Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) synthesize chains of magnetic nanocrystals (magnetosomes) that interact with the Earth’s magnetic field like an inner compass needle, simplifying their search for optimum environments. Ptychographic spectra of magnetosomes from a marine MTB provides insight into how these inner compasses form. ... Read more »
Electrochemical (battery) cells with aqueous electrolytes can be safe, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly, but they are limited by a narrow voltage window. X-ray absorption spectroscopy helps explain why an aqueous Na-ion system with Mn5O8 electrodes has a large voltage window and performs comparably to Li-ion batteries. ... Read more »
ARPES directly reveals for the first time how electronic states are altered when epitaxial graphene is deposited on a substrate of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). The interaction between the materials in this heterostructure greatly improves its suitability for advanced, ultralow-power device applications.
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Researchers have found a new way to control magnetism at the atomic level that will serve as a model for studying emergent phenomena in other systems. The ability to engineer and tune properties on such small length scales can (eventually) enable us to design exciting new magnetic devices. ... Read more »
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 »
Researchers have published a series of papers that open up the possibility of probing hydrogen bonds in aqueous solutions by combining x-ray emission spectroscopy and resonant inelastic soft x-ray scattering, using the specialized Solid and Liquid Spectroscopic Analysis (SALSA) endstation at Beamline 8.0.1. ... Read more »
A team of researchers has employed a combination of measurements, including x-ray experiments at the ALS, to gather the most detailed information yet on problematic carbon-based deposits called “coke,” and to find ways to prevent its formation or reduce its effects. ... Read more »
Vanadyl phosphate can theoretically accept twice the number of lithium ions as battery materials currently in use. In practice, however, it doesn’t live up to expectations. New research at Beamline 6.3.1 using a variety of hard and soft x-ray spectroscopies helps zero in on why. ... Read more »
In a first-of-its-kind experiment, ALS researchers demonstrated a new, direct way to study the inner workings of a phenomenon in chemistry known as an “electrochemical double layer” that forms where liquids meet solids—where battery fluid meets an electrode, for example.
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Researchers predicted and observed for the first time the formation and growth of furans and other oxygenated hydrocarbons produced during combustion. These compounds can have a wide range of detrimental effects on human health, air quality, and regional and global climate. ... Read more »