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Latest Berkeley Lab Stories

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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2010-12-15 07:46:02

They say it's the little things that count, and that certainly holds true for the channels in transmembrane proteins, which are small enough to allow ions or molecules of a certain size to pass through, while keeping out larger objects. Artificial fluidic nanochannels that mimic the capabilities of transmembrane proteins are highly prized for a number of advanced technologies. However, it has been difficult to make individual artificial channels of this size "“ until now. Researchers...

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2010-11-23 07:22:02

There's good news in the search for the next generation of semiconductors. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley, have successfully integrated ultra-thin layers of the semiconductor indium arsenide onto a silicon substrate to create a nanoscale transistor with excellent electronic properties. A member of the III"“V family of semiconductors, indium arsenide offers several...

2010-11-17 17:30:06

Sunlight represents the cleanest, greenest and far and away most abundant of all energy sources, and yet its potential remains woefully under-utilized. High costs have been a major deterrant to the large-scale applications of silicon-based solar cells. Nanopillars "“ densely packed nanoscale arrays of optically active semiconductors "“ have shown potential for providing a next generation of relatively cheap and scalable solar cells, but have been hampered by efficiency issues. The...

2010-11-11 07:00:00

FREMONT, Calif., Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- News Highlights Infosys Technologies (Nasdaq: INFY) and U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are collaborating on the development of a graphical user interface (GUI) for the EnergyPlus building simulation engine that will assist Architects, Engineers, Designers and Developers to create the most energy efficient commercial buildings possible. Both EnergyPlus and the GUI will be widely available free...