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.
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Elemental and chemical imaging analyses showed that sea salt particles react with water-soluble organic acids in the atmosphere through a unique mechanism which had been overlooked in atmospheric chemistry. The reactions release volatile hydrogen chloride into the atmosphere and leave behind sea salt particles drained of chloride.
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Alternatives to the current lithium-ion-based car batteries are at the forefront of the automotive industry’s research agenda—manufacturers want to build cars with longer battery life, and to do that they’re going to have to find new solutions. One promising battery material is magnesium (Mg)—it is more dense than lithium, it is safer, and the magnesium ion carries a two-electron charge, giving it potential as a more efficient energy source. Magnesium has a high volumetric capacity, which could mean more battery power in a smaller space. However, to bring Mg batteries to the commercial market, researchers must create new electrolytes with improved properties. The x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) facilities at the ALS are vital to understanding the interfaces and active species in Mg batteries.
Understanding “whisker” growth—the spontaneous growth of long filament-like grains on the leads, or “legs,” of electronic components—is key to manufacturing reliable lead-free electrical and electronic equipment. Cisco Systems, one of the world’s largest networking equipment producers, has provided funding and technical support to a group of ALS users from Purdue University to research the mechanism and driving forces for whiskers, with the ultimate goal of defining effective mitigation measures.
Senior scientist Elke Arenholz has seen a lot of changes at Beamlines 4.0.2 and 6.3.1 since she arrived at the ALS in 2000, but what brought her here initially is still what keeps her passionate about her work–designing new instrumentation and working with the user community to optimize research capabilities. Read more »
With an increased demand for sustainable structures and efficient material use, the building industry is always looking for ways to extend their resources. Wood composites offer an opportunity to do this, saving building costs and in some cases increasing strength and durability. Researchers have used data gathered at the ALS to build a predictive computer simulation model that will provide insight into how certain wood species and adhesive types will interact. Technological advances are contributing to stronger, environmentally friendly composite materials that can be used in wood products such as furniture components or building materials.
Hematite is a promising electrode material for solar-powered water splitting—an important reqirement for producing hydrogen fuel with zero emissions. At Beamline 7.0.1, researchers have gained a better understanding of hematite’s electronic structure through soft x-ray spectroscopy performed in situ and “operando.” Read more »
Berkeley Lab and University of California researchers have developed a new technique for monitoring protein phosphorylation inside single living cells, enabling them to follow live cellular chemical changes without bias and without harming the cells. Read more »
LBNL senior materials scientist and UC Berkeley professor Rob Ritchie has been researching the fracture behavior of a wide array of materials for the past 40 years, the last ten of them using the facilities at the ALS. From human bone to synthetic engineering materials such as shape-memory metals and composites, Ritchie has illuminated groundbreaking cracking patterns and the underlying mechanistic processes using the x-ray synchrotron micro-tomography at ALS Beamline 8.3.2.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group hosted a meeting to introduce its members to the area’s light sources and how they help advance innovation and promote economic competitiveness. The event was sponsored by Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo together with Berkeley Lab (LBNL) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Read more »