High-pressure experiments at Beamline 12.2.2 on ferropericlase—the presumed weakest mineral found in the Earth’s lower mantle—help explain why subducted slabs of Earth’s crust stall at a depth of around 1000 km (~625 miles). Read more »
Ancient plankton shells can record the physical and chemical state of the ocean in which they grew. Decoding these signals can reveal changes in global climate, atmospheric CO2, and the acidity of the oceans in deep geologic time.
Ancient terra sigillata ceramics were the most famous and ubiquitous Roman tableware, yet when their manufacturing spread to other locations, some of the ceramics’ characteristics changed. Researchers from France and the ALS traced the changes.
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A recent x-ray microscopy study at ALS Beamline 6.1.2 provided evidence that the ultrafast dynamics preceding magnetic vortex formation exhibits the characteristic chaotic behavior known as the butterfly effect, where minute changes can significantly determine the final outcome of a process.
At ALS Beamline 4.0.2, researchers have found that the spins in an antiferromagnetic nanolayer perform a version of “The Twist,” turning one way and then the other, challenging a model that has been a cornerstone of exchange-bias theory for 27 years.
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Recent work at the ALS shows that the viruses infecting sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the deep sea carry bacterial genes for the oxidation of elemental sulfur. Although the viruses themselves cannot use the sulfur, they likely supplement bacterial sulfur oxidation and then exploit the generated energy for viral replication. Read more »
New analysis of ancient Jian ware reveals that the distinctive pottery contains an unexpected and highly unusual form of iron oxide. This rare compound was only recently discovered and characterized by scientists and so far has been extremely difficult to create with modern techniques.
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All superconducting cuprates share a common structure: charge reservoirs stacked between layers of CuO2. An undoped version, including only C and O, is not available in nature. By growing epitaxial films with a pulsed-laser deposition facility, researchers stabilized a 2D version of CuO, which can be thought as composed by two CuO2 planes staggered and superposed.
Using novel materials to develop thin, flexible, and more efficient photovoltaic cells is one of the hottest topics in current materials research. A class of transition metals undergoes a dramatic change that makes them ideal for solar energy applications. Read more »
Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), researchers have shown that the number of conduction electrons in anatase, as well as their degree of correlation, can be patterned by exposure to UV light in a controllable and reversible way. Read more »