OMS header

[Images above] Credit: NIST


Revealing nano big bang: Scientists observe the first milliseconds of crystal formation

An international research team co-led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used a world-leading microscope to capture atomic-resolution, high-speed images of gold atoms self-organizing, falling apart, and then reorganizing before settling into a stable, ordered crystal.

Electromagnetic fields of nanostructures visualized in 3D for the first time

Graz University of Technology researchers succeeded in imaging surface phonons in three dimensions for the first time. They excited lattice vibrations with an electron beam, measured them with special spectroscopic methods, and then reconstructed them tomographically.

Scientists uncover a process that stands in the way of making quantum dots brighter

Researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used a high-speed “electron camera” to watch quantum dots turn incoming high-energy laser light into glowing light emissions. The experiments revealed incoming light ejects electrons from the dot’s atoms; their corresponding holes become trapped at the surface of the dot, producing unwanted waste heat.

New class of versatile, high-performance quantum dots

Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers discovered a new class of quantum dots that deliver a stable stream of single, spectrally tunable infrared photons under ambient conditions and at room temperature, unlike other single photon emitters.

Sorting out nanodiamonds with fluorescent centers

Researchers developed a method to use lasers to control the movement of nanodiamonds with fluorescent centers. They shone a green and a red laser on the nanodiamonds from opposite sides, which allowed the movement of resonant and nonresonant nanodiamonds to be independently controlled.


New fabrication method paves way to large-scale production of perovskite solar cells

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in collaboration with National Taiwan University, invented a one-step spin coating method for fabricating perovskite solar cells by introducing sulfolane as an additive in the perovskite precursor. Their mini modules (16, 37 achieved power conversion efficiencies of 17.58% and 16.06%, respectively.

A general approach to high-efficiency perovskite solar cells

Researchers at Dresden University of Technology developed a general methodology for the reproducible fabrication of high efficiency perovskite solar cells. Specifically, they found that the duration for which the perovskite was exposed to the antisolvent had a dramatic impact on the final device performance.

Design could enable longer lasting, more powerful lithium batteries

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers and colleagues identified an electrolyte that could be useful for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. The electrolyte itself is not new—it was part of an effort to develop lithium-air batteries—but applying it to lithium-ion batteries with metal electrodes is something that can be achieved much more quickly.

Controlling bubble formation on electrodes

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers analyzed and quantified three different ways that bubbles can form on and depart from the surface of porous electrodes. The findings could apply to a variety of other electrochemical reactions as well, including those used for the conversion of carbon dioxide.


Floating solar farms could help reduce impacts of climate change on lakes and reservoirs

Lancaster University and University of Stirling researchers completed a detailed modeling of the environmental effects of floating solar installations on bodies of water. They showed floating solar arrays can cool water temps by shading the water, which could help mitigate harmful effects caused by global warming, such as toxic blue green algae blooms.

Tires turned into graphene that makes stronger concrete

Rice University researchers optimized a process to convert waste from rubber tires into graphene that can, in turn, be used to strengthen concrete. After 28 days of curing, 0.1 wt% of graphene sufficed to give concrete cylinders a strength gain of at least 30%.


Deciphering the secrets of printed electronics

Aarhus University researchers published a comprehensive review of the development of printed electronics. They discuss techniques, material inks, ink properties, post processing, substrates, and application.

Discovery of nontoxic semiconductors with a direct band gap in the near-infrared

Researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science and Tokyo Institute of Technology discovered that the chemical compound Ca3SiO is a direct transition semiconductor, making it a potentially promising infrared LED and infrared detector component.

Optical fiber could boost power of superconducting quantum computers

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology measured and controlled a superconducting quantum bit using light-conducting fiber instead of metal electrical wires. Their achievement paves the way to pack a million qubits into a quantum computer rather than just a few thousand.

Researchers optimize materials design using computational technologies

Researchers at Texas A&M University are using advanced computational and machine-learning techniques to create a framework capable of optimizing the process of developing materials, cutting time and costs. Specifically, they believe that many information sources can be pulled using a Bayesian framework to develop a more complete picture of underlying processes.