Science Highlights

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Each year, scientists with the Office of Science, at our national laboratories, and supported by the Office of Science at the nation’s colleges and universities, publish thousands of research findings in the scientific literature. About 200 of these are selected annually by their respective program areas in the Office of Science as publication highlights of special note.

For the archive of past publication highlights, click here.

June 23, 2017
New “Gold Standard” for Flexible Electronics
Researchers developed a simple and inexpensive new process for making single crystalline, wafer-size, flexible, transparent, and conductive gold
June 23, 2017
Magnetic Particles that Flock Like Birds
Previous investigations of colloids energized by magnetic fields revealed that they are a form of “active matter”—assemblies of
June 23, 2017
Breaking the Rules to Make Electricity from Waste Heat
Cage-like metallic compounds called clathrates have the potential to be used as thermoelectric materials for harvesting waste heat and turning it
June 23, 2017
Graphene Ribbons Result in 100-Fold Increase in Gold Catalyst’s Performance
Catalysts—specialized chemicals that make catalytic converters function and control a host of chemical processes in industry—are used
June 22, 2017
New Class of Porous Materials Better Separates Carbon Dioxide from Other Gases
Researchers developed a new class of porous materials that have the potential to combine the best properties of inorganic solids and flexible,
June 22, 2017
Manipulating Earth-Abundant Materials to Harness the Sun’s Energy
In this research, scientists used molecular beam epitaxy to deposit precisely determined quantities of iron (Fe), chromium (Cr) and oxygen (O)
June 14, 2017
The Rise of Giant Viruses
While sifting through metagenomic sequence datasets for a U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Community Science Program project,
June 14, 2017
Grasses: The Secrets behind Their Success
Brachypodium distachyon is a small, rapidly growing grass that serves as a model for candidate bioenergy grasses such as Miscanthus
June 14, 2017
Mountaintop Plants and Soils to Become Out of Sync
Despite interest in how climate warming affects ecological processes, remarkably little is known about whether similar types of ecosystems respond
June 13, 2017
New Perspectives into Arctic Cloud Phases
Many Arctic clouds are mixed phase. Correctly predicting the partitioning of mass and transitions between these two phases is vital for
June 13, 2017
If a Tree Falls in the Amazon
Gaps or broken trees, known as windthrows, are a common form of tree mortality in Amazonia. Windthrows affect forest dynamics and carbon storage,
June 13, 2017
Turning Waste into Fuels, Microbial Style
Almost all life on Earth relies directly or indirectly on the conversion of inorganic compounds in the environment into organic compounds that
June 7, 2017
Nothing Boring about the Thinnest Boron Ever
Boron is widely known as an element with unique chemistry, often in regards to the octet rule. However, boron is also of great interest to many
June 7, 2017
One Step Closer to Practical Fast Charging Batteries
New battery electrodes based on nanostructured molybdenum disulfide combine the ability to charge in seconds with high capacity and long cycle life
June 7, 2017
Electrifying Magnetism
It is rare to find materials that operate at room temperature and display strong “multiferroic coupling” — a property that allows
June 7, 2017
Discovering the Ultimate Limit of Heat Transport: Measurements across a Single-Atom Junction
Scientists at the University of Michigan overcame several long-standing technical challenges by developing custom-nanofabricated calorimeters (an
June 7, 2017
Glass for Solar Cells and Phone Screens Resists Light Degradation
A critical property of any material used in solar cells, cell phones, or other electronics that are exposed to sunlight is photostability, a
June 7, 2017
Jagged Platinum Nanowires Double the Record for Reaction Critical to Fuel Cell Performance
Platinum is an essential element for catalyzing the oxygen reduction reaction critical for fuel cell operations, a technology that generates
June 7, 2017
Amazing Spintronics!
An important obstacle to realizing spintronics is the amplification of small spin signals. In conventional electronics, amplification of an
June 1, 2017
Shining Light on Antimatter
The big bang should have yielded equal amounts of matter and antimatter, yet observations suggest that there is very little antimatter in the
June 1, 2017
Understanding Tungsten “Fuzz”
Under helium plasma exposure in tokamak-relevant conditions, nanotendril “fuzz” will grow on tungsten plasma-facing components in a
June 1, 2017
An X-Ray Laser’s New Corrective “Eyeglasses”
Various optical elements are routinely used in modern synchrotron sources and X-ray free-electron lasers to confine the X-ray beam and focus it
May 31, 2017
Green Light for Cool Electrons
Keeping ion beams cool keeps the particles tightly packed, so more ions collide to generate data. RHIC physicists will use relatively cool
May 31, 2017
When Is a Nucleus Not a Nucleus?
To make 5H, the researchers used a reaction that removed a single proton from energetic 6He nuclei produced by the National
May 30, 2017
Scientists See Electron Bottleneck in Simulated Battery
An international team of scientists working at the Molecular Foundry has revealed how interactions between electrons and ions can slow down the