Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists recently used a technique called electron holography to capture images of the electric fields created by atomic displacement in exotic ferroelectric materials. The technique can resolve to the picometer scale, allowing them to observe unprecedented details about the atomic structure and behavior of these materials.
As scientists learn to manipulate little-understood nanoscale materials, they are laying the foundation for a future of more compact and efficient devices. In new research, scientists at Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories and other collaborating institutions describe one such advance—a technique, called electron holography, revealing unprecedented details about the atomic structure and behavior of exotic ferroelectric materials. The research could guide the scaling up of these materials.
Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) smashes particles together to recreate the incredible conditions that only existed at the dawn of time. The 2.4-mile underground atomic "racetrack" at RHIC produces fundamental insights about the laws underlying all visible matter. But along the way, its particles also smashed a world record.
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation have committed up to $27 million to Open Science Grid, a nine-member partnership extending the reach of distributed high-throughput computing networks.
Even at the nanoscale, hybrids show promise—as evidenced by new efforts to pair inorganic nanoparticles with conductive polymers to convert sunlight into electricity or build better biosensors. To make the most of these molecular matchups, however, scientists need to understand the small-scale details of charge transfer—and how to control it.
Scientists from the MINOS experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have revealed the world's most precise measurement of a key parameter that governs the transformation of one type of neutrino to another. The results confirm that neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos, have similar masses as predicted by most commonly accepted theories that explain how the subatomic world works.
Scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key elements in the biochemical mechanism plants use to limit the production of fatty acids. The results suggest ways scientists might target those biochemical pathways to increase the production of plant oils as a renewable resource for biofuels and industrial processes.
Some remarkable types of bacteria have proven themselves capable of "consuming" toxic pollutants, organically diminishing environmental impact in a process called bioremediation. Enzymes within these bacteria can effectively alter the molecular structure of dangerous chemicals, but the underlying mechanisms and keys to future advances often remain unknown. Now, scientists Brookhaven National Laboratory have revealed a possible explanation for the superior function of one pollution-degrading enzyme.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory theorists and experimenters have led in the exploration of the unique properties of topological insulators, where electrons may flow on the surface without resistance and with their spin orientations and directions intimately related. Recent research at beamline 12.0.1 of the Advanced Light Source opens the way to exciting prospects for practical new spintronic devices that exploit control of electron spin as well as charge.
In the search for new materials with improved electrical conductivity, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have found what appears to be a promising candidate. New experiments show that electrons on the surface of this so-called topological insulator are "protected" from two kinds of scattering that can potentially interfere with the flow of electric current, even at relatively "warm" room temperatures, where the flow of electricity was expected to break down.
A new approach to assessing greenhouse gas emissions from coal, wind, solar, and other energy technologies paints a much more precise picture of cradle-to-grave emissions and should help sharpen decisions on what new energy projects to build.
A team of scientists has been working to develop nanocrystallography techniques that can be used in ordinary science settings. They have shown how a powerful method called atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis can be carried out using a transmission electron microscope.
By measuring how strongly electrons are bound together to form Cooper pairs in an iron-based superconductor, scientists provide direct evidence supporting theories in which magnetism holds the key to this material’s ability to carry current with no resistance. This research strengthens confidence that this type of theory may one day be used to identify or design new materials with improved properties.
Construction of the $912-million National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory is more than 70% complete—on schedule and on budget. When operational in 2015, NSLS-II will enable unprecedented studies aimed at designing new materials for efficient energy generation and storage, building better catalysts, and engineering new kinds of electronics and medicines.
Detailed studies of one of the best-performing organic photovoltaic materials reveal an unusual bilayer lamellar structure that may help explain the material’s superior performance at converting sunlight to electricity and guide the synthesis of new materials with even better properties.
An international collaboration of scientists has reported a landmark calculation of the decay process of a kaon into two pions, using breakthrough techniques on some of the fastest supercomputers. This is the same subatomic particle decay explored in a 1964 Nobel Prize-winning experiment performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which revealed the first experimental evidence of charge-parity violation.
This spring a new supercomputer will come online at Brookhaven National Laboratory, arming its scientists and engineers with a tool to advance their research. Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials and the Chemistry Department will use this big boost in computing power, called Blue Gene/Q, to tease out new ways to put nanoscale materials to work.
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators have developed a new catalyst that reversibly converts hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide to a liquid under very mild conditions. The work could lead to efficient ways to safely store and transport hydrogen for use as an alternative fuel.
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Science's Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, in collaboration with scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Michigan, and the California Institute of Technology, have identified a new class of high-performance thermoelectric materials. In their study, liquid-like copper ions carry electric current around a solid selenium crystal lattice.
Intended to help cut red tape for business and startups wanting to do business with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s research laboratories, the new Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT) program was recently launched as a third alternative to the two preceding options: signing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) or a Work For Others (WFO) Agreement.
A new collaboration between Brookhaven National Laboratory and Best Medical International (BMI) aims to design one of the most dynamic and effective cancer therapy devices in the world. The ion Rapidly Cycling Medical Synchrotron (iRCMS) draws on the particle acceleration expertise of Brookhaven Laboratory physicists and the medical experience of BMI to advance cancer therapy, particularly the evolving use of carbon and other light ions.
Brain scans of two strains of mice imbibing significant quantities of alcohol reveal serious shrinkage in some brain regions—but only in mice lacking a particular type of receptor for dopamine, the brain's "reward" chemical. A study conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory provides new evidence that these dopamine receptors, known as DRD2, may play a protective role against alcohol-induced brain damage.
SynchroPET, a Long Island startup company, has entered into an option agreement to commercialize a new small-scale, portable brain-imaging device invented by scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
In an ongoing effort to understand how modifying plant cell walls might affect the production of biomass and its breakdown for use in biofuels, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have uncovered a delicate biochemical balance essential for sustainable plant growth and reproduction. Their research on pectin might also suggest new way to improve its properties for industrial applications.
Working with an international team, physicists from the Brookhaven National Laboratory have helped to demonstrate the feasibility of a new kind of particle accelerator that may be used in future physics research, medical applications, and power-generating reactors. The team reports the first successful acceleration of particles in a small-scale model of the accelerator.