Toyota has been working at the ALS for a few years now to gain deeper insight into the chemistry of electrolytes for use in magnesium-ion batteries. The hope is that the research eventually leads to a fully developed magnesium-based battery technology that would replace lithium-ion batteries with essentially twice the energy in the same volume. Toyota hopes to move toward this goal more quickly through a new collaborative research project at the ALS and the Molecular Foundry. ... Read more »
Lithium-ion batteries, popular in today’s electronic devices, could gain significant energy density if their graphite anodes were replaced with lithium metal anodes. But there’s a major concern with substituting lithium—when the battery cycles, microscopic fibers of the lithium anodes (“dendrites”) form on the surface of the lithium electrode and spread across the electrolyte until they reach the other electrode, possibly leading to short circuiting. Researchers have recently discovered that the x-ray microtomography capabilities at ALS Beamline 8.3.2 can give them a novel view of dendrite growth that’s likely to provide the insight needed to stop it.
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Vanadium dioxide, one of the few known materials that acts like an insulator at low temperatures but like a metal at warmer temperatures, is a somewhat futuristic material that could yield faster and much more energy-efficient electronic devices. Researchers from IBM’s forward-thinking Spintronic Science and Applications Center (SpinAps) recently used the ALS to gain greater insight into vanadium dioxide’s unusual phase transition.
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Genentech has developed a unique one-armed antibody, onartuzumab, which is now in late-stage clinical trials in multiple cancer types. The company used crystal structures obtained at ALS Beamline 5.0.2 to demonstrate the mechanism of action of this unique potentially therapeutic antibody.
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New insights into the ancient Romans’ ingenious concrete harbor structures emerging from ALS beamline research could move the modern concrete industry toward its goal of a reduced carbon footprint.
Using ALS tomography capabilities, the EPA is currently investigating how biochar, a promising biofuel byproduct, sorbs environmental toxins and which kinds of biochar are the most effective. The possibilities for widespread use have already launched entrepreneurial commercial ventures.
TE Connectivity designs and manufactures more than 500,000 different electronic connectivity products for the automotive, energy, industrial, broadband communications, consumer device, healthcare, aerospace, and defense industries. TE has been investigating how ALS tomography capabilities can help the company develop more efficient connectors.
In January 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved NESINA for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults as an adjunct to diet and exercise. NESINA was invented by scientists at Takeda California, who used ALS Beamlines 5.0.2 and 5.0.3 to collect x-ray diffraction data.
HP Labs researchers have tackled a decades-old mystery relying on powerful ALS microscopy techniques—to better understand the fourth basic circuit element: the memristor. The memristor (short for “memory resistor”) joins the other passive elements—the capacitor, the resistor, and the inductor—to create a device with the ability to “remember” changes even when it loses power. Commercial development based on memristors offers the promise of computing systems with highly advanced energy efficiency and memory retention. Memristor-based memory could be a strong competitor for current flash memory.
Crystallographic Consulting has a varied client base that includes many of the participating research team (PRT) members at the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (BCSB), which operates five ALS beamlines. Crystallographic Consulting also contracts beam time for another 10-12 companies. Most of their research supports pharmaceutical companies working on new treatments for metabolic diseases and cancer.