Imagine you are kayaking in the middle of your favorite lake on a fine summer day and you decide to touch the water with your hand. You see water ripples on the surface of the water moving in all directions. We can observe the same phenomenon by just dipping a plastic ball in the water. It becomes interesting when we use two plastic balls, because we start to see the interaction of the ripples from both sources.
Have you ever wondered if the gas used to heat your home or cook your food was destined for greater things? With the increased abundance of domestic natural gas, it is more economically feasible to convert natural gas components to higher value chemicals than to break down imported crude oil.
Scientists at the Integrated Mesoscale Architecture for Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC) Energy Frontier Research Center have demonstrated that specific environmental conditions drive their so called “dilute alloy” catalyst to restructure, resulting in a surface enriched by the active species.
Right now, you are probably reading this article on a device powered by a Li-ion battery. In the past decade, these energy storage devices have become ubiquitous in daily life. Improvements to Li-ion batteries have provided major boosts to portable electronics like laptop computers and smartphones. These electronics have evolved to use increasingly sophisticated computing technology that would never be portable without the significant amount of energy stored in the Li-ion batteries that power it.
Multifunctionality in nature is derived from structural heterogeneity. Biological molecules and their assemblies are highly complex in structure and versatile in function. The well-defined structures of biological molecules enable living organisms to perform complex synthetic functions, producing a wide range of products—from simple small molecules to macromolecular assemblies.
Hundreds of feet below Texas Hill Country lies the Edwards Aquifer, which supplies drinking water for nearly two million people in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. The Edwards Aquifer is one of the most unique groundwater systems with water weaving through a series of honeycomb, porous limestones. A few hundred feet above the aquifer, at the University of Texas at Austin, scientists are studying how water flows through similar channels, albeit at a nanometer length scale in soft materials.
Everyone daydreams about the future, about their career, family, or life goals. While dreaming, many of us picture electric cars or reduced reliance on fossil fuels. In some countries, such as France, these goals are already being realized. The entire country is already transitioning to selling only electric vehicles. This green transition is part of a goal for a sustainable world, which begs the question: are solar and wind power technologies sustainable?
What do FM radio, your microwave, 5G cell phone service, light from a lightbulb, and X-rays have in common? They are all forms of electromagnetic waves—oscillating electric and magnetic fields that can travel through space. Electromagnetic waves are everywhere. The wavelength of the radiation, or the distance between consecutive peaks of the wave, determines what kind of radiation it is. FM radio transmits on electromagnetic waves with wavelengths of about a meter.
When you think about bamboo, you might conjure up images of pandas snacking in a distant jungle. In fact, bamboo finds many versatile uses, in food, construction, and use in the manufacture of textiles, to name a few (Gupta 2008). People have recognized the versatility and utility of bamboo plants for centuries, especially in regions where the plant naturally occurs, and have successfully integrated it into many facets of their societies.
Nancy M. Washton and Jeffrey G. Holmes, Co-editors-in-Chief
- Hassnain Asgar, Mutli-Scale Fluid-Solid Interactions Architected and Natural Materials (MUSE)
- Eric Assaf, Alliance for Molecular PhotoElectrode Design for Solar Fuels (AMPED)
- Malgorzata (Gosia) Chwatko, Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems (M-WET)
- Tim Goetjen, Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center (ICDC)
- Eli Hoenig, Advanced Materials for Energy Water Systems (AMEWS)
- ChoongSze Lee, Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI)
- Nicholas Marcella, Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC 2.0)
- Daniel Robertson, Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables (SCALAR)
- Sintu Rongpipi, Center for Lignocellulose Structural and Formation (CLSF)
- Cora Went, Photonics at Thermodynamic Limits (PTL)
Disclaimer: The opinions in this newsletter are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views or position of the Department of Energy.