Science and Research Highlights

Two Good Things That Are Better Together: STM and X-Ray Synchrotron Microscopy

Two Good Things That Are Better Together: STM and X-Ray Synchrotron Microscopy

November 5, 2014

Researchers from Ohio University and the U.S. Department Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have created a powerful and versatile nanoscale imaging tool with exciting promise and potential for the materials and biological sciences.
Self-Assembly of Layered Membranes

Self-Assembly of Layered Membranes

October 27, 2014

Techniques for creating complex nanostructured materials through self-assembly of molecules have grown increasingly sophisticated, but carrying these techniques to the biological realm has been problematic. Scientists working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source have gained new information that paves the way for design and synthesis of hierarchical structures with biomedical applications.
Peering Deep inside Nongraphitic Anodes with Synchrotron Microtomography

Peering Deep inside Nongraphitic Anodes with Synchrotron Microtomography

October 22, 2014

Finding new ways to non-destructively peer inside an operating battery is of critical importance in order to understand how battery materials change during cycling. Researchers using the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source developed a new technique that provides the first detailed observations of structural and electrochemical phenomena in candidates for new, high-capacity Li-ion battery anode materials.
How Magnetic Dimers Interact to Create Long-Range Order

How Magnetic Dimers Interact to Create Long-Range Order

October 9, 2014

Researchers working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source have shed new light on how magnetic long-range order forms and remains stable despite the presence of disruptive quantum fluctuations, results that may provide insights that have eluded thorough understanding for nearly 30 years.
Improving Solar Cell Efficiency

Improving Solar Cell Efficiency

October 7, 2014

New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory carrying out research at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source.
How to Remove Tangles in Your DNA

How to Remove Tangles in Your DNA

October 6, 2014

Research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source revealed the elegant way a repair enzyme recognizes, positions, and cuts DNA, and then secures the two ends to avoid a new tangle, furthering our understanding of the mechanisms of DNA repair, with positive implications for fields such as reproduction, cancer, and aging.
Stressing Out Copper TSVs with Temperature

Stressing Out Copper TSVs with Temperature

September 23, 2014

Investigations at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source revealed how thermal cycling leads to mechanical stresses and failure in the integrated circuits that are essential components of electronic devices.
Lights, Conformational Change… Action!

Lights, Conformational Change… Action!

September 17, 2014

How do organisms convert light into a biological action? Experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source fill in critical steps in our understanding of these complex sensory systems, manipulation of which may have many future applications in agriculture.
Stability vs. Activity: Characterizing Strontium Ruthenate Crystals for Electrochemical Applications

Stability vs. Activity: Characterizing Strontium Ruthenate Crystals for Electrochemical Applications

August 29, 2014

Researchers using the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source have characterized a new electrolyser catalyst with the potential to improve the production of hydrogen for input into fuel cells. Their study is the first to focus on methods for predicting how to synthesize well-defined oxide surfaces with the specific characteristics necessary for electrolysers, and for tailoring those characteristics to different engineering needs.
When an Exciton Acts Like a Hole

When an Exciton Acts Like a Hole

August 26, 2014

When is an electron hole like a quasiparticle? More specifically, what happens when a single electron hole is doped into a two-dimensional quantum antiferromagnet? Quasiparticle phenomena in such a system are predicted by theory, but have eluded observation, complicating the understanding of electron behavior in high-temperature superconducting cuprates. Experimenters working at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source have cast new light on this classic problem in condensed matter physics and opened a new pathway for the study of high-temperature superconductors.
Blueprints of a Bacterial Infection

Blueprints of a Bacterial Infection

August 14, 2014

One of the most common types of bacterial infection might soon give doctors and nurses fewer sleepless nights, thanks to a discovery made by scientists utilizing the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
Revealing a Novel Mode of Action for an Osteoporosis Drug

