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Electric Skyrmions Charge Ahead for Next-Generation Data Storage

A team of researchers led by Berkeley Lab has observed chirality for the first time in polar skyrmions in a material with reversible electrical properties – a combination that could lead to more powerful data storage devices that continue to hold information, even after they’ve been turned off.

The Best Topological Conductor Yet: Spiraling Crystal Is the Key to Exotic Discovery

A team of researchers working at Berkeley Lab has discovered the strongest topological conductor yet, in the form of thin crystal samples that have a spiral-staircase structure. The team’s result is reported in the March 20 edition of the journal Nature.

Engineering Living ‘Scaffolds’ for Building Materials

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a platform that uses living cells as “scaffolds” for building self-assembled composite materials. The technology could open the door to self-healing materials and other advanced applications in bioelectronics, biosensing, and smart materials.

Scientists Take a Deep Dive Into the Imperfect World of 2D Materials

A team led by scientists at Berkeley Lab has learned how natural nanoscale defects can enhance the properties of tungsten disulfide, a 2D material.

When Semiconductors Stick Together, Materials Go Quantum

A simple method developed by a Berkeley Lab-led team could turn ordinary semiconducting materials into quantum machines – superthin devices with extraordinary electronic behavior. Such an advancement could help to revolutionize a number of industries aiming for energy-efficient electronic systems – and provide a platform for exotic new physics.

Plumbing the Depths of Interfaces and Finding Buried Treasure

Berkeley Lab scientists have uncovered an unexpected phenomenon in material interface chemistry that could help to control how metals corrode.

How to Catch a Magnetic Monopole in the Act

A research team led by Berkeley Lab has created a nanoscale “playground” on a chip that simulates the formation of exotic magnetic particles called “monopoles.” The study could unlock the secrets to ever-smaller, more powerful memory devices, microelectronics, and next-generation hard drives that employ the power of magnetic spin to store data.

Big Data at the Atomic Scale: New Detector Reaches New Frontier in Speed

A superfast detector installed on an electron microscope at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry will reveal atomic-scale details across a larger sample area than could be seen before, and produce movies showing chemistry in action and changes in materials.

New Molecular Blueprint Advances Our Understanding of Photosynthesis

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have used one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to reveal the structure of a large protein complex crucial to photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into cellular energy. The finding, published in the journal Nature, will allow scientists to explore, for the first time, how the complex functions and could have implications for the production of a variety of bioproducts, including plastic alternatives and biofuels.

Berkeley Lab Contributes to New Research Offering First Complete Picture of Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

One issue plaguing today’s commercial battery materials is that they are only able to release about half of the lithium ions they contain. But for some reason, every new charge and discharge cycle slowly strips these lithium-rich cathodes of their voltage and capacity. A new study provides a comprehensive model of this process.