Science Highlights

Moth eyes are highly antireflective due to their nanostructured surface.03.31.16Science Highlight

Artificial Moth Eyes Enhance Silicon Solar Cells

A novel approach to design and assembly of nanotextured surfaces on photovoltaic devices could improve energy collection. Read More »

In an iron-based superconductor, model patterns of electron spins show two competing liquid-like magnetic phases. (Positive spins correspond with yellow and red, while negative spins are green and black.)12.14.15Science Highlight

Magnetic Dance at the Threshold of Superconductivity

Near the onset of superconductivity, continuous exchange of electrons occurs between distinct, liquid-like magnetic phases in an iron-based superconductor. Read More »

Simulation of stretching of a silver nanowire accurately shows the entire process from “necking” (thinner regions in the wire) to the formation of a new phase (red portion in the last image).12.14.15Science Highlight

When Small Things Become a Big Deal

Computer-simulated atomic motion answers real-world questions like “How do things break?” Read More »

X-rays can characterize the motion of atomic-scale defects (for example, dislocations) relative to the morphology of a nanoparticle in the electrode of an operating lithium-ion battery. The dislocations are extra planes of atoms inserted into the atomic lattice.12.14.15Science Highlight

Tracking Hidden Imperfections Inside Operating Lithium-ion Batteries

Penetrating x-rays can image defects and phase changes during battery charging and discharging. Read More »

Artist conception highlights electron behavior in a single layer of iron-selenium atoms (red and purple) on a strontium titanate layer (blue pyramid shapes).12.14.15Science Highlight

Vibrations Raise the Critical Temperature for Superconductivity

Scientists reveal that coupling between electrons and atomic vibrations play a key role in this vexing phenomenon. Read More »

Short laser pulses (the wide red arrow) on the order of femtoseconds (one quadrillionth of a second) changed the electronic properties of a material (the brown hexagonal shape) by triggering phase transitions.12.14.15Science Highlight

Lasers Leave a Mark on Materials - At the Atomic Level

Ultrafast laser shots act like dopants to create new electronic properties in materials. Read More »

Advanced electron microscopy technique permits the simultaneous collection of both signals: secondary electron (that are sensitive to the surface) and transmitted electron.12.14.15Science Highlight

Atomic-Level Measurements of Rough Surfaces

Researchers use surface-sensitive signals to atomically resolve the structure of a rough surface. Read More »

Using a scanning electron microscope, the identity of individual elements that make up a single grain of a material can be mapped from the x-rays emitted by the interactions of high energy electrons with the material.12.14.15Science Highlight

New Materials Family on the Block

A family of single-phase materials was discovered with coexisting magnetic and electrical properties having potential for electronic applications. Read More »

Scientists devised a new way to wire a photosynthetic protein onto an electrode for integration into devices that turn sunlight into fuel. The light energy collected by the proteins (green) extracts electrons from an electrode (orangey red) through long molecules (yellow) under the proteins.12.14.15Science Highlight

How to Wire Photosynthetic Proteins to Electrodes

New approach for connecting light-harvesting proteins enhances the current produced by a factor of four. Read More »

Defects (red and blue markings) surprisingly self-organize in active liquid crystal film of protein filaments and such dynamic reorganization could lead to new approaches for designing self-healing materials.12.14.15Science Highlight

Defects Lead to Order

Surprising order found in bundles of protein filaments that move chaotically and form liquid crystals that could led to novel self-healing. Read More »