Feature Stories

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Argonne National Laboratory researcher Gang Cheng conducts an experiment to detect moisture in battery electrolytes at its existing battery testing labs. Moisture is detrimental to the performance and longevity of battery cells. Photo by Wes Agresta.
Funding to push battery technology from Argonne Laboratory to marketplace

Argonne was awarded $8.8 million in ARRA funding to construct three battery research and development facilities: a Battery Prototype Cell Fabrication Facility, a Materials Production Scale-Up Facility and a Post-Test Analysis Facility.

January 19, 2010
An elevation plot of the highest energy neutron flux distributions from an axial slice of the reactor is shown superimposed over the same slice of the underlying geometry. This figure shows the rapid spatial variation in the high energy neutron distribution between within each plate along with the more slowly varying, global distribution. The figure is significant since UNIC allows researchers to capture both of these effects simultaneously.
Using supercomputers to explore nuclear energy

A team of nuclear engineers and computer scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are developing the neutron transport code UNIC, which enables researchers for the first time to obtain a highly detailed description of a nuclear reactor core.

January 21, 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
Argonne researchers are experimenting to improve solar cells to harness more of the sun's energy.
Argonne launches unique research initiative to realize solar energy’s full potential

Dozens of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are exploring new solar technologies as part of its Alternative Energy & Efficiency Initiative.

February 22, 2010
Elizabeth Mader, a Director’s postdoctoral fellow, aligns a diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectrometer to record the infrared spectrum of molecules absorbed on catalyst surfaces at Argonne’s Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division.
Argonne named a 'Best Place' to work for postdocs in 2010

Argonne National Laboratory is one of the best places in the country for postdocs to work, according to a survey released today by the life sciences magazine, The Scientist.

February 25, 2010
Venus flytraps are selective in their prey—just as a new chemical material from Argonne and Northwestern selectively picks up radioactive cesium ions from contaminated water. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Hiebert. / CC BY-NC 2.0)
New material traps radioactive ions using "Venus flytrap" method

Mercouri Kanatzidis, a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, and Nan Ding, a chemist at Northwestern University, have crafted a sulfide framework that can trap radioactive cesium ions. This mechanism has the potential to help speed clean-up at power plants and contaminated sites.

February 25, 2010
Researchers Guldem Kartal (left) and Alyssa Skulborstad operate Argonne’s pilot-scale ultrafast boriding reactor.
Scaling up Argonne’s ultrafast boriding process

Argonne researchers, in collaboration with the Istanbul Technical University and Bodycote, developed a transformational technology called ultrafast boriding.

March 1, 2010
Argonne scientists Ken Kemner (right) and Ed O’Loughlin work to better understand exactly how bacteria chemically changes uranium.
Argonne scientists seek natural remediation for uranium-rich sites

While most of us are focused on life above ground, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are trying to understand the drama unfolding beneath our feet. Their work centers on the more than billions of tons of bacteria living within the Earth’s subsurface, below the root zone, and how they change the chemical composition of the rocks and minerals they touch, including uranium. The result could prove useful in a surprising way.

March 18, 2010
Today manufacturers are meeting to agree on a standard plug for the home hub, cars and appliances. But it turns out that American manufacturers already agreed on a standardized electric vehicle plug—in 1913! In the early days of cars, electric vehicles seemed a likely competitor for gasoline-powered engines and 30,000 were on the road; thus, the plug seen here—complete with wooden handle.
Argonne helps the grid get smart

A multidisciplinary mix of scientists from Argonne National Laboratory is working to help develop a "smart grid" that will not only adapt in real-time to handle larger electricity loads, but also operate more cheaply and efficiently than the existing grid.

March 25, 2010
Modeling nickel fractures and next-generation reactors

A multidisciplinary team of physicists, chemists, materials scientists and computer scientists from Argonne, the University of Southern California, Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, and California State University at Northridge simulated the introduction of small amounts of sulfur into the boundaries between the nickel grains to investigate a material property known as “embrittlement.”

June 1, 2010