With the help of four different ALS beamlines, scientists were able to understand and improve the morphology of the main device structure in organic photovoltaic cells. 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.
ALS research has shown that manganese reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions are an important factor in controlling the rate of plant debris decomposition. Understanding the role of manganese will help build better models to predict how litter decomposition rates—and thus nutrient cycling and the ecosystem carbon balance—may behave in future climate scenarios. Read more »
Researchers have made significant headway in the quest to convert CO2 into valuable chemical products such as fuels, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Recent work at the ALS has shown MOFs and COFs as a valuable new class of CO2 reduction catalysts. Read more »
X-ray spectroscopy of graphene supercapacitor electrodes under operating conditions reveals changes in electronic structure and bonding. The research could lead to an improvement in the capacity and efficiency of electrical energy storage systems needed to meet the burgeoning demands of consumer, industrial, and green technologies. Read more »
Recently a team of Stanford and Berkeley Lab researchers used x-rays at the ALS in a novel way to observe the behavior of electrons during technologically important chemical reactions in metal oxide electrocatalysts. What they learned has upended long-held scientific understanding of how these catalysts work. Read more »
ALS researchers have now made a first-ever observation of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold surface under different charging conditions. This marks the first time that the scientific community has been able to achieve such high sensitivity in an in situ environment under working electrode conditions. Read more »
A pathway to more effective and efficient synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other flow-reactor chemical products has been opened by a study in which, for the first time, the catalytic reactivity inside a microreactor was mapped in high resolution from start to finish. Read more »
Researchers studying organic material from dinosaur bones have been able to show that the samples contained original soft tissue material from Mesozoic dinosaurs. The x-ray techniques at the ALS were key to showing a possible mechanism for this unexpected preservation.
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Toyota has been working at the ALS for a few years now to gain deeper insight into the chemistry of electrolytes for use in magnesium-ion batteries. The hope is that the research eventually leads to a fully developed magnesium-based battery technology that would replace lithium-ion batteries with essentially twice the energy in the same volume. Toyota hopes to move toward this goal more quickly through a new collaborative research project at the ALS and the Molecular Foundry. Read more »
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 »