Feature Stories

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Illustration of the nano-layer at the liquid interface between the salt solution and mercury. Physicists from Kiel University discovered the formation of an ordered crystal of exactly five atomic layers between the two liquids with brilliant X-rays. To view a larger version of the image, click on it. Image courtesy Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel.
Nanocrystals grow from liquid interface

An international collaboration of scientists has discovered a unique crystalizing behavior at the interface between two immiscible liquids that could aid in sustainable energy development.

May 16, 2013
An international team of scientists using Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (above) has devised a way to overcome the distortion caused by sample environments used with the X-rays to improve spatial resolution imaging by two orders of magnitude. To view a larger version of the image, click on it.
High-pressure imaging breakthrough a boon for nanotechnology

The study of nanoscale material just got much easier, and the design of nanoscale technology could get much more efficient, thanks to an advance in X-ray analysis.

April 9, 2013
A high-resolution transmission electron microscopy image of the core of a single silver nanowire. The scale bar represents 5 nm in length.  The image was taken on the Argonne Chromatic Aberration-corrected TEM (ACAT) machine.
Sterling science: Strain in silver nanoparticles creates unusual “twinning”

When twins are forced to share, it can put a significant strain on their relationship. While this observation is perhaps unsurprising in the behavior of children, it is less obvious when it comes to nanoparticles.

August 27, 2012
“The possibilities of science are limitless,” said high school senior Avinash Prakash.  “Science is continually growing.  Through research we are part of a continuing process.”
New program puts high school students in role of scientists

In commencement speeches across the country, graduates have been warned to expect rocky times breaking into the workforce. Unemployment hovers between 8 and 9 percent. Competition is tough.

June 6, 2012
While diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, they’re also well-loved by scientists working to enhance the performance of electronic devices. Two new studies performed at Argonne have revealed a new pathway for materials scientists to use previously unexplored properties of nanocrystalline-diamond thin films.
Diamond brightens the performance of electronic devices

While diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, they’re also well-loved by scientists working to enhance the performance of electronic devices.

March 12, 2012
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
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
This computer-generated image shows nanotubes, 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, which comprise a new technique developed at Argonne for "growing" solar cells.
Argonne "homegrown" hybrid solar cell aims for low-cost power

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have refined a technique to manufacture solar cells by creating tubes of semiconducting material and then "growing" polymers directly inside them.

November 10, 2009
Argonne chemist Jeff Elam examines solar cell materials prepared using atomic layer deposition at various stages of fabrication.
Everything under the sun: Refining solar cell technology at Argonne

"If you thought of powering America as trying to fill a swimming pool," said Argonne materials scientist George Crabtree, "then the energy from the sun's rays would give you enough to fill Lake Michigan."

October 1, 2009