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 7, 2017
Electrifying Magnetism
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
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
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
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!
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
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”
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”
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
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?
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
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
May 30, 2017
Seeing Below the  Surface of Solar Cells
Seeing Below the Surface of Solar Cells
Next-generation solar cells made of super-thin films of semiconducting material hold promise because they’re relatively inexpensive and
May 30, 2017
Nearly Ideal  Performing Regions in Perovskite Films Could Boost Solar Cells
Nearly Ideal Performing Regions in Perovskite Films Could Boost Solar Cells
A multidisciplinary team discovered a possible secret to dramatically boosting the efficiency of methylammonium lead iodide perovskite solar cells
May 30, 2017
X-rays: More Colorful  and More Powerful
X-rays: More Colorful and More Powerful
A “dechirper” system designed by SLAC and RadiaBeam has been recently installed at the Linac Coherent Light Source to control the
May 30, 2017
Squeezing Molecules  Guides Chemistry
Squeezing Molecules Guides Chemistry
Extreme pressure can determine the chemical evolution of inorganic and organic carbon-based molecules. Neutron scattering experiments combined with
May 30, 2017
A Catalystic Shock
A Catalystic Shock
Researchers arranged common materials in a catalyst containing nano-spikes of carbon and nitrogen embedded with copper nanoparticles. When this
May 30, 2017
Reusable Sponge for Mitigating Oil Spills
Reusable Sponge for Mitigating Oil Spills
The Exxon Valdez, Deepwater Horizon, and other events highlight the devastating effects of uncontrolled releases of petroleum into oceans and other
May 30, 2017
Well-Aligned and  Densely Packed
Well-Aligned and Densely Packed
Inside an individual carbon nanotube, electrons, phonons and excitons can travel in only one dimension. This property enables the tube to have
May 26, 2017
Changing the Nature of  Optics in One Step
Changing the Nature of Optics in One Step
Scientists demonstrated a self-assembly approach to fabricating nanoscale metamaterials that are built on vertically aligned conducting metallic
May 26, 2017
Tricking Molecules into Creating New Nano-shapes
Tricking Molecules into Creating New Nano-shapes
Self-assembly is a powerful concept for making nanoscale structures where molecules are designed to spontaneously pack themselves into the desired
May 1, 2017
Casting a Wide Net
Casting a Wide Net
The various classes of chelators discovered and developed in the course of this fundamental research serve as tools that act, on the molecular
May 1, 2017
Finding the Correct  Path
Finding the Correct Path
Identifying the correct mechanism of a reaction can still be one of the toughest tasks facing chemists. For example, when designing a catalyst,
April 28, 2017
New Software Tools  Streamline DNA Sequence Design-and-Build Process
New Software Tools Streamline DNA Sequence Design-and-Build Process
The ability to design and manufacture synthetic DNA has opened tremendous possibilities in genomic research. In addition to providing access to
April 28, 2017
Getting the Ice Right  in Global Models
Getting the Ice Right in Global Models
Recent studies showed that the NASA Global Institute for Space Studies GCM produced upper tropospheric ice water contents that exceeded an
April 28, 2017
Unraveling the  Mysteries of Arctic Clouds
Unraveling the Mysteries of Arctic Clouds
Using observational data, scientists derived three-hour averages of surface infrared cloud radiative effect (CRE; a measure of cloud insulating