Revealing a Novel Mode of Action for an Osteoporosis Drug

August 13, 2014

Raloxifene, a treatment for decreasing fracture risk in osteoporosis, works only partially by suppressing bone loss. Studies at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source revealed an additional mechanism underlying raloxifene action, providing an explanation for how this drug can achieve equivalent clinical benefit. These data, together with complementary techniques, help define a novel mechanism by which raloxifene increases inherent bone toughness.
Acid Ions are More Than Spectators

Acid Ions are More Than Spectators

August 5, 2014

Measurements carried out at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source, coupled with state-of-the-art density functional theory simulations reveal that strong acids, such as hydrochloric acid, form counter-ion pairs in solution across all concentration, a result that had not been seen in gas-phase studies. The discovery suggests that it is not simply the release of protons — hydrogen ions — that is important for the properties of acids.
Peeling Back the Layers of Thin Film Structure and Chemistry

Peeling Back the Layers of Thin Film Structure and Chemistry

July 10, 2014

Perovskites entice materials scientists with their ferroelectricity, ferromagnetism, catalytic activity, and oxygen-ion conductivity. Perovskites could be vastly improved by assembling them into thin films, but no one understood why thin films beat out bulk materials. Researchers working the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory used a groundbreaking approach to tease apart the thin-film structure and chemistry layer by layer and found that, instead of having a uniform distribution of elements, there were drastic differences in composition between the thin-film layers, an observation may help researchers design thin-film perovskites with enhanced activity and stability.
A Narrower Spectrum for a Wider View of Matter

A Narrower Spectrum for a Wider View of Matter

July 9, 2014

Scientists using the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source have demonstrated a conceptually new ultra-high-resolution inelastic x-ray scattering spectrometer able to provide valuable insight into how a material transforms from liquid to glass, one of the great mysteries of condensed matter physics. Understanding this process could shed new light on condensed matter theory and have practical applications such as the design of new drugs.
Earth-Crushing Pressure? This Electron Spin Doesn′t Care

Earth-Crushing Pressure? This Electron Spin Doesn′t Care

July 7, 2014

Researchers working at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory applied intense pressure to a compound of gadolinium and silicon, collecting information about a material well-suited to computer memory and magnetic sensors, and opening a new window into the complex lives of electrons under stress.
Generating Ultrafast Inhomogeneous Strain in Room-Temperature Multiferroics

Generating Ultrafast Inhomogeneous Strain in Room-Temperature Multiferroics

May 27, 2014

Multiferroics are materials that exhibit a ferroelectric and magnetic order simultaneously. These orders have been the building blocks for technologically and economically important applications such as ferroelectric memory and spintronics, and present opportunities for efficient electric-field control of magnetism on ultrafast time scales. New research at the Universität Potsdam and at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source is providing a better understanding of how these new properties come about and how best to harness them.
Synthetic Peptides Use the Force to Influence Cell Survival

Synthetic Peptides Use the Force to Influence Cell Survival

May 7, 2014

Peptide amphiphiles are an emerging class of molecules that can be designed for novel therapies in advanced medicine. Researchers using high-brightness x-rays from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source evaluated forces within the biological assemblies that can lead to cell breakdown and death, or to cell survival. These findings will be important in guiding future work to design biological materials for varied therapeutic use.
X-ray Topography of Threading Dislocations in Aluminum Nitride

X-ray Topography of Threading Dislocations in Aluminum Nitride

April 23, 2014

Monochromatic x-ray topographic image for the (1 1 -2 4) reflection in grazing incidence showing a TED array along the <1 -1 0 0> direction [2]. Three edge dislocations are schematically depicted in red. This image was obtained at beamline 1-BM of the APS.
New Materials for Capturing Carbon Dioxide from Combustion Gases

New Materials for Capturing Carbon Dioxide from Combustion Gases

April 9, 2014

The demand for energy, especially cleaner energy, motivated work at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source that characterized new porous metal-organic materials, which hold great promise for decreasing power-plant greenhouse gas emissions by removing carbon dioxide from post-combustion chamber gases.
Building Better Catalysts for Splitting Water

