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Scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy, a nondestructive technique in which the tip of the probe of a microscope scatters pulses of light to generate a picture of a sample, allowed the team to obtain insights into the composition of plant cell walls. Credit: Ali Passian/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To optimize biomaterials for reliable, cost-effective paper production, building construction, and biofuel development, researchers often study the structure of plant cells using techniques such as freezing plant samples or placing them in a vacuum.

Jennifer Morrell-Falvey leads the Molecular and Cellular Imaging group at ORNL, advancing new insights in several scientific areas, including the interactions between plants and microbes that influence ecosystem health and carbon cycling. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Jennifer Morrell-Falvey’s interest in visualizing the science behind natural processes was what drew her to ORNL in what she expected to be a short stint some 18 years ago. 

A smart approach to microscopy and imaging developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could drive discoveries in materials for future technologies. Credit: Adam Malin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers at ORNL are teaching microscopes to drive discoveries with an intuitive algorithm, developed at the lab’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, that could guide breakthroughs in new materials for energy technologies, sensing and computing.

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated center-of-mass scanning transmission electron microscopy to observe lithium along with heavier elements in battery materials at atomic resolution. Credit: Chad Malone/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated an electron microscopy technique for imaging lithium in energy storage materials, such as lithium ion batteries, at the atomic scale.

An artist's rendering of the Ultium Cells battery cell production facility to be built in Spring Hill, Tennessee, which will employ 1,300 people. Recognizing the unique expertise of their organizations, ORNL, TVA, and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development have been working together for several years to bring startups developing battery technologies for EVs and established automotive firms to Tennessee. Credit: Ultium Cells

ORNL, TVA and TNECD were recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for their impactful partnership that resulted in a record $2.3 billion investment by Ultium Cells, a General Motors and LG Energy Solution joint venture, to build a battery cell manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Bruce Warmack is using his physics and electrical engineering expertise to analyze advanced sensors for the power grid on a new testbed he developed at the Distributed Energy Communications and Controls Laboratory at ORNL. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Bruce Warmack has been fascinated by science since his mother finally let him have a chemistry set at the age of nine. He’d been pestering her for one since he was six.

ORNL scientists used an electron beam for precision machining of nanoscale materials. Cubes were milled to change their shape and could also be removed from an array. Credit: Kevin Roccapriore/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Drilling with the beam of an electron microscope, scientists at ORNL precisely machined tiny electrically conductive cubes that can interact with light and organized them in patterned structures that confine and relay light’s electromagnetic signal.

ORNL’s Eva Zarkadoula seeks piezoelectric materials for sensors that can withstand irradiation, which causes cascading collisions that displace atoms and produces defects. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To advance sensor technologies, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers studied piezoelectric materials, which convert mechanical stress into electrical energy, to see how they could handle bombardment with energetic neutrons.

Miaofang Chi, a scientist in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, received the 2021 Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A world-leading researcher in solid electrolytes and sophisticated electron microscopy methods received Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s top science honor today for her work in developing new materials for batteries. The announcement was made during a livestreamed Director’s Awards event hosted by ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia.

Researchers used an atomic force microscope to test how easily particles of the novel coronavirus cling to certain surfaces, a property known as adhesion energy. Credit: Ali Passian/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A study by Department of Energy researchers detailed a potential method to detect the novel coronavirus