The US Army Research Laboratory’s Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Propulsion has, for the first time, used X-rays with its experiment in a gas turbine combustor using X-rays. The data will help advance gas turbine engine designs for higher power density and efficiency, scientists said. Dr. Tonghun Lee, an associate... Read more →


ORNL team using neutron imaging to study soot and ash collection and removal in particulate filters

A team of researchers from the Energy and Transportation Science Division at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is studying soot and ash collection and removal in particulate filters with neutron imaging, a technique sensitive enough to detect fine layers of material. Using the Neutron Imaging Facility instrument,... Read more →


Team uses neutron scattering to investigate new Al-Ce alloy in running engine

A team from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has worked with industry partners to use neutrons to probe a running engine at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source (earlier post), giving them the opportunity to test an aluminum-cerium alloy under operating conditions. The feat was a first for the... Read more →


The correlation between spot welding and residual stress in boron steel was experimentally determined for the first time with neutron diffraction experiments conducted at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). An open-access paper on the work is published in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions. A partnership led by WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at... Read more →


Honda establishes Marine Science Foundation

Inspired by the Japanese concept of sato-umi—the convergence of land and sea where human and marine life can harmoniously coexist—Honda has established the Honda Marine Science Foundation, a new initiative to address marine ecosystem restoration and the impact of humans and climate change on oceans and intertidal areas. Committed to... Read more →


Scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a one-pot synthesis process using diamondoids—the smallest possible bits of diamond—to assemble atoms into hybrid metal–organic chalcogenide nanowires with solid inorganic cores having three-atom cross-sections, representing the smallest possible nanowires. By grabbing various types of... Read more →


Detailed snapshots of photosynthesis at room temperature using SLAC’s X-ray laser show water-splitting reaction

One of its molecular mysteries of photosynthesis involves how the photosystem II protein complex harvests energy from sunlight and uses it to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Now, an international team of researchers has used femtosecond pulses from an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) at the Department of Energy’s... Read more →


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have directly probed the solid/liquid interface of the electrochemical double layer (EDL) using a novel X-ray toolkit. The X-ray tools and techniques could be extended, the researchers say, to provide new insight about battery performance and corrosion, a... Read more →


University of Pittsburgh engineers will utilize a unique transmission electron microscope developed and housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to better understand how microstructures form in metals and alloys as they solidify after laser beam melting. Under a three-year, $500,000-grant from the National Science Foundation, Jorg Wiezorek, a professor... Read more →


NASA has awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a $67-million contract to design and develop an Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) for spaceflight. Work performed under the contract could potentially increase spaceflight transportation fuel efficiency by 10 times over current chemical propulsion technology and more than double thrust capability compared to current electric... Read more →


UT, Oak Ridge scientists gain new insights into atomic disordering of complex metal oxides; materials for energy applications

A team from the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and Forschungszentrum Jülich Institute of Energy and Climate Research has used neutron total scattering to gain new insights into atomic disordering of complex metal oxides. This provides a new basis for understanding order-to-disorder... Read more →


Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with Caterpillar, have used high-energy synchrotron X-ray tomography to perform quantitative 3D-characterization of the distribution of graphite particles in high-strength compacted graphite iron (CGI). The size and morphology of graphite particles play a crucial role in determining various mechanical and thermal properties of... Read more →


Researchers led by a team from the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are using neutron crystallography to understand the functioning of enzymes at the molecular level and to learn how to bioengineer those enzymes for large-scale improvements in the efficiency of biomass processing. Using the MaNDi... Read more →


New research led by scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University reveals how individual atoms move in trillionths of a second to form wrinkles on a three-atom-thick material. Visualized by a new “electron camera,” one of the world’s speediest, this unprecedented level of detail... Read more →


SLAC X-ray laser provides first glimpse of a chemical bond being born; implications for more efficient chemistry

Scientists have used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to get the first glimpse of the transition state where two atoms begin to form a weak bond on the way to becoming a molecule. This fundamental advance, reported in Science and long thought impossible,... Read more →


ORNL team using neutron imaging to study cavitation inside GDI fuel injector

Researchers from the Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center (FEERC) at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators from ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) (earlier post) are using neutron imaging to study the formation of damage-causing bubbles in fuel injectors. When gas bubbles form in injectors,... Read more →


Adding calcium atoms (orange spheres) between graphene planes (blue honeycomb) creates a superconducting material called CaC6. A study at SLAC has shown for the first time that graphene is a key player in this superconductivity: Electrons scatter back and forth between the graphene and calcium layers, interact with natural vibrations... Read more →


Images of Li-air cathode produced by neutron-computed tomography. Source: ORNL. Click to enlarge. This begins an occasional series on “big science” tools hosted at US national laboratories that are being applied to support the development of technology innovations for clean transportation. First up is a quick look at the two... Read more →