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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.



Surprising Quasiparticle Interactions in Graphene Print
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Until now, the world’s electronics have been dominated by silicon, whose properties, while excellent, significantly limit the size and power consumption of today’s computer chips. In order to develop ever smaller and more efficient devices, scientists have turned their attention to carbon.

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Extracellular Proteins Promote Zinc Sulfide Aggregation Print
Wednesday, 26 September 2007 00:00

Researchers from the ALS, Berkeley Lab's National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory analyzed biofilm samples rich in zinc sulfide and dominated by sulfate-reducing bacteria, which were collected from lead–zinc mine waters.

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X-Ray Imaging Current-Driven Magnetic Domain-Wall Motion in Nanowires Print
Wednesday, 26 September 2007 00:00

The quest to increase both computer data-storage density and the speed at which one can read and write the information remains unconsummated. One novel concept is based on the use of a local electric current to push magnetic domain walls along a thin nanowire.

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Unexpected Angular Dependence of X-Ray Magnetic Linear Dichroism Print
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Spectral shape and magnitude of x-ray magnetic linear dichroism (XMLD) are not only determined by the relative orientation of magnetic moments and x-ray polarization, but their orientation relative to the crystallographic axes must be taken into account for accurate interpretation of XMLD data.

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Unique Auxin Regulation Mechanism Discovered Print
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

The plant hormone auxin regulates many plant growth and development processes, including shoot growth, root branching, fruit ripening, tropisms, and flowering. But how such a simple molecule elicits such a variety of cellular responses has been a mystery.

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Symmetry Breaking of H2 Dissociation by a Single Photon Print
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 00:00

One might think that the angular distribution of photoelectrons resulting from photoionization of the molecule by the photon accompanied by dissociation into a hydrogen atom and a hydrogen ion would itself be symmetric. However ... this need not be the case.

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Structure and Receptor Specificity of an Avian Flu Antigen Print
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 00:00

With continued outbreaks of the H5N1 avian influenza viruses in poultry and wild birds, the potential for the emergence of a human-adapted H5 virus, either by reassortment or mutation, is seen as a major threat to public health worldwide.

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First Proof of Ferromagnetic Carbon Print
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 00:00

Using a proton beam and an advanced x-ray microscope at the Advanced Light Source, a multinational team of researchers from the SSRL, the University of Leipzig, and the ALS finally put to rest doubts about the existence of magnetic carbon.

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Structure of the Complete 70S Ribosome at 3.7 Å Resolution Print
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 00:00

Using data collected at ALS Beamline 12.3.1, researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, have solved the structure of a Thermus thermophilus 70S ribosome functional complex at 3.7 Å resolution.

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First Direct Evidence of Dirac Fermions in Graphite Print
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 00:00

The recent surge of interest in the electronic properties of graphene has largely been driven by the discovery that electron mobility in graphene is ten times higher than in commercial-grade silicon, raising the possibility of high-efficiency, low-power, carbon-based electronics.

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Nature and Origin of the Cuprate Pseudogap Print
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 00:00

The workings of high-temperature superconductive (HTSC) materials are a mystery wrapped in an enigma. However, a team of researchers from the ALS, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Cornell University has taken a major step in understanding part of this mystery—the nature and origin of the pseudogap.

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Particles from Comet 81P/Wild 2 Viewed by ALS Microscopes Print
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 00:00

NASA's $200-million, seven-year-long Stardust mission returned to Earth thousands of tiny particles snagged from the coma of comet 81P/Wild 2.

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Laser Seeding Yields High-Power Coherent Terahertz Radiation Print
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 00:00

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have been exploring the ways coherent synchrotron radiation (CSR) is generated in electron storage rings when femtosecond lasers are used to carve out ultrafast x-ray pulses by femtoslicing.

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Controlling Graphene's Electronic Structure Print
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 00:00

Graphene, because of its unusual electron properties, reduced dimensionality, and scale, has enormous potential for use in ultrafast electronic transistors. It exhibits high conductivity and an anomalous quantum Hall effect.

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Magnetic Vortex Core Reversal by Low-Field Excitations Print
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:00

In micrometer-sized magnetic thin films, the magnetization typically adopts an in-plane, circular configuration known as a magnetic vortex. At the vortex core, the magnetization turns sharply out of the plane, pointing either up or down. Magnetic data storage based on this binary phenomenon is an intriguing concept...

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