Materials Scientists Play Atomic ‘Jenga’ and Make a Surprising Discovery
August 28, 2014 — Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory got a surprise when they built a highly ordered lattice by layering thin films containing lanthanum, strontium, oxygen and iron. Although each layer had an intrinsically nonpolar (symmetric) distribution of electrical charges, the lattice had an asymmetric distribution of charges.
Scientists learn to control reactions with the shape of a rare-earth catalyst
August 27, 2014 — Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered they can control chemical reactions in a new way by creating different shapes of cerium oxide, a rare-earth-based catalyst. Their finding holds potential for refining fuels, decreasing vehicle emissions, producing commodity chemicals and advancing fuel cells and chemical sensors.
Scientists develop low-voltage water splitter that uses abundant materials
August 25, 2014 — In 2015, American consumers will finally be able to purchase fuel cell cars from Toyota and other manufacturers. Although touted as zero-emissions vehicles, most of the cars will run on hydrogen made from natural gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming.