As a scientist, working with researchers in the same field as oneself is often the path of least resistance; however, connecting with researchers in complementary fields empowers all parties to achieve more than they could alone.
Molten salt is exactly what it sounds like—simply the melted contents of your saltshaker. The descriptor “molten” may evoke images of volcanic lava, but once the salt is melted, it is typically not hot enough for it to glow. Depending on the salt’s purity and composition, it often looks and flows like water. There are more types of salt than your saltshaker’s sodium chloride, however.
Everyone wants their phone, laptop computer, or even electric car to run longer without needing a recharge. Currently, these devices are all powered by Li-ion batteries, which have seen tremendous improvements over the past few decades. In the next decade, however, this rate of growth looks to be slowing down, and our battery-powered society will need the next generation of energy storage technology to keep on pace with the energy demands of our portable electronics.
The United States has accrued a vast amount of nuclear waste over the last 80 years as a result of the government’s defense programs and domestic nuclear power production. Cementitious and glass waste forms can be used to safely stabilize much of this nuclear waste, but a few radioactive constituents are difficult to immobilize in these waste forms, either because they are not compatible or because of production barriers.
Spending most of 2020 in quarantine taught many of us the effects that confined space can have on humans. It changes us because people like to be free, and being indoors or in confined spaces can affect behaviors, performance, and routines. Similar effects are noted in physical systems where fluids like water, gases, or oils behave differently when they are confined in narrow spaces.
The Sun is our closest star providing us light and warmth. However, it was only after 1954 that solar energy began to be an attainable electricity source because of the first silicon solar cell developed by Bell Labs.
X-rays, the radiation used to detect broken bones in our body, have been invaluable in investigating structures of materials at multiple length scales. X-rays generated from a synchrotron light source have advantages of greater intensity, higher focus, and energy tunability over X-rays from a laboratory source.
A team of researchers from Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) and the Integrated Mesoscale Architecture for Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC) EFRC have probed the innerworkings of a mysterious nanospace. The exotic location, sandwiched between a palladium metal surface and a 2-dimensional silicon dioxide cover, was found to enable new chemistry, and by using advanced techniques, the team discovered how.
Proteins self assemble to form different aggregated structures. This self-assembly process is integral to the formation of highly ordered protein architectures that are widely found in cellular structural elements and connective tissues, the most abundant tissue found in the human body.
The biggest challenges in the scientific community may seem daunting to tackle, but as The Beatles famously said, “I get by with a little help from my friends!” When scientists see immense challenges, they do not attempt to solve them alone. Like climbing Mt. Everest, most scientific problems are best addressed with a team of experts who know what they are doing.
Nancy M. Washton and Jeffrey G. Holmes, Co-editors-in-Chief
- Hassnain Asgar, Mutli-Scale Fluid-Solid Interactions Architected and Natural Materials (MUSE)
- Nicole Avakyan, Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales (CSSAS)
- Matthew S. Christian, Center for Hierarchical Waste form Materials (CHWM)
- Audra DeStefano, Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems (M-WET)
- Tim Goetjen, Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center (ICDC)
- Yongtao Liu, Center for 3D Ferroelectric Microelectronics (3DFeM)
- Nicholas Marcella, Integrated Mesoscale Architecture for Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC)
- Daniel Robertson, Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables (SCALAR)
- Sintu Rongpipi, Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation (CLSF)
- Haley Williams, Fundamental Understanding of Transport Under Reactor Extremes (FUTURE)
- Guomin Zhu, Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales (CSSAS)
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.