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. Read more »
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. Read more »
An industrial collaboration between Hummingbird Scientific and a team of researchers from the ALS, SLAC, Berkeley Lab, Stanford University, and other institutions has resulted in a new x-ray microscopy platform that gives scientists the ability to image nanoscale changes inside lithium-ion battery particles in real time as they charge and discharge. Insights obtained from the imaging platform have already provided surprising new insights and could help researchers improve batteries for electric vehicles as well as smart phones, laptops, and other devices. Read more »
Rain’s reputation for cleansing the air may come with a caveat after new findings, including STXM and NEXAFS data, show that raindrops play a role in generating airborne organic particles. The findings could influence how scientists model our planet’s climate and future. Read more »
Copper-based catalysts are widely used in chemical industries to convert water and carbon monoxide to hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methanol. There are theoretical models used to explain this reaction, but a complete understanding of the process has been lacking. However, recent research at the ALS has shed light on the process, giving scientists key data about how copper-based catalysts function at the atomic level. Read more »
For the past eight years, Hewlett Packard Labs, the central research organization of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has been using cutting-edge ALS techniques to advance some of their most promising technological research, including vanadium dioxide phase transitions and atomic movement during memristor operation. Read more »
Recent findings at the ALS show that small crystal size is key to maintaining a battery’s performance and establish soft x-ray ptychography as an essential tool for studying chemical states in nanoparticles.
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Recently a team of Stanford and Berkeley Lab researchers used x-rays at the ALS in a novel way to observe the behavior of electrons during technologically important chemical reactions in metal oxide electrocatalysts. What they learned has upended long-held scientific understanding of how these catalysts work. Read more »
Ancient plankton shells can record the physical and chemical state of the ocean in which they grew. Decoding these signals can reveal changes in global climate, atmospheric CO2, and the acidity of the oceans in deep geologic time.
A new technique developed at the ALS offers sub-nanometer depth resolution of every chemical element to be found at heterogeneous interfaces, such as those in batteries and fuel cells. The technique has relevance to energy research, heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, and atmospheric and environmental science. Read more »