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.

February 28, 2018
The Shape of Things to Come for Quantum Materials?
The Shape of Things to Come for Quantum Materials?
Most 2-D crystals studied to date are a lattice of hexagons—for example, graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides, and black phosphorus
February 28, 2018
Modified Switchgrass Has No Negative Effect on Soils
Modified Switchgrass Has No Negative Effect on Soils
Scientists at the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) genetically modified switchgrass, a promising bioenergy crop, to produce less lignin resulting in
February 28, 2018
Discovery of a New Microbe that Produces Methane in Oxygenated Soils
Discovery of a New Microbe that Produces Methane in Oxygenated Soils
A group of scientists set out to sample microbes living in Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, a wetland of Lake Erie, in an
February 27, 2018
CUORE Constrains Neutrino Properties
CUORE Constrains Neutrino Properties
Many questions about the fundamental nature of neutrinos remain open, including whether or not a neutrino is its own antiparticle. If so,
February 20, 2018
Sunlight Stimulates Microbial Respiration of Carbon in Surface Waters
Photochemical processing of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) likely supplies about one-third of the carbon dioxide released from surface waters in
February 20, 2018
Nanocrystals Lock-In the Correct Phase
Hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskites have emerged as an exciting new material for solar cells with the promise of high efficiency and
February 20, 2018
Two for the Price of One: Towards Quantum Entanglement with a Single Nanoplate
Advances in synthetic chemistry now enable the creation of nanoparticles with many different shapes, sizes, and compositions. One recent advance
February 16, 2018
Remembering Really Fast
Can we build novel memory devices to do data reading and writing at terahertz frequencies so that our personal devices can operate at a much higher
February 16, 2018
Tuning Quantum Light Sources
The ability to integrate fiber-based quantum information technology into existing optical networks would be a significant step towards applications
February 16, 2018
A Nanowire Array to Screen Drugs for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Nanowire geometries are ideal for interfacing with cells and measuring intracellular potentials of neurons with minimal invasiveness. This is
February 16, 2018
Single Atoms in Nano-Cages
Single atoms of inert argon gas were trapped at room temperature in silicate nano-cages, which are formed as 2-D honeycomb-like arrays on a surface
February 14, 2018
Self-Healing Damage at the Atomic Level
Diffusion in complex ceramic oxides is critical to the transport of the constituent atoms and the evolution of atomic structure due to radiation
February 13, 2018
Defects and Surface Reactions Boost Batteries
Olivine lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) is an important electrode material used for lithium-ion batteries. Single crystalline micro
February 13, 2018
Working Night and Day
Self-replication is a dynamic process that results in the assembly of identical copies of an initial seed structure. Self-replication along with
February 12, 2018
Squeezing Into the Best Shape
Biological cells compartmentalize the functions of proteins and enzymes within organelles and organize into tissues that coordinate to perform work
February 12, 2018
Forcing the Hand of Elusive Electrons
An elusive massless particle with charge and spin ½, a.k.a. Weyl fermion, was predicted nearly 100 years ago. It still has not been observed
February 12, 2018
Unwavering Juggler With Three Extra Electrons
Researchers have found a new way to predict the stability of multiply charged molecules using high-throughput simulations, which are becoming an
February 12, 2018
Deep Dive into How Electrons Behave
The energy and momentum of electrons influence their motion through a material, which, in turn, determines its electrical and optical properties.
February 10, 2018
How Bacteria Produce Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles
How Bacteria Produce Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles
In numerous elemental cycles vital to life, Mn cycles between its reduced primarily soluble form (Mn(II)) and its oxidized insoluble forms (Mn(III
February 10, 2018
From 100,000 to 8: Representing Complex Aerosol Patterns with Far Fewer Particles
From 100,000 to 8: Representing Complex Aerosol Patterns with Far Fewer Particles
Scientists describe a new technique for constructing sparse representations of realistically complex aerosol populations from distribution moments.
February 2, 2018
Atomic Vibes During Melting?
Glasses we encounter in everyday life are mostly transparent and used for everything from window panes to phone screens. Glasses are solids that
February 2, 2018
Taking Solar Energy to the Edge
Hybrid perovskites are a new class of low-cost materials that can capture and emit light. This material can be synthesized in several forms: bulk 3
February 2, 2018
Putting the P in Photosynthesis of Tropical Forests
While tropical forests cover only 7 percent of the Earth’s surface, they are vital to understanding the global circulation of carbon dioxide
January 16, 2018
Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall
Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall
The shape of the plasma boundary in fusion energy experiments, such as KSTAR and ITER, must be carefully controlled to achieve the plasma
January 16, 2018
Graphene Flexes Its Muscle
Graphene Flexes Its Muscle
Although graphene is considered a 2-D material, it never exists in a perfectly flat state. Like wrinkled skin, when this atomically thin carbon is