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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.

ORNL scientists are combining their expertise in environmental science, physics, sensors and additive manufacturing to create model fish for use in testing of hydropower turbine designs. The project supports healthy ecosystems and hydropower—the nation’s largest renewable energy resource. Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Hydropower developers must consider many factors when it comes time to license a new project or renew an existing one: How can environmental impacts be mitigated, including to fish populations?

Scientists created a novel polymer that is as effective as natural proteins in transporting protons through a membrane. Credit: ORNL/Jill Hemman

Biological membranes, such as the “walls” of most types of living cells, primarily consist of a double layer of lipids, or “lipid bilayer,” that forms the structure, and a variety of embedded and attached proteins with highly specialized functions, including proteins that rapidly and selectively transport ions and molecules in and out of the cell.

Polymer self-assembly at the liquid-liquid interface in real time

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 27, 2020 — Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee achieved a rare look at the inner workings of polymer self-assembly at an oil-water interface to advance materials for neuromorphic computing and bio-inspired technologies.

Starch granules

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new method to peer deep into the nanostructure of biomaterials without damaging the sample. This novel technique can confirm structural features in starch, a carbohydrate important in biofuel production.

Edge computing is both dependent on and greatly influencing a host of promising technologies including (clockwise from top left): quantum computing; high-performance computing; neuromorphic computing; and carbon nanotubes.

We have a data problem. Humanity is now generating more data than it can handle; more sensors, smartphones, and devices of all types are coming online every day and contributing to the ever-growing global dataset.

The agreement builds upon years of collaboration, including a 2016 effort using modeling tools developed at ORNL to predict the first six months of operations of TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear power plant. Credit: Andrew Godfrey/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 19, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Tennessee Valley Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate a new generation of flexible, cost-effective advanced nuclear reactors.

Gobet_Advincula Portrait

Rigoberto “Gobet” Advincula has been named Governor’s Chair of Advanced and Nanostructured Materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

Researchers in ORNL’s Quantum Information Science group summarized their significant contributions to quantum networking and quantum computing in a special issue of Optics & Photonics News. Image credit: Christopher Tison and Michael Fanto/Air Force Research Laboratory.

A team from the ORNL has conducted a series of experiments to gain a better understanding of quantum mechanics and pursue advances in quantum networking and quantum computing, which could lead to practical applications in cybersecurity and other areas.

Scanning probe microscopes use an atom-sharp tip—only a few nanometers thick—to image materials on a nanometer length scale. The probe tip, invisible to the eye, is attached to a cantilever (pictured) that moves across material surfaces like the tone arm on a record player. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory; U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Liam Collins was drawn to study physics to understand “hidden things” and honed his expertise in microscopy so that he could bring them to light.