See how quantum ‘weirdness’ is improving electron microscopes

Two new advances from the lab of University of Oregon physicist Ben McMorran are refining the microscopes. Both come from taking advantage of a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics: that an electron can behave simultaneously like a wave and a particle. It’s one of many examples of weird, quantum-level quirks in which subatomic particles often behave in ways that seem to violate the laws of classical physics.

Science snapshots from Berkeley Lab

New Berkeley Lab breakthroughs: engineering chemical-producing microbes; watching enzyme reactions in real time; capturing the first image of ‘electron ice’; revealing how skyrmions really move

Main Attraction: Scientists Create World’s Thinnest Magnet

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have created an ultrathin magnet that operates at room temperature. The ultrathin magnet could lead to new applications in computing and electronics – such as spintronic memory devices – and new tools for the study of quantum physics.

Basic to Breakthrough: How Exploring the Building Blocks of the Universe Sets the Foundation for Innovation

Particle physics peers into the mysteries of our cosmos while opening the door to future technologies. Research into the Higgs boson, dark energy, and quantum physics reveals insights into the universe and enables innovation in other fields.

Charges Cascading Along a Molecular Chain

Removing one charged molecule from a one-dimensional array causes the others to alternately turn ‘on’ or ‘off,’ paving the way for information transfer in tiny circuits

What’s Nanotechnology? Kristin Persson Explains at 4 Different Levels

In celebration of National Nanotechnology Day, Molecular Foundry Director Kristin Persson explains atomic-scale engineering at four different levels – for a kindergartner, a middle schooler, a high school senior, and a graduate student

2D Electronics Get an Atomic Tuneup

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated a new technique that could improve the performance of atomically thin semiconductors for next-generation electronics such as optoelectronics, thermoelectrics, and sensors.

Scientists Dive Deep Into Hidden World of Quantum States

A research team led by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed a technique that could lead to new electronic materials that surpass the limitations imposed by Moore’s Law.

The smallest motor in the world

A research team from Empa and EPFL has developed a molecular motor which consists of only 16 atoms and rotates reliably in one direction. It could allow energy harvesting at the atomic level. The special feature of the motor is that it moves exactly at the boundary between classical motion and quantum tunneling – and has revealed puzzling phenomena to researchers in the quantum realm.

Making Quantum ‘Waves’ in Ultrathin Materials

A team of researchers co-led by Berkeley Lab has observed unusually long-lived wavelike electrons called “plasmons” in a new class of electronically conducting material. Plasmons are very important for determining the optical and electronic properties of metals.

A Talented 2D Material Gets a New Gig

Berkeley Lab scientists tap into graphene’s hidden talent as an electrically tunable superconductor, insulator, and magnetic device for the advancement of quantum information science

A Quantum of Solid

Researchers in Austria use lasers to levitate and cool a glass nanoparticle into the quantum regime. Although it is trapped in a room temperature environment, the particle’s motion is solely governed by the laws of quantum physics. The team of scientists from the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published their new study in the journal Science.

Tiny Quantum Sensors Watch Materials Transform Under Pressure

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a diamond anvil sensor that could lead to a new generation of smart, designer materials, as well as the synthesis of new chemical compounds, atomically fine-tuned by pressure.

The Beauty of Imperfections: Linking Atomic Defects to 2D Materials’ Electronic Properties

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have revealed how atomic defects emerge in transition metal dichalcogenides, and how those defects shape the 2D material’s electronic properties. Their findings could provide a versatile yet targeted platform for designing 2D materials for quantum information science.