elected to the Royal Society of London, the oldest scientific academic society in continuous existence.

A Solar Cell That Does Double Duty for Renewable Energy

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, have developed an artificial photosynthesis device called a “hybrid photoelectrochemical and voltaic (HPEV) cell” that turns sunlight and water into two types of energy – hydrogen fuel and electricity.

Scientists Present New Clues to Cut Through the Mystery of Titan’s Atmospheric Haze

Experiments at Berkeley Lab have helped scientists to zero in on a low-temperature chemical mechanism that may help to explain the complex molecular compounds that make up the nitrogen-rich haze layer surrounding Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

Splitting Water: Nanoscale Imaging Yields Key Insights

In the quest to realize artificial photosynthesis to convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel – just as plants do – researchers need to not only identify materials to efficiently perform photoelectrochemical water splitting, but also to understand why a certain material may or may not work. Now scientists at Berkeley Lab have pioneered a technique that uses nanoscale imaging to understand how local, nanoscale properties can affect a material’s macroscopic performance.

Vote for Your Favorite Photos: 2018 Physics Photowalk Competition

Pick your favorite photos from the Berkeley Lab Physics Photowalk event in May. We will announce the People’s Choice winners in August.

4 Berkeley Lab-affiliated Scientists Elected as National Academy of Sciences Members

Four scientists affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are among the group of 84 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS); three are also professors at UC Berkeley.

In Pursuit of Perfect Chemistry: A Vision for Unifying Catalysis

Several fields of research have sprung up around the chemical drivers, called catalysts, at work in many industrial processes – including those that boost the production of fuels, fertilizers, and foods – and there is a growing interest in coordinating these research activities to create new, hybrid catalysts with enhanced performance, say researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.