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New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

Scientists who are members of a new energy materials-related science center based at Berkeley Lab have solved a mystery that could lead to gains in efficiency for organic solar cells.

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.

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.

New Catalyst Gives Artificial Photosynthesis a Big Boost

A research team including Berkeley Lab scientists has created a new catalyst on the path toward artificial photosynthesis — a system that would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy.

Scientists Solve a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

A Berkeley Lab-led research team has discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. The findings could steer the design of next-gen batteries.

Berkeley Lab Tech Brings Nobel-Winning Cryo-EM Into Sharper Focus

Berkeley Lab played a key role in the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry, awarded today, honoring the development of cryo-EM, an imaging technique that has launched the fields of structural biology and biochemistry into an exciting new era of discovery.

Nanoparticle Supersoap Creates ‘Bijel’ With Potential as Sculptable Fluid

Berkeley Lab scientists used nanoparticle surfactants to create a new type of “bijel,” a material that holds promise as a malleable liquid with applications in liquid circuitry, energy conversion, and soft robotics.

Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion

Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies coming out of Berkeley Lab tackling the challenge of a creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use.

Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, scientists at Berkeley Lab have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.