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Recent Science Highlights

Ambient pressure XPS and IRRAS investigation of ethanol steam reforming on nickel–ceria catalysts

Ambient-pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AP-XPS) and infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (AP-IRRAS) have been used to elucidate the active sites and mechanistic steps associated with the ethanol steam reforming reaction (ESR) over Ni–CeO2(111) model catalysts. Article link.

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New Catalyst Boosts Selective Formation of Olefins from Syngas

Experiments at the ALS have helped to explain how a new catalyst significantly boosts the selective formation of light olefin molecules—important building blocks in the petrochemical industry—from syngas. The new process could allow for the use of alternative syngas feedstocks that save water and energy.

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SINS Reveals Dopant Effects in Plasmonic Materials

Using synchrotron infrared nanospectroscopy (SINS) at the ALS, researchers have for the first time probed infrared plasmonic excitations in single nanocrystals. This allowed the pinpointing of dopant effects on an emerging class of materials with potential for molecular-sensing and energy-harvesting applications.

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Improving Alloy Memory by Tuning Material Composition

Shape memory alloys can "remember" their original form and return to it repeatedly when heated. To gain structural insight into a new alloy capable of sustaining millions of cycles without failure, researchers performed x-ray Laue microdiffraction at ALS Beamline 12.3.2.

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Validation of Novel Proteins Inspired by Nature

Designed proteins containing hydrogen-bonding modules have been validated by crystallography and SAXS. The ability to design synthetic molecules that combine the specificity of DNA-like binding with protein function opens up huge opportunities for the fields of synthetic biology and materials science.

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