A Multifunctional Material with Electric-Field Control (7/14/2017) - Three distinct crystalline phases with different electronic, magnetic, and optical properties were reversibly induced in a material through the insertion and extraction of ions by an electric field at room temperature. Such multifunctional materials are desirable for many applications, from smart windows to spintronics.
A Closer Look at Dynamic Restructuring in Catalysts (6/26/2017) - Researchers have structurally and chemically "visualized" the surface of a silver–gold alloy as it reorganizes itself during catalytic activation. The insights gained from this methodology can lead to improved catalysts for energy-intensive industrial applications, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing waste.
ALS Gives Intel a Closer Look at Microelectronic Packages (6/26/2017) - Intel, the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, has been using the tomography capabilities at ALS Beamline 8.3.2 to image their microelectronic packages in 3D at high resolution with short throughput time, providing valuable information for both failure analysis and product development and proving to the industry as a whole that synchrotrons are an insightful tool ... Read more »
Fine-Tuning Oxygen Vacancies with Coherent Strain (6/26/2017) - Researchers have demonstrated a novel way to systematically strain-engineer oxygen vacancies in complex transition-metal oxide thin films. The work advances our ability to tailor such defects, small changes in which can lead to dramatic changes in material properties such as conductivity and magnetism.
Protein Complex Shows Promise for Berkelium Separation (6/19/2017) - Scientists found that the element berkelium breaks form with its heavy-element peers by taking on an extra positive charge when bound to a synthetic organic molecule. This property could help scientists develop better methods for handling and purifying nuclear materials.
New Evidence for a Water-Rich History on Mars (6/15/2017) - Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to experiments on lab-synthesized mineral samples serving as proxies for Martian meteorites. Shock experiments followed by x-ray diffraction studies showed how changes in the minerals could indicate a more water-rich history for the Red Planet.
A Systematic Approach to Customizing Cyclic Proteins (6/13/2017) - Proteins consisting of identical subunits arranged symmetrically around a central axis (cyclic homo-oligomers) play key roles in many biological processes. Researchers have now developed a systematic approach to their design and demonstrated its accuracy using protein crystallography and small-angle x-ray scattering.
Bacterial Symbiont Sequesters Arsenic and Barium in Sponges (5/30/2017) - Researchers used x-ray fluorescence, spectroscopy, and diffraction to study how populations of symbiotic bacteria can act as a detox organ in a host with no organs. The bacteria, members of the species Entotheonella, accumulate and mineralize large quantities of arsenic and barium in sponges.
APXPS Finds Carbonate Reversal at Liquid Interfaces (5/30/2017) - Aqueous carbonate systems are central to many processes essential to life, from the blood buffer system to the global carbon cycle. Using APXPS, researchers probed the concentration of carbonates near an interface, finding a surprising reversal in the expected abundances as a function of depth.
A Closer Look at a Working Platinum/Electrolyte Interface (5/24/2017) - Ambient-pressure studies of the interface between a platinum electrode and an alkaline electrolyte revealed the molecular-level chemistry, structure, and dynamics of the platinum surface as a function of applied potential, highlighting differences between thermodynamic predictions and the actual surface composition.