Argonne National Laboratory

Feature Stories

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Oleo Sponge can be wrung out, the oil collected, and the material reused — it has stood up to dozens of cycles so far without exhibiting any degradation in performance. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory; click to view larger.)
Argonne seeks partners to commercialize Oleo Sponge technology

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory seeks partners to commercialize the Oleo Sponge, its award-winning, patent pending oil-sorbent technology.

July 18, 2018
Argonne has been researching all aspects of the power grid for decades. Recent work on microgrids — localized energy networks — has yielded new tips about how to capitalize on the technology. (Image by Shutterstock / worradirek.)
Four ways the electric system can better integrate microgrids

The U.S. electric system is adapting to a new wave of distributed energy resources, such as solar panels and energy storage. Some of these work together in localized networks known as microgrids — nearly 2,000 are now operating or planned across the country, according to one estimate. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory study the impact of microgrids and analyze ways to assimilate them smoothly within the larger electric system.

July 13, 2018
Anirudha “Ani” Sumant, scientist within the Nanoscience and Technology division, uses Laboratory Directed Research and Development funds to explore the protective properties of graphene on moving parts. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Slippery when dry

Argonne scientists reaffirm the potential of graphene as a cheaper, more efficient alternative to oil for lubrication purposes.

July 12, 2018
Anthony DiChiara, physicist in the X-ray Science division, uses funds from the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program to create rapid and “container-free” experiments enabling researchers to use less material and decrease costs. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Wall of sound

Argonne researchers improve upon acoustic levitation by using less material, lowering costs and paving the way for more research in the field.

July 10, 2018
Electrons in some oxides can experience an “unconventional slowing down” of their response to a light pulse, according to Argonne material scientists and their collaborators. This surprising behavior may result in useful properties related to magnetism, conductivity or even superconductivity. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Electrons slowing down at critical moments

Argonne scientists have determined that electrons in some oxides can experience an “unconventional slowing down” of their response to a light pulse. This behavior may result in potentially useful properties related to magnetism, conductivity or even superconductivity.

July 6, 2018
Argonne physicist Peter Mueller and his colleagues are selectively capturing and counting rare isotopes of krypton to determine the age of ice and groundwater. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Radiokrypton dating plumbs mysteries of water aquifers

Argonne physicists are using a unique, laser-based, atom-counting technique called Atom Trap Trace Analysis to selectively capture and count the krypton isotopes 81Kr and 85Kr to determine the age of ice and groundwater. The results provide valuable information about the dynamics, flow rates and direction of water in aquifers, particularly those vital to arid regions.

July 3, 2018
Best-selling science fiction writer Andy Weir visited Argonne in June to inspire next-generation scientists and learn about the laboratory’s world-class facilities and talent. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Argonne welcomes The Martian author Andy Weir

Best-selling science fiction author Andy Weir visited Argonne to give a series of standing-room-only talks, inspiring students and scientists alike.

June 29, 2018
A research team at Argonne has shown that communicating acoustically through metal conduits within nuclear reactors is no pipe dream. (Image by Shutterstock / Suwin.)
Realizing a “pipe dream”

Transmitting signals through the concrete and steel of a nuclear power plant presents challenges even under normal conditions. But the loss of electric power at a nuclear plant following an accident would leave no way to send vital information into or out of the harsh environment of a containment building. Now, however, research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory reveals that communicating through a containment building’s metal conduits is no pipe dream.

June 29, 2018
Water under extreme pressure and temperatures displays odd properties, which were modeled by Argonne and University of Chicago scientists. (Image by University of Chicago / Peter Allen.)
Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

When exposed to unimaginably high temperatures and pressures, water exhibits all sorts of weird phases and properties. Researchers from Argonne and the University of Chicago have developed simulations to predict water’s properties in these harsh conditions.

June 21, 2018
Here are pickled electrolyte molecules (PF<sub>2</sub>OSiMe<sub>3</sub>) binding to reaction centers on the cathode surface. For the ball-and-stick molecules attached to cathode surface, olive green indicates phosphorus (P); purple, fluorine (F); red, oxygen (O); and structure above oxygen, SiMe<sub>3</sub>. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory / Juan C. Garcia.)
The science behind pickled battery electrolytes

Argonne material scientists have discovered a reaction that helps explain the behavior of a key electrolyte additive used to boost battery performance.

June 15, 2018