Argonne National Laboratory

Science Highlights

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Charge Separation in Silver Clusters

Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) users from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, working with the CNM Nanophotonics Group, have demonstrated the existence of long-lived charge-separated states in silver clusters. The clusters, synthesized chemically in solution, consist of exactly 44 silver atoms and are stabilized by exactly 30 organic molecules.

August 2, 2012
Ambient-Stable Tetragonal Phase in Silver Nanowires

A stable non-face-centered-cubic phase in noble metal nanoparticles has been reported for this first time by researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (Nanophotonics & NanoBio Interfaces Groups) working with colleagues at the Advanced Photon Source and Electron Microscopy Center. By taking advantage of the availability of this collective array of the DOE Office of Science's scientific user facilities at Argonne, a stable body-centered tetragonal phase was revealed to exist in silver nanowires with fivefold twinning, even at ambient conditions.

August 1, 2012
Hollow Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Lithium-Ion Battery Applications

Novel hollow iron oxide nanoparticles with a high concentration of defects were synthesized by Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) facility users from Argonne's Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division and Advanced Photon Source (APS), and the University of Chicago, working collaboratively with the CNM NanoBio Interfaces Group. A new concept of electrode fabrication based on sealing nanoparticles between layers of pure carbon nanotubes was also developed.

July 9, 2012
Ultrananocrystalline Diamond-Coated Membranes Show Promise for Medical Implant Applications

Ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) displays biological and mechanical properties that make it a promising choice for promoting epidermal cell migration on percutaneous implant surfaces. Percutaneous implants are commonly used for treatment of medical and dental conditions. Biocompatibility of the implant material plays a crucial role in preventing infections that cause premature failure.

June 18, 2012
Graphene Decoupling of Organic/Inorganic Interfaces

Cryogenic ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) was employed by researchers in the Center for Nanoscale Materials Electronic & Magnetic Materials & Devices Group to uncover exceptionally weak molecule-surface interactions between fullerene C60 deposited onto epitaxially grown graphene on silicon carbide substrates.

June 5, 2012
Volker Rose Receives 2012 DOE Early Career Research Program Award

Volker Rose, assistant physicist with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science's Advanced Photon Source X-Ray Science Division (XSD) and the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Argonne National Laboratory, is one of four Argonne researchers who have received 2012 Early Career Research Program awards, granted by DOE to exceptional researchers beginning their careers.

May 14, 2012
Frequency Stabilization in Nonlinear Micromechanical Oscillators

Using Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) expertise in the design and fabrication of micro- and nanoscale devices, a new strategy for engineering low-frequency noise oscillators capitalizes on the intrinsic nonlinear phenomena of micro- and nanomechanical resonators. A fundamental limitation of such resonators was addressed by a team of researchers from the Nanofabrication & Devices Group working with CNICT, Argentina.

May 8, 2012
NanoBio Technology for Alternative Medical Applications

A collaborative team comprised of Center for Nanoscale Materials users from the University of Chicago, Argonne's Materials Science Division, and the CNM NanoBio Interfaces Group is studying ways to enlist nanoparticles to treat brain cancer. This nano-bio technology may eventually provide an alternative form of therapy that targets only cancer cells and does not affect normal living tissue.

May 2, 2012
Facility Users Visit Capitol Hill

Representatives from 45 national scientific user facilities converged on Capitol Hill March 28-29, 2012, for an exhibition organized to promote the overall benefits of user research. Arranged by the National User Facility Organization (NUFO), the exhibition included a poster from each NUFO facility, plus posters describing industrial and small business research at NUFO facilities.

April 30, 2012
Shedding Light on Nature's Nanoscale Control of Solar Energy

Nature's process for storing solar energy occurs in light-absorbing protein complexes called photosynthetic reaction centers (RCs). Across billions of years of evolution, Nature has retained a common light-absorbing hexameric cofactor core for carrying out the very first chemical reaction of photosynthesis, the light-induced electron transfer across approximately 3 nm. This process has direct analogies to light-driven charge separation in photovoltaic devices.

April 4, 2012