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An intriguing twist in the structure of a cobalt oxide catalyst

August 15, 2012 5:41 am | by David Lindley | News | Comments

Hydrogen is a clean fuel, producing only water vapor when it burns. But generating hydrogen in large quantities and in a "green" fashion is not straightforward. Biological photosynthesis includes an efficient reaction step that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of catalysts that have been used as models for synthetic catalysts. Working at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, a team of scientists has determined the structure of one such catalyst, a complex cobalt oxide.

Argonne, Evigia finalize licensing agreement

July 16, 2012 10:52 am | News | Comments

Evigia Systems and Argonne National Laboratory announced that they have finalized a licensing agreement under which Argonne's patented, application-specific radio-frequency identification sensor/seal technology and its custom-developed ARG-US software suite will be further developed and marketed by Evigia as a comprehensive nuclear and hazardous material handling solution.

Graphene decoupling of organic, inorganic interfaces

June 19, 2012 6:50 am | News | Comments

Cryogenic ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) was employed by researchers in the Center for Nanoscale Materials Electronic & Magnetic Materials & Devices Group at Argonne National Laboratory to uncover exceptionally weak molecule-surface interactions between fullerene C 60 deposited onto epitaxially grown graphene on silicon carbide substrates.


Catching some rays: Organic solar cells make a leap forward

June 14, 2012 4:37 am | News | Comments

Drawn together by the force of nature, but pulled apart by the force of man—it sounds like the setting for a love story, but it is also a basic description of how scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have begun to make more efficient organic solar cells.

New nanomaterials method answers tough challenges

June 8, 2012 9:42 am | News | Comments

When searching for the technology to boost computer speeds and improve memory density, the best things come in the smallest packages. A relentless move toward smaller and more precisely defined semiconductors has prompted researchers at Argonne National Laboratory to develop a new technique that can dramatically improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of preparing different classes of semiconducting materials.

Argonne sets sights on natural gas cars, trucks

June 5, 2012 12:23 pm | News | Comments

As the United States' natural gas reserves have sparked an interest in natural gas-powered vehicles, Argonne National Laboratory is hoping to use its automotive research facilities to lead the way in natural-gas vehicle testing.

Grid realities cancel out some of wind power's carbon savings

May 30, 2012 7:08 am | News | Comments

Wind energy lowers carbon emissions, but adding turbines to the current grid system does not eliminate emissions proportionally, according to a report by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory. To test how wind energy affects carbon dioxide emissions, Argonne scientists modeled the Illinois electric grid and tested how more wind power would affect the system.

Scientists uncover a photosynthetic puzzle

May 21, 2012 12:54 pm | News | Comments

Quantum physics and plant biology seem like two branches of science that could not be more different, but surprisingly they may in fact be intimately tied. Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame used ultrafast spectroscopy to see what happens at the subatomic level during the very first stage of photosynthesis.


Argonne, universities partner to design advanced materials

May 16, 2012 9:24 am | News | Comments

Argonne National Laboratory announced major new efforts with Northwestern University and the University of Chicago to advance the research and development of new materials to help solve the nation’s challenges in the fields of energy, health, and security.

Researchers identify potential target for anthrax drug

May 9, 2012 6:10 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Michigan have identified new targets for drugs that could potentially treat anthrax, the deadly infection caused by Bacillus anthracis . The team found a new way to block the bacteria's ability to capture iron, which is vital to its survival and its disease-causing properties.

Untangling the mysteries of spider silk

May 3, 2012 3:53 am | News | Comments

Spiders weave a web even more tangled than originally thought—at least on the nanoscale level, according to a new study performed at Argonne National Laboratory. Using high-energy X-rays provided by the Advanced Photon Source, scientists peered into the structure of orb spiders' dragline silk—the chief thread that allows them to dangle precipitously off branches and window frames.

Solar system may have evolved faster than we think

May 2, 2012 6:52 am | News | Comments

Our solar system is four and a half billion years old, but its formation may have occurred over a shorter period of time than we previously thought, says an international team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and universities and laboratories in the U.S. and Japan.

New institute to tackle 'data tsunami' challenge

April 19, 2012 6:19 am | by Louise Lerner | News | Comments

Many simulations and experiments already generate petabytes of data—a single petabyte is 2,000 times more data than you can fit on a typical laptop—and they will soon be generating exabytes. The Department of Energy’s newly established Scalable Data Management, Analysis, and Visualization (SDAV) Institute is intended to help scientists deal with the deluge of data.


