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A new high-energy record for LCLS

June 18, 2013 11:25 am | News | Comments

John Hill, a Brookhaven National Laboratory scientist, and his team watched with eager anticipation as controllers ramped up the power systems driving SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's x-ray laser in an attempt to achieve the record high energies needed to make his experiment a runaway success. To reach the high x-ray energies they were aiming for, all of the 80 klystrons associated with LCLS would need to operate at near-peak levels.

Scientists moving 15-ton magnet from N.Y. to Chicago

June 17, 2013 6:20 pm | by Frank Eltman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists on Long Island are preparing to move a 50-foot-wide electromagnet 3,200 miles over land and sea to its new home at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. The trip, starting at Brookhaven National Laboratory, is expected to take more than a month.

Exposure to air transforms gold alloys into catalytic nanostructures

June 12, 2013 7:27 am | News | Comments

Gold bars may signify great wealth, but gold packs a much more practical punch when shrunk down to nanoscale. Unfortunately, unlocking its potential often requires complex synthesis techniques that produce delicate structures with sensitivity to heat. Now, scientists have discovered a process of creating uniquely structured gold-indium nanoparticles that combine high stability, great catalytic potential and a simple synthesis process.

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Atomic-scale investigations solve key puzzle of LED efficiency

May 22, 2013 7:58 am | News | Comments

From the high-resolution glow of flat screen televisions to light bulbs that last for years, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) continue to transform technology. Their full potential, however, remains untapped. A contentious controversy surrounds the high intensity of indium gallium nitride, with experts split on whether or not indium-rich clusters within the material provide the LED's remarkable efficiency.

DNA-guided assembly yields ribbon-like nanostructures

May 16, 2013 12:20 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered that DNA "linker" strands coax nano-sized rods to line up in way unlike any other spontaneous arrangement of rod-shaped objects. The arrangement—with the rods forming "rungs" on ladder-like ribbons linked by multiple DNA strands—results from the collective interactions of the flexible DNA tethers and may be unique to the nanoscale.

New insight into early growth of solid thin-films

May 14, 2013 10:07 am | News | Comments

Thin films sometimes grow layer by layer, each layer one atom thick, while in other cases atoms deposited onto a surface form 3D islands that grow, impinge, and coalesce into a continuous film. Scientists have traditionally assumed that the islands are homogeneous and coalesce at roughly the same time. In a recent study, researchers have discovered that the process is more dynamic than suggested by the traditional view.

Recipe for low-cost, biomass-derived catalyst for hydrogen production

April 24, 2013 8:06 am | News | Comments

In recently published online paper, researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory describe details of a low-cost, stable, effective catalyst that could replace costly platinum in the production of hydrogen. The catalyst, made from renewable soybeans and abundant molybdenum metal, produces hydrogen in an environmentally friendly, cost-effective manner, potentially increasing the use of this clean energy source.

Battery research at NSLS aims to solve energy storage challenges

April 5, 2013 9:17 am | News | Comments

The shrinking size and increasing capacity of batteries in the past few decades has made possible devices that have transformed everyday life. But small isn't the only frontier for battery technology. As the world enters its most energy-intensive era, the search is on for bigger, cheaper, and safer batteries that can capture, store, and efficiently use sustainable energy on a large scale. To determine how best to meet those large-scale energy needs, researchers are probing small-scale, off-the-shelf D-cell batteries.

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Researchers find surprising similarities between genetic, computer codes

March 29, 2013 8:00 am | News | Comments

The term "survival of the fittest" refers to natural selection in biological systems, but Darwin's theory may apply more broadly than that. New research from Brookhaven National Laboratory shows that this evolutionary theory also applies to technological systems. The team worked to compare that frequency with which components "survive" in two complex systems: bacterial genomes and operating systems on Linux computers.

Laser mastery narrows down sources of superconductivity

February 25, 2013 9:35 am | News | Comments

Pinning down one of the possible explanations for the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductors—fleeting fluctuations called charge-density waves (CDWs)—could help pave the way for technological advances. Researchers report that they have combined two state-of-the-art experimental techniques to study those electron waves with unprecedented precision in two-dimensional, custom-grown materials.

Finding: Dopants dramatically alter electronic structure of superconductor

February 18, 2013 8:29 am | News | Comments

At present, a key step to achieving superconductivity is to substitute a different kind of atom into some positions of the “parent” material’s crystal framework. Until now, scientists thought this doping process simply added more electrons or other charge carriers, thereby rendering the electronic environment more conducive to the formation of electron pairs that could move with no energy loss if the material is held at a certain chilly temperature. Now, new studies of an iron-based superconductor suggest that the story is somewhat more complicated.

