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Schematic of a “solar flow battery” with the three-electrode configuration: lithium anode electrode, counter electrode (CE), and photo-electrode (PE).October 2015Science Highlight

Eco-friendly Battery and Solar Cell All-in-One

Keeping the lights on: Solving the intermittency shortcomings of renewable solar energy. Read More »

Rotary engine (top) harnesses energy from evaporation to drive a miniature car.October 2015Science Highlight

Evaporation-powered Motor and Light

Bacterial spore-polymer composites harness energy from evaporation to power locomotion and generate electricity. Read More »

A liquid mixture solidifies to different solid phases upon cooling (left) and heating (right). At low temperature, colloidal spherical particles form crystals due to pressure from collisions with the surrounding polymer.October 2015Science Highlight

Shape Shifters: Demonstrating Tunable Phase Shifting

Reversible self-assembled structures balance two competing attractions to enable stimuli-responsive materials. Read More »

A novel technique allows new insight into the barriers to fuel evolution.October 2015Science Highlight

Solar Water Splitting: Putting an Extra “Eye” on Surface Reactions that Store Sunlight as Fuel

A novel technique allows new insight into the barriers to fuel evolution. Read More »

On the left: Fluorescent microscope image shows artificial bioreactors composed of sugar-based dextran polymer solution (blue) encapsulated within a shell of lipid vesicles (red). On the right: schematic illustration of what the vesicles look like at the aqueous/aqueous interface. Blue and yellow shading indicate the interior and exterior solutions.September 2015Science Highlight

New Artificial Cells Mimic Nature’s Tiny Reactors

A new approach creates microscale bioreactors for studying complex reactions for energy production and storage. Read More »

A novel catalyst transforms carbon dioxide and hydrogen into formic acid (HCOOH) via a two-step (yellow arrows) reaction.August 2015Science Highlight

Capturing and Converting CO2 in a Single Step

Researchers computationally design a cheap, efficient catalyst that captures carbon dioxide and creates a chemical building block. Read More »

When gaseous carbon dioxide (center) is dissolved in water, its water-fearing or hydrophobic nature creates a cylindrical cavity in the liquid, setting the stage for the proton transfer reactions that produce carbonic acid.August 2015Science Highlight

The Importance of Hydration

Spectroscopy combined with theory and computation determines the interaction between carbon dioxide and water. Read More »

A Super Uranyl-binding Protein with high affinity and selectivity could be used to mine uranium from seawater in the future.August 2015Science Highlight

Skimming Uranium from the Sea

Using computational methods, scientists tailor and adapt proteins to mine uranium from seawater. Read More »

The matrix-free ionization platform consists of an array of silicon nanoposts.August 2015Science Highlight

One in a Million: Analyzing Metabolites in a Single Cell

Commercialized nanopost array platform reveals metabolic changes in individual cells due to environmental stress. Read More »

Researchers added extra energy to the proton to produce a pair of quarks, which then yielded new particles.August 2015Science Highlight

Up and Down Quarks Favored Over Strange Ones

The proton's primary building blocks, up and down quarks, are produced more often than strange quarks in scattering experiments. Read More »

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