Analyses of ancient concrete samples pinpointed why the best Roman concrete was superior to most modern concrete in durability, why its manufacture was less environmentally damaging, and how these improvements could be adopted in the modern world. 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 »
“Criegee intermediates” are elusive molecules that play a pivotal role in atmospheric chemistry and are also byproducts of key combustion reactions. At the Chemical Dynamics Beamline, the reaction rates of one form of Criegee intermediate was directly measured for the first time, with some surprising results. Read more »
Materials that are mechanically, thermally, and chemically stable at extreme conditions are valuable for aerospace engineering and fission/fusion research. Researchers have synthesized and characterized two such materials: Re2N and Re3N are both extremely incompressible. Read more »
To study the effects of oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon blowout, researchers collected deep-water samples from across the Gulf of Mexico and analyzied their physical, chemical, and microbiological properties using a variety of techniques, including SR-FTIR. Read more »
Almost all bacteria can form biofilms—dynamic communities of cells enclosed in self-produced matrices of polymers. Researchers have developed a robust and label-free method to probe the chemical underpinnings of developing bacterial biofilms. Read more »
Indium is a key material in lead-free solder applications for microelectronics due to its excellent wetting properties, extended ductility, and high electrical conductivity. Researchers have investigated the small-scale mechanics of indium nanostructures. Read more »
Researchers from the ALS, Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory analyzed biofilm samples rich in zinc sulfide and dominated by sulfate-reducing bacteria, which were collected from lead–zinc mine waters.
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NASA’s $200-million, seven-year-long Stardust mission returned to Earth thousands of tiny particles snagged from the coma of comet 81P/Wild 2. Four ALS beamlines and the researchers using them were among the hundreds of scientists and dozens of experimental techniques in facilities around the world that contributed to the preliminary examination of the first samples.
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Researchers from The Dow Chemical Company teamed with academic colleagues to conduct x-ray spectromicroscopy studies of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs), materials with a wide range of applications, including disposable baby diapers. Dow has been able to use the results to help develop the process technology for a new SAP-manufacturing plant. Read more »