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ORNL researchers developed a quantum, or squeezed, light approach for atomic force microscopy that enables measurement of signals otherwise buried by noise. Credit: Raphael Pooser/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers at ORNL used quantum optics to advance state-of-the-art microscopy and illuminate a path to detecting material properties with greater sensitivity than is possible with traditional tools.

Sergei Kalinin

Five researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been named ORNL Corporate Fellows in recognition of significant career accomplishments and continued leadership in their scientific fields.

Colorized micrograph of lily pollen

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have built a novel microscope that provides a “chemical lens” for viewing biological systems including cell membranes and biofilms.

Materials — Molding molecular matter

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory used a focused beam of electrons to stitch platinum-silicon molecules into graphene, marking the first deliberate insertion of artificial molecules into a graphene host matrix.

Closely spaced hydrogen atoms could facilitate superconductivity in ambient conditions

An international team of researchers has discovered the hydrogen atoms in a metal hydride material are much more tightly spaced than had been predicted for decades — a feature that could possibly facilitate superconductivity at or near room temperature and pressure.

CellSight allows for rapid mass spectrometry of individual cells. Credit: John Cahill, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Dept of Energy

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have received five 2019 R&D 100 Awards, increasing the lab’s total to 221 since the award’s inception in 1963.

Materials—Engineering heat transport

Scientists have discovered a way to alter heat transport in thermoelectric materials, a finding that may ultimately improve energy efficiency as the materials convert heat flow into electricity.

ORNL alanine_graphic.jpg

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Jan. 31, 2019—A new electron microscopy technique that detects the subtle changes in the weight of proteins at the nanoscale—while keeping the sample intact—could open a new pathway for deeper, more comprehensive studies of the basic building blocks of life. 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists studying fuel cells as a potential alternative to internal combustion engines used sophisticated electron microscopy to investigate the benefits of replacing high-cost platinum with a lower cost, carbon-nitrogen-manganese-based catalyst.

Two neutron diffraction experiments (represented by pink and blue neutron beams) probed a salty solution to reveal its atomic structure. The only difference between the experiments was the identity of the oxygen isotope (O*) that labeled nitrate molecules

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutrons, isotopes and simulations to “see” the atomic structure of a saturated solution and found evidence supporting one of two competing hypotheses about how ions come