Building Better Catalysts for Splitting Water

April 1, 2014

The dream of a hydrogen economy may depend on developing an energy-efficient strategy for splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. The problem is that water bonds are very stable, requiring hefty energy inputs to break. Using measurements from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source and Center for Nanoscale Materials, researchers analyzed the stability and composition of three small clusters of palladium that are under investigation as potential water-splitting catalysts and identified bonds that appear to be essential for catalytic function, allowing scientists to design better water-splitting catalysts.
Catalysts Caught in the Act Undergo Radical Rearrangements During Reactions

Catalysts Caught in the Act Undergo Radical Rearrangements During Reactions

March 27, 2014

The atomic-scale structure and chemical properties of catalysts remain surprisingly mysterious, despite the critical roles that catalysts play in a variety of industrial and environmental applications. Researchers working at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source teased out structural and chemical information about a single layer of vanadium oxide, a catalyst, supported on the surface of a titanium oxide crystal, making it possible for scientists to improve catalysts by strategically altering their structures.
A Layered Nanostructure Held Together By DNA

A Layered Nanostructure Held Together By DNA

March 18, 2014

Dreaming up nanostructures that have desirable optical, electronic, or magnetic properties is one thing. Figuring out how to make them is another. Investigation by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy′s Advanced Photon Source has revealed the precise form that the structures adopted, and points to ways of exercising still greater control over the final arrangement.
Fishing for Viral RNA

Fishing for Viral RNA

March 7, 2014

Retroviruses like HIV-1, which causes AIDS, go to a lot of trouble to replicate themselves and further their infectious cycles. While the molecular details of this process are known, one mystery is how HIV-1 recognizes and fishes out its own RNA from among all the other RNAs in the nucleus, an essential step in viral replication. New research at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source has defined the protein-structural basis for this process and may also help in the design of drugs that target HIV-1 infection for treatment of patients with AIDS.
Squeezing Out the Hidden Lives of Electrons

Squeezing Out the Hidden Lives of Electrons

February 26, 2014

The key to understanding what causes changes in material conductivity lies in teasing out contributions from structural atomic arrangements and electron interactions. Researchers using high-energy x-rays from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source disentangled these components in vanadium sesquioxide. By decoupling the effects of spin, charge, and lattice variables, they uncovered a mechanism that has eluded researchers for six decades.
Cooking Up New Nanoribbons to Make Better White LEDs

Cooking Up New Nanoribbons to Make Better White LEDs

February 24, 2014

Light-emitting diodes use significantly less energy and have far longer lifetimes than do traditional incandescent bulbs. Scientists are using high-brightness x-rays from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source to help explore and fine-tune new compounds in the form of nanoribbons that luminesce brightly in different colors and make more appealing white lights based on light-emitting diodes.
PbTiO<sub>3</sub>/SrTiO<sub>3</sub> Superlattice Components Respond Differently in an Electric Field

PbTiO3/SrTiO3 Superlattice Components Respond Differently in an Electric Field

February 17, 2014

Experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source studied the changes occurring in the domain pattern and atomic structure of a superlattice. These insights have the potential to extend the functionalities of complex oxides by providing the means to tune the field and time dependences of a material’s electronic properties, perhaps paving the way for their use in new, multifunctional microelectronic devices.
Imaging Ferroelectric Domains

Imaging Ferroelectric Domains

January 29, 2014

When thin films of ferroelectric materials are grown on single-crystal substrates, they can develop domains with complex patterns. Changing the properties of the substrate and interfaces of the materials can control the size and shape of the domains and influence the material′s behavior, so to understand details of local polarization, it is important to accurately image the domains. At the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source, researchers utilized Bragg projection ptychography for ferroelectric domain imaging, potentially improving critical technologies such as memory storage.
Improved Low-Temperature Performance of Catalytic Converters

