Skip to main content
To develop complex materials with superior properties, Vera Bocharova uses diverse methods including broadband dielectric spectroscopy. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; photographer Jason Richards

Vera Bocharova at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigates the structure and dynamics of soft materials—polymer nanocomposites, polymer electrolytes and biological macromolecules—to advance materials and technologies for energy, medicine and other applications.

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.


An Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led team used a scanning transmission electron microscope to selectively position single atoms below a crystal’s surface for the first time.

Sergei Kalinin, director of the Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, convenes experts in microscopy and computing to gain scientific insights that will inform design of advanced materials for energy and informati

Sergei Kalinin of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory knows that seeing something is not the same as understanding it. As director of ORNL’s Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials, he convenes experts in microscopy and computing to gain scientific insigh...

Schematic drawing of the boron nitride cell. Credit: University of Illinois at Chicago.

A new microscopy technique developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago allows researchers to visualize liquids at the nanoscale level — about 10 times more resolution than with traditional transmission electron microscopy — for the first time. By trapping minute amounts of...

From left, Andrew Lupini and Juan Carlos Idrobo use ORNL’s new monochromated, aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope, a Nion HERMES to take the temperatures of materials at the nanoscale. Image credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

A scientific team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has found a new way to take the local temperature of a material from an area about a billionth of a meter wide, or approximately 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. This discove...

ORNL researcher Miaofang Chi refines her microscopy techniques toward understanding how and why materials have certain properties.

Material surfaces and interfaces may appear flat and void of texture to the naked eye, but a view from the nanoscale reveals an intricate tapestry of atomic patterns that control the reactions between the material and its environment. Electron microscopy allows researchers to probe...

ORNL’s Xiahan Sang unambiguously resolved the atomic structure of MXene, a 2D material promising for energy storage, catalysis and electronic conductivity. Image credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; photographer Carlos Jones

Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders. Unlike most 2D ceramics, MXenes have inherently good conductivity because they are molecular sheets made from the carbides ...