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 »
ALS Work Using XAS
In x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), the incident x-ray energy is tuned over a range that will excite core-level electrons. Sharp increases in absorption occur at specific energies, characteristic of the absorbing element. The resulting spectra probe the elemental composition as well as the chemical and electronic structure of the material.
Scientists have confirmed the presence chirality, or handedness, in nanometers-thick samples of amorphous (noncrystalline) multilayer materials. The chirality—which potentially could be exploited to transmit and store data in a new way—was observed in the domain walls between neighboring regions of opposite spin. Read more »
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.
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Researchers demonstrated, via x-ray absorption spectroscopy, that a molecule’s spin state can be reversibly switched at constant room temperature by magnetism. The results represent a major step toward the goal of programmable, nanoscale molecular electronics for high-speed, low-power, logic and memory applications.
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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 »
A polar mismatch between nonferromagnetic materials drives an electronic reconstruction in which interfacial ferromagnetism is induced. The emergence of such functionality at interfaces could enable new types of electronics for a range of applications, including logic, memory, sensing, and more.
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Scientists have put the x-ray spotlight on composite materials in respirators used by the military, police, and first responders. The results provide reassuring news about the effectiveness of current filters and provide fundamental information that could lead to more advanced gas masks as well as protective gear for civilian applications. Read more »
Perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA)—where magnetic moments in a thin film preferentially point out of the plane of the film—is an emergent phenomenon of both fundamental and technological interest. A combination of x-ray techniques demonstrate how to tune PMA in transition-metal oxide multilayers.
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Researchers have created a new catalyst that brings them one step closer to artificial photosynthesis — a system that would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy. Read more »