New isotope measurement could alter history of early solar system

April 2, 2012 12:44 pm | News | Comments

The early days of our solar system might look quite different than previously thought, according to research at Argonne National Laboratory. The study used more sensitive instruments to find a different half-life for samarium, one of the isotopes used to chart the evolution of the solar system.

Copper-based materials show strange spin states

March 28, 2012 5:09 am | News | Comments

Just as water, ice, and steam are all phases of the same material that are influenced by temperature and pressure, new research from Argonne National Laboratory shows how transitions of state work in very simple lattices primarily composed of copper.

All-inorganic nanocrystals boost infrared emission

March 14, 2012 5:27 am | News | Comments

New chemistry has been developed to integrate lead chalcogenide nanocrystals into continuous inorganic matrices of chalcogenide glasses. Inorganic capping, rather than conventional organic capping ligands, allows simple and low-temperature encapsulation of these nanocrystals into solution-cast infrared-transparent amorphous As 2 S 3 chalcogenide matrices.

Diamond brightens the performance of electronic devices

March 13, 2012 4:13 am | News | Comments

While diamonds may be a girl's best friend, they're also well loved by scientists working to enhance the performance of electronic devices. Two new studies performed at Argonne National Laboratory have revealed a new pathway for materials scientists to use previously unexplored properties of nanocrystalline-diamond thin films.

New picture of atomic nucleus emerges

March 1, 2012 9:12 am | News | Comments

When most of us think of an atom, we think of tiny electrons whizzing around a stationary, dense nucleus composed of protons and neutrons, collectively known as nucleons. A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has demonstrated just how different reality is from our simple picture.

Big, bad bacterium is an 'iron pirate'

February 21, 2012 3:53 am | News | Comments

Life inside the human body sometimes looks like life on the high seas in the 1960s, when pirates hijacked foreign vessels in search of precious metals. For Neisseria bacteria, which can cause gonorrhea and meningitis, the booty is not gold or silver but plain old iron. Until recently, scientists did not understand how these bacterial snatch iron from healthy human cells, where a protein called transferrin bind the metal in a molecular bear hug.

Small modular reactor design could be a SUPERSTAR

February 9, 2012 8:21 am | News | Comments

Though most of today's nuclear reactors are cooled by water, we've long known that there are alternatives; in fact, the world's first nuclear-powered electricity in 1951 came from a reactor cooled by sodium. Reactors cooled by liquid metals such as sodium or lead have a unique set of abilities that may again make them significant players in the nuclear industry. Argonne National Laboratory has designed a new small reactor cooled by lead.

A natural solution for transportation

February 3, 2012 3:46 am | News | Comments

As the United States transitions away from a primarily petroleum-based transportation industry, a number of different alternative fuel sources—ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen—have each shown their own promise. Hoping to expand the pool even further, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have begun to investigate adding one more contender to the list of possible energy sources for light-duty cars and trucks: Compressed natural gas.

Disappearing gold a boon for nanolattices

January 27, 2012 8:05 am | News | Comments

When gold vanishes from a very important location, it usually means trouble. At the nanoscale, however, it could provide more knowledge about certain types of materials. A recent discovery that enables scientists to replace gold nanoparticles with dummy "spacers" has allowed scientists to create materials with never-before-seen structures, which may lead to new properties.

Designing self-repairing batteries

January 11, 2012 8:07 am | News | Comments

Imagine dropping your phone on the hard concrete sidewalk—but when you pick it up, you find its battery has already healed itself. A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Argonne National Laboratory are exploring ways to design batteries that heal themselves when damaged.

A look into the interfaces of nanoscale polymeric materials

January 9, 2012 5:03 am | News | Comments

The development of polymer nanostructures and nanoscale devices for a wide variety of applications could emerge from new information about the interplay between nanoscale interfaces in polymeric materials, thanks to research carried out at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source.

Ironing out the details of the Earth's core

December 20, 2011 2:50 am | News | Comments

Identifying the composition of the Earth's core is key to understanding how our planet formed and the current behavior of its interior. While it has been known for many years that iron is the main element in the core, many questions have remained about just how iron behaves under the conditions found deep in the Earth. Until now.

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