Latest Berkeley Lab Stories

2011-02-04 12:07:15

In typical plasmonic devices, electromagnetic waves crowd into tiny metal structures, concentrating energy into nanoscale dimensions. Due to coupling of electronics and photonics in these metal nanostructures, plasmonic devices could be harnessed for high-speed data transmission or ultrafast detector arrays. However, studying plasmonic fields in nanoscale devices presents a real roadblock for scientists, as examining these structures inherently alters their behavior. "Whether you use a laser...

2011-01-28 22:21:05

Research could lead to cheap, clean ways to produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells A little disorder goes a long way, especially when it comes to harnessing the sun's energy. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) jumbled the atomic structure of the surface layer of titanium dioxide nanocrystals, creating a catalyst that is both long lasting and more efficient than most materials in using the sun's energy to extract hydrogen from...

2011-01-26 10:01:59

Paul Preuss, Berkeley Lab Solar cells are made from semiconductors whose ability to respond to light is determined by their band gaps (energy gaps). Different colors have different energies, and no single semiconductor has a band gap that can respond to sunlight's full range, from low-energy infrared through visible light to high-energy ultraviolet. Although full-spectrum solar cells have been made, none yet have been suitable for manufacture at a consumer-friendly price. Now Wladek...

2011-01-25 11:53:15

They said it could be done and now they've done it. What's more, they did it with a GRIN. A team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, have carried out the first experimental demonstration of GRIN "“ for gradient index "“ plasmonics, a hybrid technology that opens the door to a wide range of exotic optics, including superfast computers based on light rather than...

2011-01-20 15:01:59

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have coaxed polymers to braid themselves into wispy nanoscale ropes that approach the structural complexity of biological materials. Their work is the latest development in the push to develop self-assembling nanoscale materials that mimic the intricacy and functionality of nature's handiwork, but which are rugged enough to withstand harsh conditions such as heat and dryness. Although still...

2011-01-20 06:10:00

Secrets of mysterious metal hotspots uncovered by new single molecule imaging technique The secrets behind the mysterious nano-sized electromagnetic "hotspots" that appear on metal surfaces under a light are finally being revealed with the help of a BEAST. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a single molecule imaging technology, dubbed the Brownian Emitter Adsorption Super-resolution Technique (BEAST), that...

2011-01-11 15:08:38

Many futurists envision a world in which polymer membranes with molecular-sized channels are used to capture carbon, produce solar-based fuels, or desalinate sea water, among many other functions. This will require methods by which such membranes can be readily fabricated in bulk quantities. A technique representing a significant first step down that road has now been successfully demonstrated. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley...

2011-01-11 07:44:41

Lynn Yarris, Berkeley Lab Glass stronger and tougher than steel? A new type of damage-tolerant metallic glass, demonstrating a strength and toughness beyond that of any known material, has been developed and tested by a collaboration of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)and the California Institute of Technology. What's more, even better versions of this new glass may be on the way. "These results mark the first use of a...

2011-01-05 13:45:41

A stack of punch cards from a landmark study published in 1966, and the legwork to track down the study's participants years later, has yielded the longest analysis of the effects of lipoproteins on coronary heart disease. The study, published in a recent issue of the journal Atherosclerosis, tracked almost 1,900 people over a 29-year period, which is nearly three times longer than other studies that examine the link between different sizes of high-density lipoprotein particles and heart...

2010-12-21 08:03:19

By Lynn Yarris, Berkeley Lab Möbius symmetry, the topological phenomenon that yields a half-twisted strip with two surfaces but only one side, has been a source of fascination since its discovery in 1858 by German mathematician August Möbius. As artist M.C. Escher so vividly demonstrated in his "parade of ants," it is possible to traverse the "inside" and "outside" surfaces of a Möbius strip without crossing over an edge. For years, scientists have been searching for an example...

Word of the Day
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'