Scientists turn toxic by-product into biofuel booster

February 4, 2013 3:49 pm | News | Comments

Scientists studying an enzyme that naturally produces alkanes—long carbon-chain molecules that could be a direct replacement for the hydrocarbons in gasoline—have figured out why the natural reaction typically stops after three to five cycles. Armed with that knowledge, they’ve devised a strategy to keep the reaction going.

RABiTS technology enables record-setting performance

January 17, 2013 7:57 am | News | Comments

A technology invented at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for manufacturing copper-oxide-based high-temperature superconducting materials has been used to make an iron-based superconducting wire capable of carrying very high electrical currents under exceptionally high magnetic fields.

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Iron-based superconductors set new performance records

January 10, 2013 9:50 am | News | Comments

A collaboration led by scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory has created a high-performance iron-based superconducting wire that opens new pathways for some of the most essential and energy-intensive technologies in the world. These custom-grown materials carry tremendous current under exceptionally high magnetic fields. The results demonstrate a unique layered structure that outperforms competing low-temperature superconducting wires while avoiding the high manufacturing costs associated with high-temperature superconductor alternatives.

Personality-influencing gene may be a key to long life

January 9, 2013 7:41 am | News | Comments

The human genome is like a roadmap for the body, but our understanding of the road signs that point some people toward a long life and others to an early death is still limited. Now, research from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine finds that genes involved in regulating personality may also be keys to longevity.

X-rays illuminate nitrogen's role in single-layer graphene

November 28, 2012 8:58 am | News | Comments

Researchers using X-rays to study graphene have learned new information about its atomic bonding and electronic properties when the material is doped with nitrogen atoms. They show that synchrotron X-ray techniques can be excellent tools to study and better understand the behavior of doped graphene, which is being eyed for use as a promising contact material in electronic devices due to its many desirable traits.

Nanotechnology simplifies hydrogen production for clean energy

November 27, 2012 8:34 am | News | Comments

In the first-ever experiment of its kind, researchers have demonstrated that clean energy hydrogen can be produced from water splitting by using very small metal particles that are exposed to sunlight. Researchers from Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory found that the use of gold particles smaller than 1 nm resulted in greater hydrogen production than other co-catalysts tested.

Scientists chart the emergence of high-temperature superconductivity

November 19, 2012 8:07 am | News | Comments

The next generation of sustainable energy systems hinges in part on high-temperature superconductors (HTS), which can carry current with zero loss and perfect efficiency. Unfortunately, that loss-free behavior comes at the cost of extreme and inefficient cooling, and the fundamental physics that governs the behavior of these materials remains mysterious. Now, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and other collaborating institutions have discovered unexpected behavior that could be key to solving the HTS puzzle.

Computational model identifies potential pathways to improve plant oil production

October 8, 2012 8:21 am | News | Comments

Using a computational model they designed to incorporate detailed information about plants' interconnected metabolic processes, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key pathways that appear to "favor" the production of either oils or proteins. The research may point the way to new strategies to tip the balance and increase plant oil production.

Yearlong climate study launches

October 1, 2012 9:50 am | News | Comments

A Horizon Lines container ship outfitted with meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory will begin taking data for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models.

Electronics play by new set of rules at the molecular scale

September 4, 2012 4:06 am | by Aviva Hope Rutkin | News | Comments

For several years, experts in nanotechnology have suspected—but not proven—that quantum interference effects make the conductance of a circuit with two paths up to four times higher than the conductance of a circuit with a single path. By constructing their own controllable, molecular-scale circuits, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have confirmed an increase in conductance. But not as large as was anticipated.

X-rays reveal spin waves in 2D high-temperature superconductors

September 4, 2012 3:29 am | News | Comments

Physicists working at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Switzerland's Paul Scherrer Institute have revealed key quantum characteristics of high-temperature superconductors, demonstrating new experimental methods and breaking fundamental ground on these mysterious materials.

Magnetic vortex reveals key to spintronic speed limit

August 28, 2012 12:08 pm | News | Comments

Spintronic devices use electron spin, a subtle quantum characteristic, to write and read information. But to mobilize this emerging technology, scientists must understand exactly how to manipulate spin as a reliable carrier of computer code. Now, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have precisely measured a key parameter of electron interactions called non-adiabatic spin torque that is essential to the future development of spintronic devices.

Mobile climate observatory prepares for campaign aboard ship

August 16, 2012 9:38 am | News | Comments

Following a six-month land-based campaign in the Maldives to study tropical convective clouds, the U.S. Department of Energy's second Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) mobile facility, called AMF2, is being readied for its first marine-based research campaign aboard a cargo container ship in the Pacific Ocean.

Approaching the border between primordial plasma and ordinary matter

August 15, 2012 3:51 am | News | Comments

A new energy scan study at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider has revealed the first hints of a possible boundary separating ordinary nuclear matter, composed of protons and neutrons, from the seething soup of their constituent quarks and gluons that permeated the universe 14 billion years ago.

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