Machine-learning techniques have been used to integrate fine- and large-scale infrared characterizations of shale—sedimentary rocks composed of minerals and organic matter. Understanding shale chemistry at both the nano and mesoscale is relevant to energy production, climate-change mitigation, and sustainable water and land use. 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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Genetic analyses and infrared studies have found that archaea, a type of microbe commonly found in extreme environments, are also found on human skin. The results suggest that an increase in archaea is linked to reduced skin moisture and that they are most abundant in subjects younger than 12 and older than 60. Read more »
It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms—and they’re not just bacteria. A study by Berkeley Lab and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age. Read more »
A new study confirms that structural defects and jagged surfaces at the edges of platinum and gold nanoparticles are key hot spots for chemical reactivity. The experiments should help researchers customize the structural properties of catalysts to make them more effective in fostering chemical reactions.
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Experiments confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function. The SINS study is an important step in chronicling how the atomic structure of nanoparticles impacts their function as catalysts in chemical reactions. Read more »
Using synchrotron infrared nanospectroscopy (SINS) at the ALS, researchers have for the first time probed infrared plasmonic excitations in single nanocrystals. This allowed the pinpointing of dopant effects on an emerging class of materials with potential for molecular-sensing and energy-harvesting applications. Read more »
Many functional materials (e.g. catalysts) critically depend on the spatial distribution of surface active sites. However, most spectroscopic measurements are ensemble-based, where reactivity is averaged over millions of nanoparticles. Here, carbene attached to nanoparticle surfaces serves a model system for studying catalytic reactions on single nanoparticles. Read more »
Synchrotron infrared nanospectroscopy (SINS) was used to study the behavior of phonon polaritons in ultrathin crystals of hexagonal boron nitride. The results pave the way towards engineering infrared-light photonic nanodevices and expand our understanding of polariton behavior in low-dimensional nanomaterials. Read more »
A new broadband imaging technique looks inside the mesoscale realm with unprecedented sensitivity and range. Synchrotron Infrared Nano-Spectroscopy (SINS) will enable in-depth study of complex molecular systems, including liquid batteries, living cells, novel electronic materials, and stardust.
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