Researchers Confirm New 2D Topolgical Insulator (9/22/2017) - Researchers have established that a particularly stable form of WTe2 is a two-dimensional topological insulator, confirming recent predictions. The findings should provide new opportunities for fundamental studies of topological phenomena and for next-generation spintronic applications.
Electrical Switching of Magnetic Vortex Circulation (9/18/2017) - Photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) experiments have demonstrated that the circulation direction of a magnetic vortex can be switched by the application of an electric field, opening the door to digital devices with more streamlined system designs, improved performance, and greater energy efficiency.
The Mystery of the Lightweight Electrons (9/13/2017) - Copper oxides are important for superconductivity applications but are difficult to understand due to complex charge, spin, and orbital interactions. Now, studies at the ALS have found such a system in which observations of effective electron mass are at odds with state-of-the-art electronic-structure calculations.
Global Blood Therapeutics Uses ALS to Tackle Sickle Cell Disease (8/28/2017) - Sickle cell disease (SCD), which affects millions of people worldwide, has traditionally been treated with a cytotoxic drug that has a range of negative side effects and variable patient response. Bay Area biopharmaceutical company Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) is on a mission to develop a better treatment and is using the ALS to help.
Formation of a Photovoltaic Material from Precursor to Crystal (8/18/2017) - Lead halide perovskites have emerged as high-performance photovoltaic materials, demonstrating remarkably rapid improvements in efficiency. In situ printing and time-resolved x-ray characterization have provided new insights into the relationship between device efficiency, perovskite crystallinity, and film morphology.
Subsurface Oxygen Boosts Activity of Copper Catalysts (8/18/2017) - Scientists are seeking ways to reduce levels of CO2 in the atmosphere by improving the processes that convert CO2 gas into ethanol (a liquid fuel). But copper, the best catalyst for this, is not very efficient. Now, ambient-pressure x-ray experiments have revealed how subsurface oxygen boosts copper's catalytic activity.
In Situ Electrical Resistance and X-Ray Tomography Study of Copper–Tin Polymer Composites during Thermal Annealing (8/11/2017) - In situ electrical conductivity and x-ray tomography experiments were conducted on a conductive polymer composite containing polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) copolymer, copper (Cu), and tin (Sn) during thermal annealing. This study provides detailed insight into the morphological origins of the beneficial effect of thermal annealing on the electrical properties of conductive composites containing low melting metal fillers.
A Bacterial Jigsaw Puzzle Is Solved (8/11/2017) - Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are hollow protein shells that encapsulate enzymes involved in bacterial metabolism. Crystallography studies have provided atomic-resolution views of a fully assembled BMC, revealing basic principles of shell construction for fighting pathogens or bioengineering applications.
Hybrid LED Phosphors Combine Performance and Durability (8/1/2017) - Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) last a long time and are very energy efficient. However, white LEDs currently rely on phosphor materials doped with rare-earth elements (REEs) that are increasingly costly and in short supply. A new class of hybrid phosphor materials shows promise as REE-free alternatives.
The Ancient Roman Secret to Concrete Resilience in Seawater (7/24/2017) - Researchers used x-ray microdiffraction to trace the complex sequences of crystal growth in concrete from ancient Roman pier and breakwater sites. The results indicate that minerals continue to form over millennia as seawater percolates through, reinforcing the cementing matrix in a kind of regenerative process.