Materials Science

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X-rays Capture Electron 'Dance'

The way electrons move within and between molecules, transferring energy as they go, plays an important role in many chemical and biological processes, such as the conversion of sunlight to energy in photosynthesis and solar cells. But the fastest steps in this energy transfer have eluded detection.

Study Provides Recipe for 'Supercharging' Atoms with X-ray Laser

Menlo Park, Calif. — Researchers using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a way to strip most of the electrons from xenon atoms, creating a “supercharged,” strongly positive state at energies previously thought too low.

Stanford-SLAC Team Uses X-ray Imaging to Observe Running Batteries in Real Time

Most electric cars, from the Tesla Model S to the Nissan Leaf, run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries – a pricey technology that accounts for more than half of the vehicle's total cost. One promising alternative is the lithium-sulfur battery, which can theoretically store five times more energy at a much lower cost.

Shaken, Not Heated: the Ideal Recipe for Manipulating Magnetism

Scientists have found a way to distort the atomic arrangement and change the magnetic properties of an important class of electronic materials with ultra-short pulses of terahertz (mid-infrared) laser light without heating the material up. While the achievement is currently of purely scientific interest, the researchers say this new approach control could ultimately lead to extremely fast, low-energy, non-volatile computer memory chips or data-switching devices.

Postdoc Eric Verploegen Energized by Experiences, Mentoring at SLAC

If the excitement and enthusiasm of young scientists like Eric Verploegen could be pumped directly into the power grid, the world's energy problems could be solved tomorrow.

It can't, though. So Verploegen has made it his goal to channel his energy into looking for solutions the old-fashioned way – hard work, and lots of it.