Combining measurements at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) of Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in the USA and the PETRA III synchrotron source at the DESY research centre in Germany, an international team led by the University of Stockholm in Sweden has unveiled a new, remarkable property of water. Most water ice in the solar system actually exists in an amorphous, glass-like form, which comes in two varieties, one with high density (HDA) and one with low density (LDA).
Lithium-rich layered oxides (LLROs) are promising cathode materials for better rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles. They are plagued by a phenomenon called voltage fade, however: When these batteries go through series of charge–discharge cycles, their voltage fades, and with it the amount of energy it can hold and later release for use. An international team led by the University of California, San Diego, has uncovered how this process occurs at the nanoscale.
Catalysts based on metal nanoparticles play an important role in energy conversion and environmental technologies. Their high catalytic efficiency is attributed to their large surface-to-volume ratio and their high number of low-coordination sites, such as edges, which can decrease kinetic barriers between reactants. A key factor influencing the reactivity is the interaction between the reactants and the catalyst, which is closely linked to structural changes of the catalyst itself.
Thanks to their short wavelength and penetrating nature, X-rays are ideal for the microscopic investigation of complex materials. They are also notoriously difficult to focus, however. Using a novel fabrication process, scientists at the DESY research centre in Germany perfected the design of multilayer Laue lenses (MLLs) – specialised X-ray optics consisting of alternating, nanometre-thick layers of two different materials.