Experiments retrace the steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space, showing pathways to forming 2D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases. The study could help explain the presence of pyrene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and similar compounds in some meteorites. Read more »
Researchers directly observed the formation of highly oxygenated molecules—the elusive products of auto-oxidation reactions relevant to combustion and atmospheric chemistry. A better understanding of auto-oxidation mechanisms could lead to better engines, less air pollution, and improved climate models.
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Two wayward space rocks, which separately crashed to Earth in 1998 after circulating in our solar system’s asteroid belt for billions of years, share something else in common: the ingredients for life. They are the first meteorites found to contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds such as hydrocarbons and amino acids. Read more »
Scientists have put the x-ray spotlight on composite materials in respirators used by the military, police, and first responders. The results provide reassuring news about the effectiveness of current filters and provide fundamental information that could lead to more advanced gas masks as well as protective gear for civilian applications. Read more »
Researchers have created a new catalyst that brings them one step closer to artificial photosynthesis — a system that would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy. Read more »
Global food and beverage giant PepsiCo has been using ALS tomography beamline 8.3.2 to understand more about the chemical structure and behavior of their starch-based snack foods, with the goal of creating a whole new category of snacks that consumers cook at home in their own microwaves.
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The first combined infrared spectroscopy and ambient-pressure XPS study was demonstrated at Beamline 11.0.2. The in situ vibrational and core-level spectroscopies in the Torr pressure range offer complementary information on the properties of surfaces and adsorbates while closing the pressure gap between laboratory measurements and applications. The multimodal spectroscopy also allowed the identification of the C 1s binding energy and quantification of an uncommon atop CO species on a Pd(100) surface. Read more »
Researchers have structurally and chemically “visualized” the surface of a silver–gold alloy as it reorganizes itself during catalytic activation. The insights gained from this methodology can lead to improved catalysts for energy-intensive industrial applications, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing waste.
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Scientists found that the element berkelium breaks form with its heavy-element peers by taking on an extra positive charge when bound to a synthetic organic molecule. This property could help scientists develop better methods for handling and purifying nuclear materials. Read more »
X-ray experiments, coupled with theoretical work, revealed how oxygen atoms embedded near the surface of a copper sample had a more dramatic effect on the early stages of a reaction with CO2 than accounted for in earlier theories. This work could prove useful in designing new catalysts for converting CO2 into liquid fuels and other products. Read more »