“Molecular anvils” (diamondoids) were used to trigger chemical reactions using pressure, yielding products that differ from those produced in conventionally driven reactions with the same reactants. The discovery opens up new possibilities for the high-specificity synthesis of valuable but challenging molecules in an environmentally friendly process. Read more »
ALS Work Using Scattering/Diffraction
These techniques make use of the patterns of light produced when x-rays are deflected by the closely spaced lattice of atoms in solids and are commonly used to determine the structures of crystals and large molecules such as proteins.
Berkeley Lab has a well-storied expertise in exploring samples of extraterrestrial origin. This research—which has helped us to understand the makeup and origins of objects within and beyond our solar system—stems from long-standing core capabilities in structural and chemical analyses and measurement at the microscale and nanoscale. Read more »
Researchers have established a new quantitative model that connects molecular interactions in organic solar-cell materials to device performance. The work suggests a way to quickly identify ideal material mixtures and processing methods, bypassing trial-and-error strategies and minimizing labor-intensive synthesis.
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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes serious respiratory disease in infants and older adults, but no vaccine is yet available. Researchers have now determined the molecular structures of human antibodies bound to an RSV surface protein, providing a promising route for designing a vaccine effective against a broad range of RSV strains.
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Dysregulated translation drives key hallmarks of cancer and is controlled by Phase 2 candidate eFT508 binding to the MNK protein, exploiting stereoelectronic interactions, critical to the compound’s selectivity and potency. 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.
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A ferromagnetic thin film on a piezoelectric substrate offers a way to control magnetization in ultralow-power devices by relying on coupling between the piezoelectric and ferromagnetic components. At the ALS, researchers were able to image the electrically induced magnetic behavior and correlate it with the piezo-strain driving it. Read more »
The spontaneous formation of chiral structures from achiral molecules could shed light on the origin of biological homochirality—how one type of chirality dominated the other in certain biological molecules. Here, resonant soft x-ray scattering (RSoXS) has been used to explore helical phases that emerge from achiral asymmetric dimers. 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 »
Scientists have discovered a novel chemical state of the element manganese. This chemical state, first proposed about 90 years ago, enables a high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery that could quickly and efficiently store and distribute energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines across the electrical grid. Read more »