Operando x-ray absorption spectroscopy experiments revealed the electrochemical reaction mechanism of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) electrodes in lithium-ion battery cells. The work unambiguously clarifies that the MoS2 conversion reaction is not reversible and that the Li2S formed is converted to sulfur in the first charge process. Read more »
Scientists have detected a novel chemical state of the element manganese that was first proposed about 90 years ago. The discovery enables the design of a high-performance, low-cost battery that, according to its developers, outperforms Department of Energy goals on cost and cycle life for grid-scale energy storage. Read more »
Electronic vortex structures have been found to emerge from engineered samples of alternating complex-oxide layers. Resonant soft x-ray diffraction (RSXD) studies using circularly polarized x-rays revealed the vortices’ left- and right-handedness. The intriguing results open the door to electrically controllable chiral devices. Read more »
Researchers designed and fabricated a nanomagnet array in which competing (“frustrated”) magnetic interactions can be directly tuned. Frustrated interactions are key to a wide range of phenomena, from protein folding and magnetic memory to fundamental studies of emergent exotic states.
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The 2017 Klaus Halbach Award for Innovative Instrumentation at the ALS was recently awarded to ALS Staff Scientist Dmitriy Voronov “for pioneering work in the area of advanced x-ray gratings.” The research that led up to Voronov’s award began about 10 years ago when he started at the ALS in the Experimental Systems Group with Howard Padmore. Read more »
Scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available. The research could lead to innovations in linking proteins to other materials for bioelectronic devices such as sensors that can diagnose disease or detect contaminants. Read more »
Rechargeable batteries based on magnesium, rather than lithium, have the potential to pack more energy into smaller batteries. However, researchers have discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. Read more »
A powdery mix of metal nanocrystals wrapped in single-layer sheets of carbon atoms shows promise for safely storing hydrogen for use with fuel cells for passenger vehicles and other uses. Now, a new study provides insight into the atomic details of the crystals’ ultrathin coating and how it serves as selective shielding while enhancing their performance in hydrogen storage. Read more »
Scientists have found a way to engineer the atomic-scale chemical properties of a water-splitting catalyst for integration with a solar cell, and the result is a big boost to the stability and efficiency of artificial photosynthesis.
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Researchers have created a sort of nanoscale display case that enables new atomic-scale views of hard-to-study chemical and biological samples. The work could help to reveal new structural details for a range of challenging molecules by stabilizing them inside sturdy structures known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).
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