Vanadium dioxide, one of the few known materials that acts like an insulator at low temperatures but like a metal at warmer temperatures, is a somewhat futuristic material that could yield faster and much more energy-efficient electronic devices. Researchers from IBM’s forward-thinking Spintronic Science and Applications Center (SpinAps) recently used the ALS to gain greater insight into vanadium dioxide’s unusual phase transition. Read more »
ALS Work Using Spectroscopy
These techniques are used to study the energies of particles that are emitted or absorbed by samples that are exposed to the light-source beam and are commonly used to determine the characteristics of chemical bonding and electron motion.
Using novel materials to develop thin, flexible, and more efficient photovoltaic cells is one of the hottest topics in current materials research. A class of transition metals undergoes a dramatic change that makes them ideal for solar energy applications. Read more »
Analyses of ancient concrete samples pinpointed why the best Roman concrete was superior to most modern concrete in durability, why its manufacture was less environmentally damaging, and how these improvements could be adopted in the modern world. Read more »
Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), researchers have shown that the number of conduction electrons in anatase, as well as their degree of correlation, can be patterned by exposure to UV light in a controllable and reversible way. Read more »
“Criegee intermediates” are elusive molecules that play a pivotal role in atmospheric chemistry and are also byproducts of key combustion reactions. At the Chemical Dynamics Beamline, the reaction rates of one form of Criegee intermediate was directly measured for the first time, with some surprising results. Read more »
ALS user groups from Princeton and Stanford have been making waves this past year with several high-profile papers and extensive news coverage of their work on a new state of matter embodied by so-called “topological insulators,” materials that conduct electricity only on their surfaces. Read more »
To study the effects of oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon blowout, researchers collected deep-water samples from across the Gulf of Mexico and analyzied their physical, chemical, and microbiological properties using a variety of techniques, including SR-FTIR. Read more »
Researchers have found that under high pressure—comparable to the pressures at which many industrial technologies operate—platinum surfaces can change their structure dramatically in response to the presence of high-coverage reactants. Read more »
Researchers have used an ambient-pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS) apparatus to demonstrate that bimetallic nanoparticle catalysts can undergo profound structural and chemical changes in response to reactive environments at ambient pressures, thereby opening the way for engineering catalysts with enhanced activity and selectivity. Read more »
NASA’s $200-million, seven-year-long Stardust mission returned to Earth thousands of tiny particles snagged from the coma of comet 81P/Wild 2. Four ALS beamlines and the researchers using them were among the hundreds of scientists and dozens of experimental techniques in facilities around the world that contributed to the preliminary examination of the first samples.
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