Feature Stories

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Computational modeling produces both prospects for better catalysts and beautiful images, like this model of a platinum catalyst interacting with oxygen atoms (red) and hydrogen atoms (white). Image by Rees Rankin, Center for Nanoscale Materials.
7 things you may not know about catalysis

Catalysts are one of those things that few people think much about, beyond perhaps in high school chemistry, but they make the world tick.

December 14, 2011
Argonne nanoscientist Tijana Rajh holds a strip of material created from titanium dioxide nanotubes.
Batteries get a quick charge with new anode technology

A breakthrough in components for next-generation batteries could come from special materials that transform their structure to perform better over time.

November 2, 2011
A specialized piece of glass called a luminescent solar concentrator can intensify incoming light. The green and orange rings are produced by its fluorescence.
New solar cell technology gives light waves “amnesia”

For years, scientists have dealt with the problem of trying to increase the efficiency and drive down the cost of solar cells. Now researchers have hit upon a new idea—trying to give the light collected by solar cells a bit of "amnesia."

September 26, 2011
A team of researchers at Argonne has developed the new "multilayer Laue lens," that will let scientists study the nanoscale in greater detail than ever before. From left to right: Bing Shi, Lahsen Assoufid, Brian Stephenson, Jörg Maser, Chian Liu, Lisa Gades. Not pictured: Al Macrander.
Argonne-pioneered X-ray lens to aid nanomaterials research

A team of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory has developed the new "multilayer Laue lens". This lens focuses high-energy X-rays so tightly they can detect objects as small as 15 nanometers in size and is in principle capable of focusing to well below 10 nanometers.

August 15, 2011
Inorganic surface ligands enable facile electron transport between quantum dots and opened novel opportunities for using nanostructures in solar cells.
New inorganic semiconductor layers hold promise for solar energy

A team of researchers from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory has demonstrated a method that could produce cheaper semiconductor layers for solar cells.

June 1, 2011
Yugang Sun
Argonne Researcher named top five materials scientist of 2000s

Argonne scientist Yugang Sun has been recognized as the one of the five top materials scientists in the world over the past decade, according to a new ranking recently released by Thomson Reuters.

April 1, 2011
Matthew Tirrell has been appointed founding Pritzker Director of the University of Chicago’s new Institute for Molecular Engineering.
Matthew Tirrell named founding director of UChicago Institute for Molecular Engineering

Matthew Tirrell, a pioneering researcher in the fields of biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology, has been appointed founding Pritzker Director of the University of Chicago’s new Institute for Molecular Engineering, effective July 1.

March 7, 2011
Argonne researchers Anand Bhattacharya (left) and Tiffany Santos flank the molecular beam epitaxy instrument, designed to craft materials with close to atomic precision.
Molecular beam epitaxy facility to design custom materials for scientists

The molecular beam epitaxy facility, located at Argonne National Laboratory, could provide the basis for new materials to improve fuel cells, electronics and batteries.

December 7, 2010
This film of block copolymers shows the material's characteristic tendency to separate into distinct regions.
Molecular "stencils" open up new possibilities for solar energy

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have begun to use molecular “stencils” to pave the way to new materials that could potentially find their way into future generations of solar cells, catalysts and photonic crystals.

November 15, 2010
Argonne scientists discover novel materials approach to fighting cancer

Brain cancer is notoriously difficult to treat with standard cancer-fighting methods, so scientists have been looking outside standard medicine and into nanomaterials as a treatment alternative.

February 8, 2010