Argonne National Laboratory

Feature Stories

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Argonne nanoscientist Xiao-Min Lin works with the shear cell device that enabled the new discovery in shear-thickening fluids. The polycarbonate cell holds the nanoparticle suspension and the mechanical response of the fluid is measured by the transducer in the rheometer above. The X-ray beam is focused on the sample from the left. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Through thick and thin

Researchers solve a decades-old question: Is particle ordering responsible for the thickening of some industrial products when stirred rapidly? The answer brings us one step closer to solving complex industrial production problems.

April 13, 2018
This shows a strand of magnetic molecules atop a dense bed of “armchair” graphene nanoribbons — which appear as a series of closely spaced strings — grown on a gold crystal surface. The image was taken on a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy tool at Argonne’s <a href="http://www.anl.gov/cnm/user-information/call-proposals">Center for Nanoscale Materials</a>. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Opening windows for new spintronic studies

A surprising discovery could potentially offer major advantages in speed, heat dissipation and power consumption in electronic devices.

February 22, 2018
Summer interns Cayla Hamann (background) and Cheng Chang (foreground) help install a water sensor on the UChicago campus. (Image courtesy of The University of Chicago/ Xufeng Zhang.)
IME scientists dig deep in soil for data to improve agriculture, pollution

Soil is incredibly complex — full of organisms, microbes and chemicals that move and change constantly — and it all feeds into crop health and the Earth’s nutrient cycles in ways that aren’t fully understood. Recent advances in wireless data communications and the growing revolution of portable, cheap sensors have made it possible for scientists, including Profs. Monisha Ghosh and Supratik Guha, to start a pilot program to take real-time soil measurements.

January 12, 2018
Oleo Sponge picks up oil during tests at Argonne. (Image by Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory.)
Nine ways Argonne advanced science and technology in 2017

As 2018 approaches, Argonne looks back at nine cool stories that came out of research projects and collaborations at the laboratory.

December 21, 2017
The figure in the foreground shows near-infrared and broadband light pulses (squiggly lines at top) striking a silver nanocube measuring 150 nanometers square. The near-infrared pulse excites electrons in the nanostructure, while the broadband pulse monitors their optical response. An aluminum oxide spacer separates the nanocube from a gold film with a thickness of 50 nanometers. The spacer measures between 1 and 25 nanometers thick. A water molecule, by comparison, is approximately 1.5 nanometers in diameter. (Image courtesy of Matthew Sykes, Argonne National Laboratory, Shutterstock / Triff and Shutterstock / siro46.)
‘Hot’ electrons heat up solar energy research

Argonne research has shown how hybrid nanomaterials may be used to convert light energy more efficiently for applications in photocatalysis, photovoltaics and ultrafast optics.

December 20, 2017
A snapshot of silicene (shown in yellow), a 2-D material made up of silicon atoms, as it grows on iridium substrate (shown in red). The image was taken from a molecular dynamics simulation, which Argonne researchers used to predict the growth and evolution of silicene. (Image courtesy of Joseph Insley / Argonne National Laboratory.)
The flat and the curious

Argonne researchers have simulated the growth of the 2-D material silicene. Their work, published in Nanoscale, delivers new and useful insights on the material’s properties and behavior and offers a predictive model for other researchers studying 2-D materials.

November 6, 2017
Schematic of the experimental setup. Six YIG/Pt nanowires (in red) integrated in the signal arm (S) are measured in parallel. A bias-T is utilized for simultaneous RF transmission and DC voltage detection by lock-in techniques. (Image adapted from Jungfleisch et al., Nano Lett., 17, 8 (2017).)
Report sheds new insights on the spin dynamics of a material candidate for low-power devices

In a report published in Nano LettersArgonne researchers reveal new insights into the properties of a magnetic insulator that is a candidate for low-power device applications; their insights form early stepping-stones towards developing high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

May 22, 2017
The researchers integrated X-ray imaging with computer modeling and simulation to characterize zinc oxide nanoparticles, which have attractive electrical properties for use in technologies. Shown above, from left to right, are co-authors Mathew Cherukara, Ross Harder, Haidan Wen and Kiran Sasikumar. (Image by Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory)
X-ray imaging and computer modeling help map electric properties of nanomaterials

Argonne researchers have developed a new approach for studying piezoelectric materials using ultrafast 3-D X-ray imaging and computer modeling. Their integrated approach, reported in Nano Letters, can help us better understand material behavior and engineer more powerful and energy-efficient technologies.

May 4, 2017
Argonne researchers have created skyrmions – ordered regions of magnetic spins – by using a spiraling focused ion beam. (Illustration by Robert Horn / Argonne National Laboratory.)
Skyrmions created with a special spiral

Researchers at Argonne have found a way to control the creation of special textured surfaces, called skyrmions, in magnetically ordered materials.

April 5, 2017
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Four fantastic materials found at Argonne

New materials are the seeds for new technologies. Here are four discoveries with never-before-seen properties that could lead to new devices, innovations, or breakthroughs.

April 3, 2017