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May 30, 2019
Optical images of sodium deposited from an electrolyte as electrical current of 1 mA/cm2 (seeded with blue particles for visualizing the associated flow of electrolyte).
Weighty Polymers Impact Battery Stability and Safety
Materials prevent battery failure by inhibiting tree-like growths.
May 30, 2019
Radiochemical technicians David Denton and Karen Murphy use hot cell manipulators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory during the production of actinium-227.
Improving Isotope Supply for a Cancer-Fighting Drug
Production of actinium-227 ramps up for use in a drug to fight prostate cancer that has spread to bone.
May 30, 2019
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory researchers suggest taking advantage of the random spikes inherent in X-ray free electron laser pulses to study the pulses’ interactions with matter. The method is called pump-probe ghost imaging.
Ghostly Images Could Ease Tracking of Fleeting Reactions
New method could enable studying the fastest interactions of ultrabright X-rays with matter, a vital way of learning about chemical reactions.
May 30, 2019
Scientists discovered supersonic phasons that could remove harmful heat in electronics and send signals faster. Phasons were observed in a mineral containing titanium (gray) and silicate (orange) polyhedrons. (Oxygen is red, barium is blue.)
Beyond the “Sound Barrier” to Get the Heat Out
Neutron scattering reveals supersonic particles that carry heat and may improve electronics and sensors.
May 30, 2019
Color changes in this experimental snapshot track velocities of magnetic rollers comprising an emergent vortex. The fastest particles are located toward the center. Velocity scale is in centimeter/second. Scale bar is 2 μm.
Tiny Vortices Could One Day Haul Microscopic Cargo
The behavior of active magnetic liquids suggests new pathways to transport particles across surfaces and build materials that self-heal.
May 30, 2019
An artistic rendition of the synergistic catalyst showing core-shell active sites (blue) in platinum-cobalt nanoparticles (spheres) on a platinum group metal-free catalytic support.
Improved Fuel Cell Catalysts with Less Platinum
A new catalyst design meets cost, activity, and durability goals by leveraging ultralow loadings of platinum with platinum-free supports.
May 30, 2019
Single pulses of laser light can switch tantalum disulfide from one state to another and back again. This image illustrates how the material switches between its alpha and beta states. Switches like this could lead to new forms of data storage.
Bursts of Light Shape Walls Between Waves of Charge
New method provides ultrafast switching of electronic structure and illuminates fundamentals of charge ordering.
April 19, 2019
Visible-pump / X-ray probe photoelectron spectroscopy monitors exciton migration and charge generation in a molecular heterojunction between a copper-phthalocyanine (CuPc) donor and a fullerene-based (C60) acceptor.
Slow Charge Generation Plays Big Role in Model Material for Solar Cells
Insight about energy flow in copper-based material could aid in creating efficient molecular electronics.
April 19, 2019
The cartoon represents the functions of the catalyst components and chemical drawings of the key reaction steps in oxidizing water (H2O) into oxygen (O2), electrons (e-), and protons (H ).
Splitting Water Fast! Catalyst Works Faster than Mother Nature
Design principles lead to a catalyst that splits water in a low pH environment, vital for generating solar fuels.
April 18, 2019
Top: A short burst of light interacts w/ a compartment containing a catalyst (blue). Bottom: A short time later, a similar bust of light interacts w/ a second container containing the reactant (red), remotely catalyzing product molecules to form (yellow).
Driving Chemical Reactions by Remote Control
Theorists show how a new quantum device could control a chemical reaction remotely, changing our understanding of how reactions can work.
April 15, 2019
For batteries to generate electricity, charged atoms, called ions (pink and green), travel between a negative node (anode) and a positive node (cathode) with the help of a liquid electrolyte solution.
Team Takes Fluoride from Taps and Toothpaste to Batteries
With user facilities, researchers devise novel battery chemistries to help make fluoride batteries a reality.
April 9, 2019
Researchers created a precise model of the atoms (shown as spheres) and the proteins (colored areas) in a protein complex that’s key to using sunlight and carbon dioxide efficiently to make sugar, starches, and oil in blue-green algae.
New Molecular Blueprint Aids Study of Photosynthesis
Insights into how nature converts carbon dioxide into sugar could help scientists develop crops that produce fuels and other products.
April 9, 2019
Scientists use three ultrafast pulses of extreme ultraviolet light and near infrared light to control the evolution of excited nitrogen molecules (blue) to reveal information about normally inaccessible states.
