Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to experiments on lab-synthesized mineral samples serving as proxies for Martian meteorites. Shock experiments followed by x-ray diffraction studies showed how changes in the minerals could indicate a more water-rich history for the Red Planet. ... Read more »
A small amount of compressive strain turns a nonmetallic form of tin into a 3D topological Dirac semimetal—a kind of “supermetal” with very high electron mobility. With its rich topological phase diagram, the material shows promise for both novel physics and eventual device applications.
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A group of scientists used Laue x-ray microdiffraction at the ALS to probe plastic deformation mechanisms at the nanoscale. Their findings may overturn conventional theory and reshape our understanding of the mechanical behavior of a host of nanocrystalline metals. ... Read more »
Superhard materials such as metal borides are in demand as structural and engineering compounds and for next-generation cutting tools. Researchers have now synthesized a “solid solution” of two different metal borides, demonstrating the accuracy of theoretical predictions and opening the door to more targeted tuning of desirable characteristics. ... Read more »
Laser 3D printing is a promising way to repair machine parts (such as jet-engine turbine blades) made of single-crystal superalloys. But microstructural inhomogeneities created by the high-power laser are a major reliability concern, so researchers employed x-ray Laue microdiffraction to probe the microstructure. ... Read more »
Researchers have observed, for the first time, an exotic 3-D racetrack for electrons in ultrathin slices of a tiny crystal they made at Berkeley Lab. ... Read more »
Shape memory alloys can “remember” their original form and return to it repeatedly when heated. To gain structural insight into a new alloy capable of sustaining millions of cycles without failure, researchers performed x-ray Laue microdiffraction at ALS Beamline 12.3.2. ... Read more »
Scientists have provided the first direct evidence of a controversial phenomenon: the boundaries between magnetic regions in an electrical insulator can become electrically conductive. This discovery can potentially lead to improvements in future memory storage devices. ... Read more »
New insights into the ancient Romans’ ingenious concrete harbor structures emerging from ALS beamline research could move the modern concrete industry toward its goal of a reduced carbon footprint.