Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory News

Nanoparticle Thin Films That Self-Assemble in One Minute

June 10, 2014

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By combining supramolecules based on block copolymers with gold nanoparticles, Berkeley Lab researchers have created self-assembling nanoparticle arrays that can form a highly ordered thin film in one minute. The days of self-assembling nanoparticles taking hours to form a film over a microscopic-sized wafer are over. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence […]

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New Study Measures the Strength of Magnetic Fields Near Black Holes

June 5, 2014

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New research from the Berkeley Lab systematically measures the strength of magnetic fields near black holes for the first time, revealing that the measured magnetic fields can be as strong as a black hole’s gravity. A new study of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies has found magnetic fields play an impressive role […]

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A Path Toward a New Breed of Miniature Particle Accelerators

May 30, 2014

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Berkley Lab researchers show how beams of various colors and phases affect plasma, finding that laser light needn’t be as precise as previously thought to drive miniature particle accelerators. Making a tabletop particle accelerator just got easier. A new study shows that certain requirements for the lasers used in an emerging type of small-area particle […]

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First Direct Confirmation of a Wolf-Rayet Star Self-Destructing in a Type IIb Supernova

May 22, 2014

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Using an innovative sky survey called the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory, scientists have the first direct confirmation that a Wolf-Rayet star died in a violent explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Our Sun may seem pretty impressive: 330,000 times as massive as Earth, it accounts for 99.86 percent of the Solar System’s total mass; […]

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Astronomers Make the Most Precise Measurement Yet of the Expanding Universe

April 8, 2014

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Using 140,000 distant quasars, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey have made the most precise measurement to date of the expanding Universe. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), pioneered the use of quasars to map density variations in intergalactic gas at high redshifts, […]

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Scientists Use ‘Smart Window’ to Observe Lithium-Ion Battery Operation

April 3, 2014

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By using ultrathin sheets of smart-window material, nickel oxide, as the anode in a lithium-ion battery, researchers were able to see for first time exactly what happens when the battery’s lithium ions make contact with the nickel-oxide layer and how the resulting reaction spreads out from several different points. High-tech “smart windows,” which darken to […]

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Researchers Discover Natural 3D Counterpart to Graphene

January 17, 2014

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A team of researchers has discovered that sodium bismuthate can exist as a form of quantum matter called a three-dimensional topological Dirac semi-metal (3DTDS), a natural three-dimensional counterpart to graphene with similar or even better electron mobility and velocity. The discovery of what is essentially a 3D version of graphene – the 2D sheets of […]

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BOSS Measures the Scale of the Universe to an Accuracy of One Percent

January 13, 2014

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Using data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, researchers announced that they have measured the scale of the universe to an accuracy of one percent. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) Collaboration announced that BOSS has measured the scale of the universe to an accuracy of one percent. This and future measures at this precision […]

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Scientists Create New Electronic Material with Potential for Flexible Light-Based Electronics

January 10, 2014

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By heating molybdenum and selenium in a vacuum chamber until they evaporated, a team of scientists was able to create an exotic thin film with potential for flexible light-based electronics. Scientists from SLAC, Stanford and Berkeley Lab grew sheets of an exotic material in a single atomic layer and measured its electronic structure for the […]

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Researchers Develop Powerful New Microscale Torsional Muscles

December 23, 2013

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Using a simple design and inorganic materials, Berkley Lab researchers have developed a micro-sized robotic torsional muscle made from vanadium dioxide that for its size is a thousand times more powerful than a human muscle. Vanadium dioxide is poised to join the pantheon of superstars in the materials world. Already prized for its extraordinary ability […]

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Berkeley Researchers Create First Soluble 2D Supramolecular Organic Frameworks

December 17, 2013

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Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated the first soluble single-layer 2D honeycomb supramolecular organic framework that combines the ordering and porous features of metal-organic frameworks with the solubility of supramolecular polymers. Supramolecular chemistry, aka chemistry beyond the molecule, in which molecules and molecular complexes are held together by non-covalent bonds, is just beginning to come into […]

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Researchers Develop Peptoid Nanosheets that Mimic Natural Antibodies

October 30, 2013

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A team of researchers from the Berkeley Lab have developed peptoid nanosheets that mimic the way natural antibodies recognize viruses and toxins. Taking inspiration from the human immune system, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created a new material that can be programmed to identify an endless […]

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