Feature Stories

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This molecular schematic of “nanobowls” illustrates an example of a new catalytic paradigm that may help in the development of new biofuels.
Putting the 'fuel' in biofuels

Recent discussions of methods by which biomass—grasses, trees, and other vegetation—could be turned into fuel makes a lot of sense in theory. Plant matter is composed of energy-intensive carbohydrates, but even now scientists still don't have the perfect solution for converting plant sugars into combustible fuels.

May 25, 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
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, joined Senator Richard Durbin, University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer and Argonne Director Eric Isaacs to break ground for Argonne's new Energy Sciences building.
Chu, Durbin break ground for new Energy Sciences Building

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin joined officials from Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago at a groundbreaking event Friday, June 3, for a new Energy Sciences Building at Argonne.

June 3, 2011
Fenter has spent much of his career at Argonne studying “interface dynamics”—the particular physical and chemical processes that occur at the boundaries between different materials.
Argonne physicist Fenter wins Warren Award for X-ray diffraction studies

Paul Fenter, a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, has been named the next recipient of the American Crystallographic Association's Bertram E. Warren Award, which recognizes contributions to the physics of solids through the use of diffraction-based techniques.

June 10, 2011
Argonne mechanical engineer Steve Ciatti takes a crack at some of the more persistent myths surrounding the technology of diesel engines.
Five myths about diesel engines

Argonne mechanical engineer Steve Ciatti takes a crack at some of the more persistent myths surrounding diesel technology.

June 13, 2011
Kawtar Hafidi, an experimental nuclear physicist, has been awarded the 2011 Innovative Award Winner Award by the Chicago chapter of the Association for Women in Science.
Argonne physicist receives 2011 Innovator Award

Kawtar Hafidi of Argonne National Laboratory studies the interactions of quarks, the fundamental constituents of ordinary matter, enabling a deeper insight into particles and forces that build our universe; she has been named this year's annual Innovator Award winner by the Chicago chapter of the Association for Women in Science.

June 14, 2011
The Center for Electrical Energy Storage (CEES) is one of three Argonne-led Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) that were established in 2009. The CEES program focuses on researching lithium battery systems.
Battery research gets extra juice with research center

CEES is one of three Argonne-led Energy Frontier Research Centers that were established in 2009 thanks to a special block grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that sought to establish five-year interdisciplinary programs focused around discrete scientific challenges.

June 20, 2011
Energy storage research visualized: Scalar potential of a point charge shortly after exiting a dipole magnet, moving left to right.
Argonne electrifies energy storage research

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory is working in overdrive to develop advanced energy storage technologies to aid the growth of a nascent U.S. battery manufacturing industry, help transition the U.S. automotive fleet to one dominated by plug-in hybrid and electric passenger vehicles, and enable greater use of renewable energy technologies.

June 29, 2011
Chains of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, produce oils which could be used for transportation fuels.
Getting to know bacteria with "multiple personalities"

Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, have been the subject of decades of debate over exactly how they should be classified. While they reproduce and share DNA with their bacterial cousins, they are the only phylum of bacteria that can photosynthesize like plants.

July 7, 2011
Researchers learned that to get into cells, plutonium uses iron as a "Trojan horse."
Plutonium tricks cells by "pretending" to be iron

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University have identified a new biological pathway by which plutonium finds its way into mammalian cells. The researchers learned that, to get into cells, plutonium acts like a "Trojan horse," duping a special membrane protein that is typically responsible for taking up iron.

July 8, 2011