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 »
An Atomic-Level Understanding of Copper-Based Catalysts
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 »
Hewlett Packard Labs Gains Insights with Innovative ALS Research Tools
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 »
X-Ray Microscopy Reveals How Crystal Mechanics Drive Battery Performance
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.
Read more »
ALS X-Rays Shine a New Light on Catalysis
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 »
Decoding Ancient Ocean Acidification Signals from Plankton Shells
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.
New Technique Gives a Deeper Look into the Chemistry of Interfaces
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 »
Record-Setting Microscopy Illuminates Energy Storage Materials
Using soft x-ray ptychography, researchers at the ALS have demonstrated the highest-resolution x-ray microscopy ever achieved by imaging five-nanometer structures. The researchers used ptychographic imaging to map the chemical composition of lithium iron phosphate nanocrystals, yielding important new insights into a material of high interest for electrochemical energy storage. Read more »
Space Dust Analysis Could Provide Clues to Solar System Origins
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. Read more »
Chloride Depletion in Aged Sea Salt Particles
Elemental and chemical imaging analyses showed that sea salt particles react with water-soluble organic acids in the atmosphere through a unique mechanism which had been overlooked in atmospheric chemistry. The reactions release volatile hydrogen chloride into the atmosphere and leave behind sea salt particles drained of chloride.
Read more »