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Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries

23-10-2014

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered exceptional properties in a garnet material that could enable development of higher-energy battery designs. The ORNL-led team used scanning transmission electron microscopy to take an atomic-level look at a ...

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A quick look at electron-boson coupling

Berkeley Lab researchers use ultrafast spectroscopy on many body effects

10-10-2014

Imagine being able to tune the properties of a solid material just by flashing pulses of light on it, for example turning an insulator into a superconductor. That is just one potential payoff down-the-road from the physical phenomenon of electrons and atoms interacting with ultrashort pulses of ...

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How to make a 'perfect' solar absorber

New system aims to harness the full spectrum of available solar radiation

02-10-2014

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material's spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth's surface from the sun — but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that ...

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Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose'

24-09-2014

Researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets. The imperfections have unique electronic properties that the researchers were able to exploit to increase sensitivity to absorbed gas molecules by 300 times. The study ...

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Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch

19-09-2014

A fevered search for the next great high-energy, rechargeable battery technology is on. Scientists are now reporting they have overcome key obstacles toward making lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, which have the potential to leave today's lithium-ion technology in the dust. Their study appears in ...

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The future face of molecular electronics

Thin layer of picene molecules attached to a silver surface maintain their structure and function, demonstrating potential for electronic applications

18-09-2014

The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. In these highly efficient devices, individual molecules would take on the roles currently played by comparatively-bulky wires, ...

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Advanced light source sets microscopy record

Berkeley Lab researchers achieve highest resolution ever with X-ray microscopy

15-09-2014

A record-setting X-ray microscopy experiment may have ushered in a new era for nanoscale imaging. Working at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), a collaboration of researchers used low energy or "soft" X-rays to image structures only five ...

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Rethinking the basic science of graphene synthesis

Discovery shows route to super-strong material's industrial-scale production

10-09-2014

A new route to making graphene has been discovered that could make the 21st century's wonder material easier to ramp up to industrial scale. Graphene -- a tightly bound single layer of carbon atoms with super strength and the ability to conduct heat and electricity better than any other known ...

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New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits

01-09-2014

A new research platform uses a laser to measure the "nanomechanical" properties of tiny structures undergoing stress and heating, an approach likely to yield insights to improve designs for microelectronics and batteries. This new technique, called nanomechanical Raman spectroscopy, reveals ...

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Recycling old batteries into solar cells

Proposal could divert a dangerous waste stream while producing low-cost photovoltaics

21-08-2014

This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power. The system is described in a paper in the journal ...

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