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Conceptual art depicts machine learning finding an ideal material for capacitive energy storage. Its carbon framework (black) has functional groups with oxygen (pink) and nitrogen (turquoise). Credit: Tao Wang/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Guided by machine learning, chemists at ORNL designed a record-setting carbonaceous supercapacitor material that stores four times more energy than the best commercial material.

Researchers used Frontier, the world’s first exascale supercomputer, to simulate a magnesium system of nearly 75,000 atoms and the National Energy Research Computing Center’s Perlmutter supercomputer to simulate a quasicrystal structure, above, in a ytterbium-cadmium alloy. Credit: Vikram Gavini

Researchers used the world’s first exascale supercomputer to run one of the largest simulations of an alloy ever and achieve near-quantum accuracy.

ORNL researcher Anne Campbell will present a paper in Korea next year on materials support of carbon-free nuclear energy. Credit: Adam Malin, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Anne Campbell, a researcher at ORNL, recently won the Young Leaders Professional Development Award from the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, or TMS, and has been chosen as the first recipient of the Young Leaders International Scholar Program award from TMS and the Korean Institute of Metals and Materials, or KIM.

Michael McGuire received the Director's Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology at the 2023 Awards Night. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Michael McGuire’s recognition as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's top scientist headlined the annual awards. ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer also presented Director’s Awards to two teams, for operational performance and continuous improvement, and to the night’s science communicator awardee

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In response to a renewed international interest in molten salt reactors, researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a novel technique to visualize molten salt intrusion in graphite.

ORNL’s organocatalyst deconstructs mixed plastics at different temperatures, which facilitates recovering their individual monomers separately, in reusable form. Credit: Jill Hemman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Little of the mixed consumer plastics thrown away or placed in recycle bins actually ends up being recycled. Nearly 90% is buried in landfills or incinerated at commercial facilities that generate greenhouse gases and airborne toxins. Neither outcome is ideal for the environment.

The OpeN-AM experimental platform, installed at the VULCAN instrument at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source, features a robotic arm that prints layers of molten metal to create complex shapes. This allows scientists to study 3D printed welds microscopically. Credit: Jill Hemman, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Using neutrons to see the additive manufacturing process at the atomic level, scientists have shown that they can measure strain in a material as it evolves and track how atoms move in response to stress.

Photo collage with text that reads " A New era of discovery"

ORNL, a bastion of nuclear physics research for the past 80 years, is poised to strengthen its programs and service to the United States over the next decade if national recommendations of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, or NSAC, are enacted.

Group photo of Attendees of the second collaborative ORNL-Vanderbilt University workshop

When the second collaborative ORNL-Vanderbilt University workshop took place on Sept. 18-19 at ORNL, about 70 researchers and students assembled to share thoughts concerning a broad spectrum of topics.

The image conceptualizes the processing, structure and mechanical behavior of glassy ion conductors for solid state lithium batteries. Credit: Adam Malin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

As current courses through a battery, its materials erode over time. Mechanical influences such as stress and strain affect this trajectory, although their impacts on battery efficacy and longevity are not fully understood.