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Adding a water molecule to the positively charged protactinium dioxide ion results in hydrolysis, or water splitting.03.31.16Science Highlight

Rare Meets Common: Reacting Protactinium with Ubiquitous Water Explains an Elemental Oddity

Reactions with this extremely rare element could reveal previously unknown trends, benefiting studies of new nuclear reactor fuels. Read More »

CLAIRE extends the resolution of electron microscopy to allow high-resolution, non-invasive imaging of soft matter.03.31.16Science Highlight

Soft and Small Imaging Breakthrough

Molecular Foundry users develop breakthrough technique for non-invasive electron microscopy for soft materials. Read More »

The deposition of a silicon dioxide layer (yellow layer) on a carbon nanotube (gray spheres) introduces solitary oxygen dopants (red spheres).03.31.16Science Highlight

Using Nanotubes to Create Single Photons for Quantum Communication

Demonstration of room temperature, single photon emission in doped carbon nanotubes opens a new path toward quantum information technologies. Read More »

A yarn spun of boron-nitride nanotubes suspends a quarter.03.09.16Science Highlight

Nuclear Physics Accelerator Technology Yields New Process for Producing Boron-Nitride Nanotubes

Using tools that enable nuclear physics research into the heart of matter, scientists created a material for applications from aerospace to solar panels. Read More »

Conceptual art connects the atomic underpinnings of the neutron-rich calcium-48 nucleus with the Crab Nebula, which has a neutron star at its heart.02.29.16Science Highlight

What Is the Size of the Atomic Nucleus?

The neutron skin of the nucleus calcium-48 is much thinner than previously thought. 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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