Improved Low-Temperature Performance of Catalytic Converters

January 27, 2014

Toxic vehicle emissions, such as carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, are chemically converted to benign compounds by catalytic converters, which are valuable but expensive. To reduce costs, experiments are being done to lessen the amount of platinum and substitute palladium in the converters. Research at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science′s Advanced Photon Source indicates that a palladium/lanthanum-alumina catalyst may result in a reduced-cost catalytic converter with improved low-temperature carbon monoxide oxidation reactivity.
Earth's Core Reveals an Inner Weakness

Earth's Core Reveals an Inner Weakness

January 23, 2014

Contrary to popular opinion, the iron found in the Earth's core is relatively weak. That is the finding from experiments carried out using x-rays from two U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science light sources including the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory show that. This weakness may explain how the crystal structure in the Earth's core has transformed over geological time scales.
How Do Bacteria Repair Damage from the Sun?

How Do Bacteria Repair Damage from the Sun?

January 22, 2014

All organisms have mechanisms that they use to repair DNA damaged by ultraviolet light. New research shows that the current model for how UV repair functions must be reworked. Researchers from Harvard University utilizing the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source provide new insights into the fundamental mechanisms of DNA repair and into diseases that are caused by mutations in these genes.
Animatedly Suspended X-ray Observations

Animatedly Suspended X-ray Observations

December 16, 2013

Researchers using the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source have probed the behavior of colloidal systems in which microscopic particles stay suspended in a fluid indefinitely. Their findings could have applications in new synthetic materials such as paints, coatings and adhesives, foodstuffs, pharmaceutical formulations, and cosmetics.
The Fate of Bioavailable Iron in Antarctic Coastal Seas

The Fate of Bioavailable Iron in Antarctic Coastal Seas

December 11, 2013

Science is exploring many options for carbon dioxide sequestration, including geoengineering. Understanding all of the possible effects of geoengineering, such as the results of iron fertilization on marine ecosystems, is vital. Researchers using the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source have brought to the surface new information about iron cycling in the Southern Ocean with possible implications for improving carbon sequestration.
A Better Way to Probe Biological Polymorphs

A Better Way to Probe Biological Polymorphs

December 3, 2013

Using bright x-rays from the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory to study the incredibly strong adhesive material of the common jingle shell bivalve, researchers discovered connections between the material’s design and its function, and demonstrated the value of diffraction tomography in the detailed study of complex materials.
Composite Battery Boost

Composite Battery Boost

December 2, 2013

New composite materials based on selenium sulfides that act as the positive electrode in a rechargeable lithium-ion battery could boost the range of electric vehicles by up to five times, according to groundbreaking research carried out at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
Water-Like Properties of Soft Nanoparticle Suspensions

Water-Like Properties of Soft Nanoparticle Suspensions

November 25, 2013

Certain unusual properties of water have intrigued researchers for decades, but are hard to investigate owing to inherently small length scales and complex interactions. Now researchers using the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne have achieved the first experimental observation of the arrangements and mobility of soft nanoparticles in dense suspensions that mirror the anomalies observed in complex liquids like water in a colloidal suspension. This finding extends the toolbox of researchers interested in using suspensions to mimic molecular liquids.
Real-Time Capture of Intermediates in Enzymatic Reactions

Real-Time Capture of Intermediates in Enzymatic Reactions

November 22, 2013

Successful development of new pharmaceuticals could be the payoff from five-dimensional crystallography, a new experimental technique employed by researchers carrying out studies at the BioCARS facility at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source.
A New Multilayer-Based Grating for Hard X-ray Grating Interferometry

A New Multilayer-Based Grating for Hard X-ray Grating Interferometry

November 20, 2013

A new kind of x-ray multilayer grating that could open a pathway for high-sensitivity, hard x-ray phase contrast full-field imaging of large samples has been developed at the National Institutes of Health and at Argonne National Laboratory. In tests the device produced phase-contrast images of vascular structures in a mouse kidney specimen that rival those obtained with magnetic resonance imaging and that were previously invisible with conventional attenuation-based x-ray imaging methods.
The Most Detailed Picture Yet of a Key AIDS Protein

