Stories of Discovery & Innovation

George Chuck and Sarah Hake, at the Plant Gene Expression Center, in a greenhouse, kneeling down, holding switchgrass02.27.12Stories of Discovery & Innovation

Softening Switchgrass

How a "juvenile" maize gene can help turn prairie grass into fuel. Read More »

Close up of solar panels with raindrops02.01.12Stories of Discovery & Innovation

Enhancing the Energy Harvest

EFRC researchers fashion solar cells with greater than 100% "Quantum Efficiency."
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Electron microscopic tomogram of dividing cells of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum tepidum with chlorosomes rendered in false color. 01.06.12Stories of Discovery & Innovation

A Step Toward Artificial Photosynthesis

EFRC researchers construct an artificial version of a bacterium's light-absorbing "antenna." Read More »

Microscopic image showing three-dimensional “gated” topological insulator device fabricated from (Bi0.50Sb0.50)2Te3 nanoplates.12.02.11Stories of Discovery & Innovation

The Strange Future of Electronics

New materials called "topological insulators" may help us chart a path beyond Moore's Law.
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Pamela Peralta-Yahya, Taek Soon Lee, and Mario Ouellet of the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute team that used microbes to synthesize a bio-based drop-in substitute for diesel fuel.11.15.11Stories of Discovery & Innovation

Brewing Renewable Diesel

Researchers at a DOE Bioenergy Research Center use microbes to synthesize a drop-in replacement for standard diesel transportation fuel.
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Schematic of a GaAs 3D photonic crystal 10.12.11Stories of Discovery & Innovation

Beyond the Transistor

EFRC researchers fabricate a novel device for channeling light.
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Daniel Kraemer, lead author of the Nature Materials article, and Gang Chen, holding a prototype solar thermoelectric generator tube.09.19.11Stories of Discovery & Innovation

More Heat than Light?

Breakthrough solar cell harvests electricity from the sun's thermal energy.
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This illustration shows what happens in nitride-based LEDs. At left, an electron (negative) and electron hole (positive) recombine and release light (left). In Auger recombination (right) the electron and hole combine with a third carrier, releasing no photon in the process. In this case, the energy loss is also assisted by indirect processes, vibrations in the crystal lattice shown as squiggles.09.01.11Stories of Discovery & Innovation

Peering into a Quantum Well

Supercomputer simulation illuminates mysterious "droop" in solid-state lighting.
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A water droplet, a water molecule and an arrow08.24.11Stories of Discovery & Innovation

Beating Nature at her Own Game?

New catalyst speeds conversion of electricity to hydrogen fuel.
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Scientist working in the lab07.07.11Stories of Discovery & Innovation

Trapping the Light Fantastic

New solar cell design uses advanced optics and nanotechnology to maximize performance and minimize cost. Discovery moves from lab bench to initial commercial scale-up inside a year.
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