ARPES Overturns V2O3 Metal-to-Insulator Theory (3/24/2017) - Researchers report on angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) measurements performed on the transition-metal oxide V2O3. The results overturn a decade-old theory about metal-to-insulator transitions in this material and provide a spectroscopic benchmark test for future models.
Ptychography of a Bacterium’s Inner Compass (3/14/2017) - Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) synthesize chains of magnetic nanocrystals (magnetosomes) that interact with the Earth’s magnetic field like an inner compass needle, simplifying their search for optimum environments. Ptychographic spectra of magnetosomes from a marine MTB provides insight into how these inner compasses form.
GE Aviation Delves into Advanced Materials at the ALS (2/28/2017) - Developing ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) to replace the metal alloys traditionally used in jet engines has been a goal for the aviation industry for decades. For more than a year, GE Aviation has used the tomography capabilities at ALS Beamline 8.3.2 to gain insight into their CMC materials, guiding their engineering and design efforts.
For Better Batteries, Open the Voltage Window (2/28/2017) - Electrochemical (battery) cells with aqueous electrolytes can be safe, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly, but they are limited by a narrow voltage window. X-ray absorption spectroscopy helps explain why an aqueous Na-ion system with Mn5O8 electrodes has a large voltage window and performs comparably to Li-ion batteries.
Testing the Limits of Superhard Rhenium/Tungsten Diboride (2/27/2017) - Superhard materials such as metal borides are in demand as structural and engineering compounds and for next-generation cutting tools. Researchers have now synthesized a "solid solution" of two different metal borides, demonstrating the accuracy of theoretical predictions and opening the door to more targeted tuning of desirable characteristics.
Multifunctional Catalyst Balances Stability and Efficiency (2/27/2017) - Scientists have found a way to engineer the atomic-scale chemical properties of a water-splitting catalyst for integration with a solar cell, and the result is a big boost to the stability and efficiency of artificial photosynthesis.
Mapping the Migration of Genetic Material (2/24/2017) - A powerful soft x-ray microscope captures tomographic images of the genetic material in the nuclei of nerve cells at different stages of maturity. The detailed 3D visualizations show an unexpected connectivity in the genetic material and provide a new understanding of a cell’s evolving architecture.
Self-Assembly of a Programmable DNA Lattice (2/14/2017) - The use of DNA for nanotechnology has gained interest because it is a highly “programmable” polymer with “sticky ends,” allowing the self-assembly of molecular scaffolds for other proteins and molecules. Their high-resolution structures will help map new routes toward the rational design of self-assembling 3D DNA crystals.
Near-Edge X-Ray Refraction Fine Structure Microscopy (2/6/2017) - Soft x-ray ptychography was used to measure the absorption and refraction of x-rays through pristine reference materials as a basis for decomposing spatially resolved spectra from a heterogeneous sample, thereby quantifying the composition at high resolution. The novel method provided a nearly five-fold improvement in spatial resolution on resonance.
Two Basic Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Drugs (1/24/2017) - The structures of proteins controlling calcium-ion transport through cell membranes have been revealed, bound to two drugs known as calcium channel blockers. The discovery might accelerate the development of safer and more effective drugs for treating cardiovascular disorders such as high blood pressure, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat.