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Science Highlights


Science highlights feature research conducted by staff and users at the ALS.

If a Power Point summary slide or a PDF handout of the highlight is available, you will find it linked beneath the highlight listing and on the highlight's page. You may also print a version of a highlight by clicking the print icon associated with each highlight.



Probing Core-Hole Localization in Molecular Nitrogen Print
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 00:00

The behavior of the core hole created in molecular x-ray photoemission experiments has provided molecular scientists with a valuable window through which to probe the electronic structure and dynamics of molecules.

 

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Enzyme Structure Provides Insights into Cancer and Aging Print
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 00:00

XPD helicase is an enzyme that unwinds the DNA double helix; it is one component of an essential repair mechanism that maintains the integrity of DNA. XPD is unique, however, in that pinpoint mutations of this single protein are responsible for three different human diseases.

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Reaction-Driven Restructuring of Bimetallic Nanoparticle Catalysts Print
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 00:00

Catalytic systems based on bimetallic particles with controlled size, composition, and structure dispersed on a high-surface-area support are widely used for catalytic reforming, pollution control, alcohol oxidation, and electrocatalysis in fuel cells.

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Nanoscale Chemical Imaging of a Working Catalyst Print
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 00:00

The heterogeneous catalysts used in most chemical processes typically consist of nanoscale metal or metal oxide particles dispersed on high-surface-area supports.

 

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Structure of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Bound to an Antibody from a Human Survivor Print
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 00:00

Ebolavirus, one of two members of the family of filoviruses, causes a severe hemorrhagic fever with 50–90% human mortality. That no vaccines or treatments are yet available combined with the frequent re-emergence of the virus, its high prevalence among wildlife, and ease of importation of the virus make it a significant public health concern.

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Dirac Charge Dynamcs in Graphene by Infrared Spectroscopy Print
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 00:00

Graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice—has very high conductivity that can be tuned by applying a gate voltage. The charge carriers in graphene can travel ballistically over great distances (~1 micron) without scattering.

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Isotope and Temperature Effects in Liquid Water Probed by Soft X Rays Print
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 00:00

Researchers have used soft x-ray spectroscopy at the ALS to gain detailed insight into the electronic structure of liquid water. Their spectra show a strong isotope and a weak temperature effect, and, for the first time, a splitting of the primary emission line in x-ray emission spectra.

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Characterization of Selective Binding of Alkali Cations with Carboxylate Print
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 00:00

During its lifetime, a cell spends a considerable fraction of its energy pumping sodium and calcium out and potassium in. ... However, despite enormous effort, why certain interactions are preferred over others is not completely understood.

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Influence of Domain Wall Pinning on the Dynamic Behavior of Magnetic Vortices Print
Wednesday, 27 August 2008 00:00

Soft magnetic, micron-sized thin-film structures with magnetic vortices are intriguing systems that may one day be used in ultrafast computer memories. In such systems, the otherwise in-plane magnetization turns perpendicular to the plane at the center of the vortex, forming the vortex core.

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Polaron Coherence Condensation in Layered Colossal Resistive Manganites Print
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 00:00

Novel quantum phenomena, such as high-temperature superconductivity (HTSC) and colossal magnetoresistance (CMR), arise in certain materials where the interactions between electrons are very strong, but the mechanism driving their appearance remains a major puzzle.

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Electric Field Control of Local Ferromagnetism with a Magnetoelectric Multiferroic Print
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 00:00

Magnetoelectric multiferroics—materials that simultaneously show some form of magnetic and ferroelectric order—have excited condensed-matter researchers worldwide with the promise of coupling between magnetic and electric order parameters.

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Slow Dynamics of Orbital Domains in Manganite Print
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 00:00

At the ALS, an international team of researchers has used low-energy coherent x rays to extract new knowledge about the correlated motion of groups of self-assembled, outer-lying electrons in the extremely complex electronic system found in manganites.

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Looking at Transistor Gate Oxide Formation in Real Time Print
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 00:00

The oxide gate layer is critical to every transistor, and present-day layer thicknesses are in the 10–20 Å range (1–2 nm). However, little information exists on the oxidation process at this thickness.

 

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A Key Enzyme to the Potency of an Anticancer Agent Print
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 00:00

Incorporation of halogen atoms into drug molecules often increases biological activity. This is the case with salinosporamide A (sal A), a natural product from the marine bacterium Salinispora tropica.


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Solving the Unsovlable: The Nanostructure of Gold at 1.1 Å Resolution Print
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 00:00

For the first time, a team of scientists led by Roger Kornberg has synthesized thiol-covered gold nanoparticles and, using ALS Beamlines 5.0.2 and 8.2.2 and SSRL Beamlines 11-1 and 11-3, conclusively ascertained their atomic structure (at 1.1 Å resolution).

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