The Most Detailed Picture Yet of a Key AIDS Protein

November 14, 2013

The first atomic-level structure of the tripartite human immunodeficiency virus envelope protein—long considered one of the most difficult targets in structural biology and of great value for medical science—has been determined by scientists using data obtained at three synchrotron x-ray light sources including the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
Superconductivity with Stripes

Superconductivity with Stripes

October 18, 2013

By examining a cuprate under high pressure at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source, a team of researchers probed the relationship between stripe ordering and superconductivity. Their work is an important step in understanding high-Tc superconductivity and eventually achieving practical room-temperature superconductors.
Simulating Deep Earthquakes in the Laboratory

Simulating Deep Earthquakes in the Laboratory

September 26, 2013

Deep earthquakes simulated by researchers carrying out studies at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source have confirmed that the phase transition of olivine is a trigger for earthquakes occurring at depths below 400 kilometers.
How HIV Infects Cells

How HIV Infects Cells

September 26, 2013

In a long-awaited finding, scientists using high-brightness x-rays from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory have determined the high-resolution atomic structure of a cell-surface receptor that most strains of the human immunodeficiency virus use in gaining entry to human immune cells, and showed where maraviroc, an HIV drug, attaches to cells and blocks HIV’s entry.
A “Sponge” Path to Better Catalysts and Energy Materials

A “Sponge” Path to Better Catalysts and Energy Materials

September 6, 2013

Scientists working at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories have developed a new oxygen “sponge” that can easily absorb or shed oxygen atoms at low temperatures. Materials with these novel characteristics would be useful in devices such as rechargeable batteries, sensors, gas converters, and fuel cells.
Metal Model Mimics Metalloenzymes

Metal Model Mimics Metalloenzymes

August 7, 2013

Metal ions play critical roles throughout biochemistry and are the key to oxidizing organic molecules and, in the case of photosynthesis, water. An international team of scientists carrying out research at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source has homed in on the role of metal ions in a wide range of biological processes, from metabolism to photosynthesis. Their published results were the cover article for the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
New Physics in a Copper-Iridium Compound

New Physics in a Copper-Iridium Compound

August 6, 2013

An unexpected magnetic behavior within the transition-metal compound Sr3CuIrO6 has been revealed by research at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source, results that may eventually lead to new materials for applications such as electronic memory devices and quantum computation.
A Key Target for Diabetes Drugs

A Key Target for Diabetes Drugs

July 26, 2013

The three-dimensional atomic structure of the human glucagon receptor has been identified by an international team of researchers carrying out experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source. The receptor, found mainly on liver and kidney cells, helps regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream and is the target of potential therapeutic agents for type 2 diabetes.
Molten Metal Solidifies into a New Kind of Glass

Molten Metal Solidifies into a New Kind of Glass

July 25, 2013

When a molten material cools too quickly it may grow into orderly crystals, but if it cools too rapidly for the entire melt to crystallize, the remaining material ends up in a non-crystalline state known as a glass, with atoms caught in place essentially as a frozen liquid. Experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source revealed an unexpected reversal of this usual sequence of events.
Organic Polymers Show Sunny Potential

Organic Polymers Show Sunny Potential

June 25, 2013

A new version of solar cells created by laboratories at the Rice and Pennsylvania State universities, with an assist from two U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science x-ray light sources, could open the door to research on a new class of solar energy devices.
A New Family of Quasicrystals

A New Family of Quasicrystals

June 24, 2013

Just as fishing experts know that casting a line in the right spot hooks the big catch, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory used an algorithm they developed, and the high-brightness x-ray beams from the Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Photon Source to hone in on just the right spot for the only known magnetic rare earth icosahedral binary quasicrystals.
Cool Muscles: Storing Elastic Energy for Flight

Cool Muscles: Storing Elastic Energy for Flight

June 12, 2013

Studies by researchers utilizing high-brightness x-rays at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory provide important information about how flying species meet the energy needs of their powerful adaptation, new knowledge that may have implications for locomotion in general.
A Further Understanding of Superconductivity

