Chemistry & Catalysis
Since 2009, SLAC scientist John Bargar has led a team using synchrotron-based X-ray techniques to study bacteria that help clean uranium from groundwater in a process called bioremediation. Their initial goal was to discover how the bacteria do it and determine the best way to help, but during the course of their research the team made an even more important discovery: Nature thinks bigger than that.
Menlo Park, Calif. — Opening a new window on the way plants generate the oxygen we breathe, researchers used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to simultaneously look at the structure and chemical behavior of a natural catalyst involved in photosynthesis for the first time.
Daniel DePonte, a pioneer in finding ways to serve up a steady and precise supply of crystals, viruses and other precious samples for laser experiments, is the newly hired sample-delivery group leader for SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.
A big reason for publishing scientific results is to inform others who can then use your data and conclusions to make additional discoveries, technologies or products. But what good are findings if they are, well, hard to find – buried in tables in the pages of technical journals?
Scientists have engineered a cheap, abundant alternative to the expensive platinum catalyst and coupled it with a light-absorbing electrode to make hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water.