Press Releases

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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
The research team reconstructed the crystal structure of BAP, a protein involved in the process by which marine archaea release carbon, to determine how it functioned, as well as its larger role in carbon cycling in marine sediments. (Click image to view larger.)
Closer look at microorganism provides insight on carbon cycling

Researchers from Argonne and the University of Tennessee found that microorganisms called archaea living in marine sediments use completely novel enzymes to break down organic matter into carbon dioxide.

July 13, 2015
Barry Smith has made significant contributions to the field of scientific computing, including the development of PETSc and the Scientific Application Web Server. (Click image to view larger.)
Argonne announces 2015 Distinguished Fellows

Argonne National Laboratory has named Barry Smith, Charles Macal and Branko Ruscic as its 2015 Distinguished Fellows.

July 10, 2015
By cross-correlating a galaxy distribution map and a mass map derived from weak gravitational lensing, a team of researchers that included Argonne National Laboratory’s Vinu Vikraman showed how the galaxy distribution traces that of the dark matter. (Click image to view larger.)
Mass map shines light on dark matter

Dark matter may find it tougher to hide in our universe.

July 9, 2015
Argonne researcher Jim Sevik tightens the fuel rail on a natural gas direct-injection system at the lab. The engine is an automotive size single-cylinder research engine that operates with gasoline as well as natural gas. (Click to view larger.)
Argonne working with Ford and FCA US to study dual-fuel vehicles

It’s not as challenging as mixing oil and water, but scientists at Argonne are partnering with industry to study a tricky fuel mixing problem that could lead to more efficient engines.

July 9, 2015
In collaboration with the farming community of the Indian Creek Watershed in central Illinois, Argonne researchers are finding ways to simultaneously meet three objectives: maximize a farmer’s production, grow feedstock for bioenergy and protect the environment. Photo courtesy Patty Campbell; click to view larger.
Scientists study ways to integrate biofuels and food crops on farms

Scientists from Argonne are designing ways to improve—and hopefully optimize—land use. In collaboration with the farming community of the Indian Creek Watershed in central Illinois, these researchers are finding ways to simultaneously meet three objectives: maximize a farmer’s production, grow feedstock for bioenergy and protect the environment.

July 7, 2015
Argonne materials scientist Charudatta Phatak will receive $100,000 over three years for his proposal to develop an electric field map representing the electrode-electrolyte interface. (Click image to view larger.)
Early career scientist Charudatta Phatak wins energy research award

Charudatta Phatak, an assistant materials scientist at Argonne, has received the 2015-16 NU-Argonne Early Career Investigator Award for Energy Research.

July 6, 2015
An Argonne study found that gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands have a higher carbon impact than fuels derived from conventional domestic crude sources.
Argonne analysis shows increased carbon intensity from Canadian oil sands

Argonne National Laboratory this week released a study that shows gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands have a higher carbon impact than fuels derived from conventional domestic crude sources.

June 25, 2015
The 3D X-ray imaging technique used in the study shows how the defects move around inside the LNMO spinel as the battery is charged to higher voltages. (Image courtesy of Andrew Ulvestad/Department of Physics, Jacobs School of Engineering/UC San Diego; click to view larger.)
X-ray imaging reveals secrets in battery materials

In a new study, researchers explain why one particular cathode material works well at high voltages, while most other cathodes do not. The insights could help battery developers design rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that operate at higher voltages.

June 22, 2015