A Further Understanding of Superconductivity

June 10, 2013

A crucial ingredient of high-temperature superconductivity can be found in a class of materials that is entirely different than conventional superconductors. That discovery is the result of research by an international team of scientists working at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source.
New Family of Tiny Crystals Glow Bright in LED Lights

New Family of Tiny Crystals Glow Bright in LED Lights

June 7, 2013

Minuscule crystals that glow different colors may be the missing ingredient for white light-emitting diode lighting that illuminates homes and offices as effectively as natural sunlight. So say researchers who studied europium aluminate nanocrystals using four x-ray beamlines at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source.
How Serotonin Receptors Can Shape Drug Effects, from LSD to Migraine Medication

How Serotonin Receptors Can Shape Drug Effects, from LSD to Migraine Medication

May 15, 2013

New findings by researchers carrying out experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source help explain why some drugs that interact with two kinds of human serotonin receptors have had unexpectedly complex and sometimes harmful effects.
X-rays Paint a Picture of Picasso's Pigments

X-rays Paint a Picture of Picasso's Pigments

April 30, 2013

Art historians have long supposed that Pablo Picasso employed ordinary house paint, in place of conventional artists' paints, in some of his artwork. A recent collaborative effort between the Art Institute of Chicago and two Argonne National Laboratory research facilities utilized twenty-first century research to demonstrate conclusively that pigment from one of Pablo Picasso's paintings was indeed derived from a common house paint of the era in which he created the art work.
Antibody Evolution Could Guide HIV Vaccine Development

Antibody Evolution Could Guide HIV Vaccine Development

April 25, 2013

Observing the evolution of a particular type of antibody in an HIV-infected patient has provided insights that will enable vaccination strategies that mimic antibody development within the body, thanks to a multi-institution study carried out at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory
Blue Ruthenium Dimer Catalysis for Hydrogen Generation

Blue Ruthenium Dimer Catalysis for Hydrogen Generation

April 15, 2013

Scientists utilizing a variety of spectroscopic techniques to probe the catalysis process, including x-ray absorption spectroscopy at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source, reported progress in revealing previously unknown mechanistic details about blue dimer’s water oxidation reaction, which may result in cost-effect, practical, and sustainable alternative energy sources.
A High-Pressure Nano-imaging Breakthrough

A High-Pressure Nano-imaging Breakthrough

April 11, 2013

A major breakthrough in measuring the structure of nanomaterials under extremely high pressures has been achieved by researchers carrying out experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. Their method for avoiding the distortions of high-energy x-ray beams utilized to image the structure of a gold nanocrystal could lead to new nanomaterials created under high pressures and a greater understanding of what happens in planetary interiors.
Protein Structure Could Lead to Better Treatments for HIV, Early Aging

Protein Structure Could Lead to Better Treatments for HIV, Early Aging

April 9, 2013

A breakthrough that could eventually help researchers develop new treatments for early-aging diseases and redesign AIDS medications to avoid side effects such as diabetes is the result of research was carried out at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
The Superpower behind Iron Oxyfluoride Battery Electrodes

The Superpower behind Iron Oxyfluoride Battery Electrodes

April 2, 2013

Electrodes based on “conversion chemistry” have the potential to double energy storage capacities compared to electrodes in existing lithium-ion batteries, but the electrochemical reactions giving rise to this improved performance remain a mystery. Scientists utilizing the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne investigating the fundamental basis for the performance advantage gained new element-specific insights that represent significant milestones in understanding electrochemical reactions in battery electrodes and in the experimental tools available to investigate such reactions.
Shedding Light on Chemistry with a Biological Twist

Shedding Light on Chemistry with a Biological Twist

March 14, 2013

Discovering how living things absorb and convert light energy into a form that can change the molecules involved in such processes would not only help scientists understand them, but could lead to ways to mimic such processes for more efficient solar energy conversion, for instance. A clearer understanding of how light can drive biological processes has emerged from x-ray diffraction studies carried out on beamlines at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, helping shed a brighter light on some of life's most critical processes.
Watching a Protein as it Functions

