Advanced Materials

News Features

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Materials Scientists Play Atomic ‘Jenga’ and Make a Surprising Discovery
— 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
— 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
— 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.

Scientific sabbatical
— If such a designation existed, Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb would be on the fast track to becoming an Oak Ridge National Laboratory “super user.

Catalytic Gold Nanoclusters Promise Rich Chemical Yields
— Old thinking was that gold, while good for jewelry, was not of much use for chemists because it is relatively nonreactive.

Understanding heat flows is focus of DOE Early Career Award winner Delaire
— Olivier Delaire, a scientist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has won a prestigious Early Career Award from DOE’s Office of Science to study how heat propagates, or moves, through matter at an atomic level.

How to create nanowires only three atoms wide with an electron beam
— Junhao Lin, a Vanderbilt University Ph.D. student and visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has found a way to use a finely focused beam of electrons to create some of the smallest wires ever made. The flexible metallic wires are only three atoms wide: One thousandth the width of the microscopic wires used to connect the transistors in today’s integrated circuits.

‘Sweet spot’ for salty water
— Computational modeling has given materials researchers new insight into the properties of a membrane that purifies saltwater into potable water. The resulting technology could help speed up inefficient desalination processes in use today.

'That's what we do.'
— University of Tennessee (UT)-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor's Chair for Advanced Manufacturing Suresh Babu will lead the University of Tennessee's effort as part of a Detroit-based Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation institute announced by President Obama on Feb. 25.

Thompson-Boling Arena Among First in World to Use Cutting-Edge Lighting
— With the installation of LED fixtures, UT’s Thompson-Boling Arena is one of the first in the world to feature lights that are smaller, brighter, and up to 85 percent more efficient than conventional arena metal halide lights.

 
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