Berkeley Lab has a well-storied expertise in exploring samples of extraterrestrial origin. This research—which has helped us to understand the makeup and origins of objects within and beyond our solar system—stems from long-standing core capabilities in structural and chemical analyses and measurement at the microscale and nanoscale. Read more »
Experiments conducted at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) helped to confirm that samples of interplanetary particles—collected from Earth’s upper atmosphere and believed to originate from comets—contain dust left over from the initial formation of the solar system. Read more »
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.
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A new study suggests that water may be more common than expected at extreme depths approaching 400 miles and possibly beyond—within Earth’s lower mantle. The study explored microscopic pockets of a trapped form of crystallized water molecules in a sampling of diamonds from around the world. Read more »
In the world of microscopic physics, periodic stripe patterns can be formed by electrons within so-called quantum materials. Scientists have now disentangled the intriguing dynamics of how such atomic-scale stripes melt and form, providing fundamental insights that could be useful in the development of novel energy materials. Read more »
Two-dimensional materials represent a promising new frontier in the field of optoelectronics. Most progress so far, however, has been in the visible-light range. Now, at the ALS, researchers have measured the infrared transmission spectra of ultrathin samples of black phosphorus under an applied electric field.
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Stony Brook grad student Tiffany Victor flies to California several times a year to use infrared beams at the Advanced Light Source. Unlike the infrared microscope at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the extremely bright infrared light from the ALS’s synchrotron beamlines improves the image quality and resolution in order to study the interface between the plant and fungus. Read more »
ALS research has shown that manganese reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions are an important factor in controlling the rate of plant debris decomposition. Understanding the role of manganese will help build better models to predict how litter decomposition rates—and thus nutrient cycling and the ecosystem carbon balance—may behave in future climate scenarios. Read more »
Using FTIR microspectroscopy at the NSLS in Brookhaven and at ALS Beamline 1.4.3, scientists got a first glimpse into the structural changes that result from point mutations in opsin, one of the causes of retinitis pigmentosa. Read more »
New studies of space dust captured by NASA’s Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector have shown that interstellar particles may be much more complex in structure and composition than previously thought.
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