Watching a Protein as it Functions

March 14, 2013

For decades, biochemists and biophysicists have worked to reveal the relationship between protein structural complexity and function, only to discover more complexity. They relied on freeze-trapping to capture protein intermediates at various steps along a biochemical pathway. Now a research group has developed the necessary infrastructure at the BioCARS beamline at the Argonne Advanced Photon Source to watch proteins function in real time on the picosecond time scale. Their work brings us many steps closer to knowing how proteins function, or malfunction when leading to disease.
Teasing Out the Nature of Structural Instabilities in Ceramic Compounds

Teasing Out the Nature of Structural Instabilities in Ceramic Compounds

March 12, 2013

Researchers utilized the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, as well as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, to study the rare-earth magnetic material europium titanate. In a magnetic field, the (near) optical properties of this material change quite dramatically, presenting hope of a strong magneto-electric material often dreamed of by engineers for use in combining magnetic and charge parameters for many memory, processing, and sensor devices.
Doubling Estimates of Light Elements in the Earth's Core

Doubling Estimates of Light Elements in the Earth's Core

March 1, 2013

Researchers utilizing Advanced Photon Source x-rays have developed a new model of how sound waves travel through iron and iron-silicon alloys. Their results suggest that the amount of light elements in the inner core of the Earth could be two times more than estimated in previous studies.
A New Material for Warm-White LEDs

A New Material for Warm-White LEDs

February 20, 2013

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are known for their energy efficiency and durability. But the bluish, cold light of current white LEDs has precluded their widespread use for indoor lighting. Now, with a critical assist from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source, scientists have fabricated what is thought to be the world's first LED that emits a warm white light utilizing a single light-emitting material, or phosphor, with a single emitting center for illumination.
Probing Ultrafast Solvation Dynamics with High Repetition-Rate Laser/X-ray Methodologies

Probing Ultrafast Solvation Dynamics with High Repetition-Rate Laser/X-ray Methodologies

February 11, 2012

Thanks to implementation of a high-repetition-rate, high-power laser system at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lsboratory, it has become possible to study light-induced intramolecular processes and solvent interactions in rapidly evolving molecular systems.
Ultrafast X-Ray Spectroscopy as a Probe of Nonequilibrium Dynamics in Ruthenium Complexes

Ultrafast X-Ray Spectroscopy as a Probe of Nonequilibrium Dynamics in Ruthenium Complexes

February 8, 2013

Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory and Northern Illinois University have shown that the ultrafast x-ray spectroscopy technique employed at a high-brightness x-ray light source such as the Argonne Advanced Photon Source can produce valuable new information about the physics underlying photoexcitation.
The Electronic Origin of Photoinduced Strain

The Electronic Origin of Photoinduced Strain

February 8, 2013

Research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source and Center for Nanoscale Materials that adds to our understanding of the way light interacts with multiferroics represents an important step toward the development of future electronic devices.
Modifying Proteins to Combat Disease

Modifying Proteins to Combat Disease

January 22, 2013

Thanks to the efforts of a research team from Eli Lilly and Company, with the help of the Lilly Research Laboratories Collaborative Access Team x-ray beamline at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source, the structure of an important methylation enzyme is now known. The results of this research can be utilized to provide new direction and focus in the race to create drugs to combat disease, especially cancer.
Higher Temperature at the Earth’s Core

Higher Temperature at the Earth’s Core

January 21, 2013

Exactly how hot is the center of the Earth? Apparently hotter than we had thought, according to new investigations by researchers working at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source.
Clues about Rheumatoid Arthritis Damage

Clues about Rheumatoid Arthritis Damage

January 7, 2013

Utilizing high-brightness Advanced Photon Source x-rays, researchers with the Illinois Institute of Technology viewed the actions of an antibody targeted toward the proteoglycan biglycan — one of a group of polysaccharide-protein conjugates present in connective tissue and cartilage — that may help illustrate the underlying pathology of rheumatoid arthritis.