Press Releases

Date Postedsort ascending
Argonne researchers Osman Eryilmaz (left) and Gerald Jeka (right) recover industrial parts from the large-scale ultra-fast boriding furnace after a successful boriding treatment. This process for extending the lifetime of mechanical parts, which just received its U.S. patent, saves time, money and energy compared to conventional technique, and even alleviates environmental concerns. (Click image to view larger.)
Erdemir receives patent for ultra-fast surface hardening technology

A newly patented technology by Distinguished Fellow Ali Erdemir and his team at Argonne National Laboratory could greatly extend the lifetime of mechanical parts. The team designed a device for ultra-fast boriding, which compared to conventional boriding techniques saves time, money and energy, and even alleviates environmental concerns.

August 11, 2015
Harry Weerts has been named the associate laboratory director for Argonne's Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate. (Click image to view larger.)
Weerts to lead Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate

Hendrik (Harry) Joseph Weerts has been named the associate laboratory director for the Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate at Argonne National Laboratory.

August 10, 2015
A copper tetramer catalyst created by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory may help capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy. It consists of small clusters of four copper atoms each, supported on a thin film of aluminum oxide. These catalysts work by binding to carbon dioxide molecules, orienting them in a way that is ideal for chemical reactions. The structure of the copper tetramer is such that most of its binding sites are open, which means it can attach more strongly to carbon dioxide and can better accelerate the conversion. (Image courtesy Larry Curtiss; click to view larger.)
Copper clusters capture and convert carbon dioxide to make fuel

The chemical reactions that make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and Argonne scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.

August 6, 2015
Lithium ions react with silicon to form a new compound, which causes the electrode to expand. Researchers found that flouroethylene carbonate molecules produce a rubber-like protective layer that can accommodate the electrode expansion. Infographic by Sana Sandler/Sarah Schlieder; click to view larger.
Protective shells may boost silicon lithium-ion batteries

Researchers found that fluoroethylene carbonate creates a rubber-like protective shell around the negative electrode inside silicon-based lithium-ion batteries.

August 5, 2015
A study including researchers from Argonne and the University of Chicago found evidence that gut microbes affect circadian rhythms and metabolism in mice. Image: Shutterstock.
Gut microbes affect circadian rhythms in mice, study says

A study including researchers from Argonne and the University of Chicago found evidence that gut microbes affect circadian rhythms and metabolism in mice.

August 3, 2015
Argonne researchers are able to fold gold nanoparticle membranes in a specific direction using an electron beam because two sides of the membrane are different. Image credit: Xiao-Min Lin et. al, taken at Argonne’s Electron Microscopy Center. (Click image to view larger.)
Bend me, shape me, any way you want me: Scientists curve nanoparticle sheets into complex forms

Scientists have been making nanoparticles for more than two decades in two-dimensional sheets, three-dimensional crystals and random clusters. But they have never been able to get a sheet of nanoparticles to curve or fold into a complex three-dimensional structure. Now researchers from the University of Chicago, the University of Missouri and Argonne have found a simple way to do exactly that.

July 31, 2015
Jeff Wasil (front) of Bombardier Recreational Products and John Adey of the American Boat and Yacht Council testing the 16 percent butanol fuel. Photo by Thomas Wallner, Argonne National Laboratory. (Click image to view larger.)
Argonne works with marine industry on new fuel

Argonne has collaborated with Bombardier Recreational Products and the National Marine Manufacturers Association to demonstrate the effectiveness of a fuel blend with 16 percent butane. This blend would incorporate more biofuels into marine fuel without the issues caused by increasing levels of ethanol, which can cause difficulties in marine engines at high concentrations.

July 30, 2015
Radar at the Southern Great Plains field measurement site, which takes climate data for research. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy ARM Climate Research Facility. Click to view larger.
World’s largest climate research site pilots integrated modeling

The next generation of equipment is coming to the world’s largest climate research facility, the Southern Great Plains field measurement site near Lamont, Oklahoma.

July 28, 2015
Typically when referring to electrical current, an image of electrons moving through a metallic wire is conjured. Using the spin Seebeck effect (SSE), it is possible to create a current of pure spin (a quantum property of electrons related to its magnetic moment) in magnetic insulators. However, this work demonstrates that the SSE is not limited to magnetic insulators but also occurs in a class of materials known as paramagnets. Since magnetic moments within paramagnets do not interact with each other like in conventional ferromagnets, and thus do not hold their magnetization when an external magnetic field is removed, this discovery is unexpected and challenges current theories for the SSE. New ways of generating spin currents may be important for low-power high-speed spin based computing (spintronics), and is also an area of great fundamental interest. The paramagnetic SSE changes the way we think about thermally driven spintronics, allowing for the creation of new devices and architectures where spin currents are generated without ferromagnetic materials, which have been the centerpiece of all spin-based electronic devices up until this point. (Click image to view larger.)
Young scientist discovers magnetic material unnecessary to create spin current

Research at Argonne indicates that you don't need a magnetic material to create spin current from insulators—with important implications for the field of spintronics and the development of high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

July 23, 2015
This graphic shows the semi-cubic structure of perovskite materials, and how they would fit into a solar power device. An Argonne-Northwestern study found that perovskite-based solar technology has the quickest energy payback time of all current solar technologies. Image by Seth Darling. (Click image to view larger.)
Perovskite solar technology shows quick energy returns

Silicon-based solar panels, which dominate the market for solar power, usually need about two years to “pay back” the energy used to make them. But for technology made with perovskites—a class of materials causing quite a buzz in the solar research community—the energy payback time is only two to three months.

July 17, 2015