Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $21 million in funding for 29 new projects through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). By coupling innovative ideas from EPSCoR-eligible institutions with leading-edge capabilities at the DOE national laboratories, the grants are aimed to enhance the research of EPSCoR investigators while building expertise and capabilities that will enable the institutions to compete more successfully for other federal R&D funding. In this way, the DOE EPSCoR program advances the geographic diversity of researchers conducting competitive energy-related research.
Athena Safa Sefat is a Senior Research Scientist and a former Wigner Fellow in the Materials Science & Technology Division of the Physical Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Berkeley Lab’s Kristin Persson shares her thoughts on what inspired her to launch the Materials Project online database, the future of materials research and machine learning, and how she found her own way into a STEM career.
Scientists have created new inorganic crystals made of stacks of atomically thin sheets.
Researchers are increasingly using computer models to predict how light will interact with metamaterials. Scientists used machine learning techniques to analyze databases of information. The computer program predicted the ideal metamaterial design for absorbing low-energy light.
Scientists can control their branch sizes and surfaces to make them more stable and more effective catalysts. By creating branched nanoparticles from the metal ruthenium, researchers developed a way to increase the speed of catalysis while maintaining the catalyst’s stability.
Scientists created devices based on one Weyl semimetal, tantalum arsenide. They observed that this material was able to convert more light to electricity than any other material. The conversion was 10 times higher than previous measurements with other materials.
Scientists have created a new class of material that uses sunlight to absorb and fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Scientists studied how the bacteria transport electrons across their cell wall. The bacteria use a method that’s different from other, known electricity-producing bacteria. They also found that hundreds of other bacterial species use this same process.
How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.
The Achilles Heel of “metallic glasses” is that while they are strong materials—even stronger than conventional steels—they are also very brittle. The initial failures tend to be localized and catastrophic. This is due to their random amorphous (versus ordered crystalline) atomic structure. Computer simulations revealed that the structure is not completely random, however, and that there are some regions in the structure that are relatively weak. Defects nucleate more easily in these regions, which can lead to failure. This understanding of the mechanical properties has led to a strategy for making the material stronger and less brittle.
In the study, scientists demonstrated, for the first time, an intrinsically rotating form of motion for the atoms in a crystal. The observations were on collective excitations of a single molecular layer of tungsten diselenide. Whether the rotation is clockwise or counter-clockwise depends on the wave’s propagation direction.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs issued its first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Fiscal Year 2020.
For the first time, a team determined and predictably manipulated the energy landscape of a material assembled from proteins. Designing materials that easily and reliably morph on command could benefit water filtration, sensing applications, and adaptive devices.