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Improved Desalination Process Also Removes Toxic Metals to Produce Clean Water

A UC Berkeley-led research team in collaboration with Berkeley Lab has discovered a way to simplify the removal of toxic metals, like mercury and boron, during desalination to produce clean water, while at the same time potentially capturing valuable metals, such as gold.

The Future Looks Bright for Infinitely Recyclable Plastic

Plastics are ubiquitous, but they’re not practical. Less than 10% are recycled, and the other ~8 billion tons are creating a pollution crisis. A Berkeley Lab team is determined to change that. A new analysis shows producing and recycling their game-changing new plastic could be easy and cheap enough to leave old plastics in the dust.

To Design Truly Compostable Plastic, Scientists Take Cues From Nature

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have designed an enzyme-activated compostable plastic that could diminish microplastics pollution. Household tap water or soil composts break the hybrid plastic material down to small molecules, called monomers, in just a few days or weeks.

X-Ray Study Recasts Role of Battery Material from Cathode to Catalyst

An international team working at Berkeley Lab used a unique X-ray instrument to learn new things about lithium-rich battery materials that have been the subject of much study for their potential to extend the range of electric vehicles and the operation of electronic devices.

The Spintronics Technology Revolution Could Be Just a Hopfion Away

A research team co-led by Berkeley Lab has created and observed quasiparticles called 3D hopfions at the nanoscale (billionths of a meter) in a magnetic system. The discovery could advance high-density, high-speed, low-power, yet ultrastable magnetic memory “spintronics” devices.

This Ultrathin Sensor Could Save Your Lungs – and the Climate

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed an atomically thin device that could turn your smartphone into a supersmart gas sensor.

VIDEO: Revealing the Nano Big Bang – Scientists Observe the First Milliseconds of Crystal Formation

At the Molecular Foundry, scientists recruited a world-leading microscope to capture atomic-resolution, high-speed images of gold atoms self-organizing, falling apart, and then reorganizing many times before settling into a stable, ordered crystal.

Do You Know the Way to Berkelium, Californium?

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated how to image samples of heavy elements as small as a single nanogram. The new approach will help scientists advance new technologies for medical imaging and cancer therapies.

New Optical Antennas Could Overcome Data Limits

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have found a new way to harness properties of lightwaves that can radically increase the amount of data they carry.

VIDEO: On the Line: Watching Nanoparticles Get in Shape

Berkeley Lab scientists have captured real-time, high-resolution videos of liquid structures taking shape as nanoparticles form a solid-like layer at the interface between oil and water. Their findings could help advance all-liquid robotics for targeted cancer drug delivery and other applications.