Berkeley Lab scientists Maurice Garcia-Sciveres and Ramamoorthy Ramesh discuss how future microchips could perform better – and require less energy – than silicon. Over the next three years, they will lead two of the 10 projects recently awarded nearly $54 million by the Department of Energy to increase energy efficiency in microelectronics design and production.
Photosynthesis – the enzyme-based process of converting carbon dioxide into food, using water and sunlight – is literally the foundation of life on Earth, and understanding the reaction at an atomic level could lead to vast production of renewable fuels made from greenhouse gases sucked out of the air. A Berkeley Lab team has been uncovering precise, step-by-step details of photosynthesis for years. We spoke to two members, co-lead author and senior scientist Vittal Yachandra and co-first author and postdoctoral researcher Philipp Simon, about their latest study, shooting stuff with lasers, and why they chose this field.
For geothermal fields around the world, produced geothermal brine has been simply injected back underground, but now it’s become clear that the brines produced at the Salton Sea geothermal field contain an immense amount of lithium, a critical resource need for low-carbon transportation and energy storage. Demand for lithium is skyrocketing, as it is an essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Currently there is very little lithium production in the U.S. and most lithium is imported; however, that may change in the near future.
The recent dramatic decline in battery prices has created a new possibility for electrification of freight trains. Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, collaborating with UCLA and UC Berkeley researchers, make the case that the U.S. can retrofit diesel-electric trains with batteries in a way that is cost-competitive with diesel. Doing so would avoid up to 1,000 premature deaths and save the U.S. freight rail sector $94 billion over 20 years from reduced air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
Berkeley Lab has been awarded more than $13 million for five research projects that will accelerate the development of advanced lithium batteries and smart, connected vehicles, making it easier to switch to electric vehicles.
A breakthrough image captured by scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley proves solid state of electrons predicted more than 90 years ago.
Skyrmions are little vortexes or whirlpools created by the spins of electrons when magnetic fields are applied to certain magnetic materials. In a series of recent studies, scientists at Berkeley Lab, SLAC, Stanford, and UC San Diego used an X-ray laser to discover new aspects of skyrmion behavior.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a cheap and efficient way to produce pure titanium metal. Their approach is scalable for commercial production, and produces an easily recycled product.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and the Technical University of Munich have developed a new technique that allows researchers to synthesize a perovskite solar material and test its performance at the same time.
Researchers from Berkeley Lab’s Center for Novel Pathways to Quantum Coherence in Materials are developing new pathways to create and protect quantum coherence. Doing so will enable exquisitely sensitive measurement and information processing devices that function at ambient or even extreme conditions.