Clarifying the Working Principle of a High-Capacity Battery Electrode (4/20/2018) - Operando x-ray absorption spectroscopy experiments revealed the electrochemical reaction mechanism of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) electrodes in lithium-ion battery cells. The work unambiguously clarifies that the MoS2 conversion reaction is not reversible and that the Li2S formed is converted to sulfur in the first charge process.
Monovalent Manganese for High-Performance Batteries (4/19/2018) - Scientists have detected a novel chemical state of the element manganese that was first proposed about 90 years ago. The discovery enables the design of a high-performance, low-cost battery that, according to its developers, outperforms Department of Energy goals on cost and cycle life for grid-scale energy storage.
Toward Control of Spin States for Molecular Electronics (4/17/2018) - Researchers demonstrated, via x-ray absorption spectroscopy, that a molecule's spin state can be reversibly switched at constant room temperature by magnetism. The results represent a major step toward the goal of programmable, nanoscale molecular electronics for high-speed, low-power, logic and memory applications.
Imaging Magnetic Microstructure Response to Substrate Strain (4/13/2018) - A ferromagnetic thin film on a piezoelectric substrate offers a way to control magnetization in ultralow-power devices by relying on coupling between the piezoelectric and ferromagnetic components. At the ALS, researchers were able to image the electrically induced magnetic behavior and correlate it with the piezo-strain driving it.
Twisted Structures Emerge from Achiral Molecules (3/26/2018) - The spontaneous formation of chiral structures from achiral molecules could shed light on the origin of biological homochirality—how one type of chirality dominated the other in certain biological molecules. Here, resonant soft x-ray scattering (RSoXS) has been used to explore helical phases that emerge from achiral asymmetric dimers.
Phase Diagram Leads the Way to Tailored Metamaterial Responses (3/26/2018) - Researchers discovered an innovative way to independently control two optical responses in a single-material system by utilizing the material's phase diagram. This unique combination of material, methods, and results could lead to a paradigm shift in the design of metamaterial devices that manipulate light.
X-Ray Handedness Reveals Handedness of Electronic Vortices (3/25/2018) - Electronic vortex structures have been found to emerge from engineered samples of alternating complex-oxide layers. Resonant soft x-ray diffraction (RSXD) studies using circularly polarized x-rays revealed the vortices' left- and right-handedness. The intriguing results open the door to electrically controllable chiral devices.
TE Connectivity Uses ALS to Improve Conductive Plastics (3/20/2018) - TE Connectivity used ALS microtomography capabilities to optimize the material and manufacturing parameters of their conductive plastics to impart good electrical conductivity. Conductive plastics with good electrical properties offer processing and cost benefits over metal alternatives, with applications ranging from automotive to data communications.
Tuning the Electronic Structure of a 2D Material (3/16/2018) - The electronic structure of a stacked 2D material was tuned by in situ electron doping, resulting in a large increase in the splitting of two valence bands. Stacked 2D materials possess an array of tunable properties that are expected to be important for future applications in electronics and optics.
Ingredients for Life Revealed in Meteorites (2/23/2018) - X-ray absorption spectroscopy and other techniques were used to measure the organic chemical components in a pair of meteorites that crashed to Earth in 1998. The study treads new ground in solar system history and asteroid geology, surfacing exciting possibilities for the existence of life elsewhere in Earth's neighborhood.