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The density of bonding electrons (red and yellow) in silicon (upper left) is rather evenly distributed, whereas in zinc oxide (upper right), it is concentrated around the oxygen atoms.March 2013Science Highlight

Understanding How Semiconductors Absorb Light

Advances in how we calculate optical properties of semiconductors shorten the path to improved solar cells and other optoelectronic devices. Read More »

Distribution of superconductivity around holes (white) in a thin sheet of superconducting film.March 2013Science Highlight

A Breakthrough for High-Field Superconductors

Nano-structuring may help superconductors overcome a decades-long barrier to use in more powerful motors and magnets. Read More »

Uranium mill tailings field research site in Rifle, Colo.March 2013Science Highlight

Understanding How Uranium Changes in Subsurface Environments

Bacterial biomass found to have an impact. Read More »

Overall structure of 6-P-β-glucosidase and its comparison with 6-P-β-galactosidase.February 2013Science Highlight

Breaking Down Enzymes’ Role in Biofuel Production

Molecular structures provide insights into biomass deconstruction. Read More »

An electrolyte molecule (ethylene carbonate: C3H4O3) weakly binds (dashed line) to the positive electrode surface (Li0.6Mn2O4)...February 2013Science Highlight

Understanding Nature’s Choreography in Batteries

Charge-discharge chemistry for lithium ion batteries elucidated by theoretical calculations. Read More »

Scanning electron microscopy of conductive carbon fibers coated with metal oxide nanowires...February 2013Science Highlight

Nano-Composite Designs for Energy Storage

Nano-porous metal oxide coatings on carbon fiber dramatically enhance the electrical storage capacity for supercapacitors. Read More »

Potential biomass collection areas for cellulosic biorefineries within 10 Midwest states.January 2013Science Highlight

Using Marginal Lands for Biofuels

Assessment shows Midwest could support biomass production while benefiting climate. Read More »

Schematic figure of solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer formed during the first charging cycle illustrating a interphase layer comprised predominantly of a mixture of lithiumethylene dicarbonate (LEDC) and lithium fluoride (LiF).January 2013Science Highlight

Revealing the Illusive Interphase in Lithium Ion Batteries

Structure and composition of the Solid Electrolyte Interphase in lithium ion batteries was investigated via a unique combination of microscopy and spectroscopy. Read More »

Image from Nuccio, E.E., et al. “An arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus significantly modifies the soil bacterial community and nitrogen cycling during litter decomposition.”January 2013Science Highlight

Plants, Fungi, and Microbes Working Together in Nature

Study examines impact of symbiosis on soil processes and nutrient cycling. Read More »

Depiction of superionic phase of copper (blue) diffusing through the sulfur (yellow) sublattice.January 2013Science Highlight

Watching Ions Hop in Next Generation Battery Materials

Atomic-Scale, femtosecond time-scale measurements unravel the atomistic pathways and speed limits for copper migration through a nanocrystal. Read More »