Catching Fast Changes in Excited Molecules
Scientists observe and control molecular and atomic dynamics at the fastest timescales to date.
April 8, 2019
Researchers created a 3D atomic map that offers a highly detailed view of how rust (shown here) forms.
Atomic Maps Reveal How Iron Rusts
Scientists discovered how iron atoms continually re-arrange on surfaces, offering insights into metal corrosion and soil remediation.
April 8, 2019
Three-dimensional maps of a single magnetite crystal show morphology (top) and cross-sectional views (bottom) of the internal strain fields, both before (left) and after (right) oxidative dissolution of the crystal in an acidic aqueous solution.
Strain and Defects Grow in Tiny Magnetite Crystals When Oxidized
Detailed 3D images show how nanoparticles change in reactions that purify contaminated water or power recyclable geochemical batteries.
April 8, 2019
Researchers compared the structures of four centers in photosynthesis electron transfer: the Heliobacterial reaction center (HbRC; green), the purple bacterial reaction center (PbRC, red), and Photosystem I (PSI, blue) and Photosystem II (PSII, yellow).
A New View on a Very Old Problem: Evolution of the Photochemical Reaction Centers
Researchers offer insights into how a key piece of photosynthetic machinery changed over 3 billion years.
March 21, 2019
The nitrogenase enzyme couples the energy-releasing formation of hydrogen (H2) (reductive elimination) to the energy-requiring cleavage of the triple bond in nitrogen (N2) (oxidative addition) (bottom, center).
How Does Mother Nature Tackle the Tough Triple Bond Found in Nitrogen?
Researchers demystify how the nitrogenase enzyme breaks bonds to learn a better way to make ammonia.
March 21, 2019
Scientists determined that the structure of the Heliobacterium photosystem is more symmetrical than more recently evolved photosystems. They used advanced X-ray crystallography to determine fine details of the proteins in the photosystem.
A Detailed View of the Ancestor of Photosynthesis
The symmetrical light-gathering, energy-producing complex offers insights into how modern photosystems evolved.
March 14, 2019
New geochemical research clearly shows how toxic material like uranium binds with iron-bearing minerals like hematite in the soil, allowing scientists to predict long-term behavior.
Fitting a Square Peg in a Round Hole: The Surprising Structure of Uranium Bound in Hematite
An atomic view of how toxic uranium binds to iron minerals in the environment enables better predictions of its behavior.
March 8, 2019
Scientists identified three different types of water molecules surrounding a heavy, anionic metal-chloride complex (bottom) using spectroscopy (top) at an air/water interface.
Unique Interface and Unexpected Behavior Help Explain How Heavy Metals Act
Three types of water molecules form around a platinum-based ion, offering insights for waste processing and metal refining.
March 4, 2019
Studies of a modified small flowering plant show that plants defending themselves against insect attack grow more slowly & produce fewer flowers (right). When not defending themselves, plants grow faster & produce more flowers (left)—and ultimately seeds.
To Grow or Not to Grow? That Is the Question for Plants
Scientists show metabolic tradeoffs result from a specific change to the grow-defend balance.
March 4, 2019
The trihydrogen cation, H3 , plays a major role in interstellar chemistry where it facilitates the formation of water and organic molecules. Researchers have discovered how the cation forms when organic molecules are excited by an intense laser pulse.
Forming the Ion that Made the Universe
Research offers details on the chemistry of the trihydrogen ion.
March 1, 2019
Cryo-soft X-ray tomography of an algal cell shows the large accumulation of fat (yellow). Nucleus, purple; chloroplast, green; mitochondria, red; lipid bodies, yellow.
Feeding Sugars to Algae Makes Them Fat
Adding glucose to a green microalga culture induces accumulation of fatty acids and other valuable bioproducts.
March 1, 2019
The separation of lithium fluoride (Li and F) ion pairs involves two stages: (1) an increase of the water coordination about the contact ion pairs, CIP to CIP* and (2) spatial separation of the CIP* to solvent-separated ion pairs, SSIP*.
Water: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way
Elegant theory shows how water helps separate ions involved in material synthesis and manufacturing.
March 1, 2019
Scientists study coherence in the ultrafast collective motions of atoms in molecules. Why? Research suggests function can be enhanced by coherence.
Seeing Coherent Patterns at the Microscopic Scale
Review highlights insights into coherence, which could help overcome roadblocks in next-generation energy systems.