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.

October 17, 2018
How to Make Soot and Stardust
The chemical reactions behind soot particle formation have long been a mystery. The reactions, which turn gaseous hydrocarbons into a solid that
October 16, 2018
Placing Atoms for Optimum Catalysts
The team began with a flat piece of ruthenium metal. On top of the metal, they grew graphene, which is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon. In this
September 15, 2018
Breaking the Symmetry Between Fundamental Forces
At present, scientists think that at the highest energies and earliest moments in time, all the fundamental forces may have existed as a single
September 15, 2018
Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals
Knowing how minerals form is vital for subsurface energy extraction and waste storage, creating tailored catalysts, and more. Minerals can form via
September 11, 2018
Discovered: Optimal Magnetic Fields Suppress Instabilities in Tokamak Plasmas
An important step for simplifying the complex production of 3-D fields in a tokamak is to build a matrix that relates the external 3-D magnetic
September 6, 2018
Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow
Particle collisions at RHIC free quarks and gluons from their confinement within ordinary particles (e.g., protons and neutrons) so
September 6, 2018
Seeing Between the Atoms
For electron microscopes, the traditional approaches to improving resolution are increasing the energy of the electron beam, up to a point where
September 6, 2018
Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars
Gold nanostars are a class of plasmonic nanomaterials that show promise in surface-enhanced Raman scattering-based applications and hot electron
September 5, 2018
Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene
A research team used chemical vapor deposition—with a twist—to localize control of the synthesis process and allow evolutionary, or
September 5, 2018
New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features
As electronic devices shrink, more precise semiconductor synthesis and characterization are needed to improve these devices. APT can identify atom
September 5, 2018
Tuning Terahertz Beams with Nanoparticles
The terahertz spectral window (100 gigahertz to 10 terahertz) is attracting attention for its potential use in submillimeter-wave communication and
September 5, 2018
Carbon Nanotubes Give Two Excitons for the Price of One
Tuning the electronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), a process known as doping, is emerging as an effective means for
September 4, 2018
Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter
In semi-overlapping gold-gold collisions at RHIC, more particles emerge from the “equator” than perpendicular to the collision
September 4, 2018
Modular Fluidic System Developed to Supply Radioisotope Used in Targeted Alpha Therapy
Astatine-211 is produced by alpha beam irradiation of bismuth target material. The University of Washington has one of only a few cyclotrons in the
August 29, 2018
Thorium: A Source of Multiple Medical Isotopes
Radium is a bone-seeking radioelement, due to its chemical similarity to calcium, the main component of hydroxyapatite, the bone mineral. Radium is
August 28, 2018
Beautiful Higgs Decays
The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson marked the beginning of an experimental program aimed at determining the properties of the newly discovered
August 28, 2018
ATLAS Experiment Uncovers Higgs Boson Interactions with Heaviest Quarks
The discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012 relied on the observation of Higgs bosons
August 28, 2018
Highest Precision Prediction of Muon “Wobble”
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) ran a version of the “muon wobble” experiment, known as “Muon g-2,” in
August 27, 2018
Protactinium and Its Periodic Intersection
Researchers investigated the chemistry of protactinium to understand the impact of having the most energetic electrons in orbitals derived from
August 27, 2018
Riding the Wave of Liquid:Liquid Interfaces
Decades of research have empirically shown optimal conditions for a variety of separations applications, making use of specific combinations of
August 22, 2018
KBase: The Department of Energy Systems Biology Knowledgebase
KBase is an open-source, extensible community resource that enables data sharing, integration, and analysis of genomic information of microbes,
August 22, 2018
Locating the Production Site of Glucan in Grass Cell Walls
Mixed-linkage glucan (MLG), a (1,3;1,4)-β-linked glucose polymer, is important for the structural integrity of the plant and a source of
August 22, 2018
Kernels of Knowledge: How Land-Use Decisions Affect Crop Productivity
Numerous studies using statistical approaches have confirmed a link between crop yield and climate variability. A crucial assumption in these
August 21, 2018
Reducing Friction with an Onion-Like Carbon Material
In 2015, a multidisciplinary team from Argonne National Laboratory created a material consisting of graphene, nanodiamond particles, and diamond
August 21, 2018
Auroras on the Moon? Which Moon?
High-energy electrons play an important role in auroras. However, previous dynamical simulations either did not incorporate critical electron