NEWS ARCHIVE

< News and Highlights

Research Performed by Foundry Industrial Users Honored by Nanotechnology Journal

User work on printable photonics was selected as a Highlight of the Year by Nanotechnology in the area of “patterning and nano fabrication”.

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Outsmarting Thermodynamics in Self-assembly of Nanostructures

Foundry user - and Materials Sciences Division Director - reports method for symmetry-breaking in feedback-driven self-assembly of optical metamaterials.

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Tuning light to kill deep cancer tumors

Foundry staff assisted scientists at UMass Medical School in the characterization of upconverting nanoparticles developed for potential clinical applications in photodynamic therapy, an approach that could kill deep-set cancer cells in vivo with minimal damage to surrounding tissue and fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

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Researchers Speak to High School Students about Materials Sciences

Three Foundry researchers presented at talk on “Materials Research at the Molecular Foundry: Working in Invisible Realms” to a local engineering high school class, touching on prominent recent discoveries at the lab and sharing career advice.

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Scientists Design Protein-esque Molecules to Lock Up Carbon Dioxide

Inspired by marine organisms that take in carbon dioxide dissolved in water and turn it into protective calcium carbonate layers, a team from PNNL was able to speed and slow calcium carbonate formation by using Foundry-produced molecules that mimic proteins.

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Nanotubes that Insert Themselves into Cell Membranes

Through a Foundry user project, a team led by scientists from LLNL have integrated artificial channels that could be used for more robust DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and novel biosensors.

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Study Reveals Molecular Structure of Water at Gold Electrodes

A combined experimental and theoretical approach at the Molecular Foundry has resulted in the ability to not only look at the molecules next to an electrode's surface, but to determine how their arrangement changes depending on the voltage.

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New Insights on Carbonic Acid in Water

LBL scientists using the Foundry, ALS and NERSC, have uncovered properties of aqueous carbonic acid that should benefit the development of carbon sequestration and mitigation technologies, and improve our understanding of how carbonic acid regulates the pH of blood.

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Molecular Foundry and NCEM Merge Complete

At the request of DOE, the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) has become the seventh facility of the Molecular Foundry.

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Tarantula Venom Illuminates Electrical Activity in Live Cells

Users of the Molecular Foundry have created a probe that combines tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound to observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells, and could help map neural activity in the human brain.

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Dispelling a Misconception About Mg-Ion Batteries

David Prendergast and Liwen Wan at the Molecular Foundry used supercomputer simulations to dispel a popular misconception about magnesium-ion batteries that should help advance the technology in the future.

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White House Nanotechnology Report Highlights Foundry Research

In their report to the President and Congress, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) featured the Foundry's Smart Windows research as one of two representative success stories made possible by the nation's investment in nanotechnology.

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Foundry Scientists Partner with Campus and UCSF in BRAINseed

Bruce Cohen and Jim Schuck will lead two of the six new projects designed to accelerate “innovative but risky” brain research through nanoscience and optogenetic technologies.

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On the Road to Artificial Photosynthesis

Foundry user project reveals key catalytic factors in carbon dioxide reduction.

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Foundry Fall Seminar Series Begins September 16

Building off of the success and popularity of the previous seminar series, the series' next installment will feature innovators from across the field of nanoscience speaking every Tuesday at 11am for the next eight weeks.

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Preschooler Science Enthusiast Visits the Molecular Foundry and NCEM

4 year old whiz kid shows off his understanding of the periodic table during a visit to LBNL that includes a time with Ron Zuckermann and Peter Ercius

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Molecular Foundry Helps Capture Birth of Mineral in Real Time

Working with scientists from PNNL, Foundry researchers discover new insights into the formation of calcium carbonate that could lead to processes that trap atmospheric carbon dioxide and store it in rock.

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Molecular Foundry/NCEM Users' Meeting Draws a Crowd

Nearly 300 users and prospective users attended the two-day event, which featured a number of prominent speakers including former Berkeley Lab director and Secretary of Energy Steve Chu. The meeting included plenary talks, workshops, and vendor booths from a variety of participating industrial sponsors.

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The Foundry's Promita Chakraborty and Ron Zuckermann Win 2014 Director’s Award for Outreach

The Lab's Exceptional Achievement Award was given in recognition of their ‘Peppytide’ protein models that aided in "promoting the Lab’s education mission and improving community relations."

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Peptoid Nanosheets at the Oil/Water Interface

Peptoid nanosheets are among the largest and thinnest free-floating organic crystals ever made. A new report from the Foundry uncovers a new way to create these novel biomimetic materials.

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Cracking the code for single-molecule junctions

Working at the Molecular Foundry, an international group of researchers has demonstrated qualitatively and quantitatively correct solutions for a compound known as “porphyrin” for the first time, thereby enabling predictive modelling of complex molecular junctions.

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Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals

NCEM users obtain the first direct observation of facet formation in nanocubes. This work points the way towards more sophisticated and effective nanocrystal design, and changes the current understanding of crystal growth at the nanoscale.

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ABC News Highlights Work at the Molecular Foundry

The results of an industry collaboration with the Foundry and ALS may have a big impact on the semiconductor industry and Silicon Valley. ABC News came to the Foundry to learn about this new breakthrough in photoresist.

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Industrial Users of the Foundry Produce Low-cost Printable Photonic Integrated Devices

By directly printing devices onto a functional resist with a high refractive index, users from aBeam Technologies and NanoOptic Devices, in partnership with Foundry staff, created optical components without the use of any etching steps.

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Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

A large team of researchers, using the advance characterization capabilities of NCEM and the ALS at Berkeley Lab, help give a first look at suspected extra-solar particles.

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"Imaging Life" Crosses Biological Boundaries, Introduces Integrated Bioimaging

Foundry researchers join LBNL colleagues to create a first-of-its-kind book on biological imaging at the macromolecular and mesoscale

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In Memoriam: Kenneth Westmacott (1930-2014)

Kenneth Westmacott passed away on July 30 at the age of 84. From 1986-1992, he served as director of NCEM, which he helped establish in the late 70's and early 80’s by leading the project that brought the nation’s highest-voltage microscope to LBNL.

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team

Toyota's Battery Research Extends from ALS to the Molecular Foundry

Toyota is accelerating their development of new magnesium-based battery technologies through a partnership with the Foundry's Theory Facility that will help them better understand and validate the experimental data they obtain at ALS.

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nature

Researchers Target Embryonic Stem Cell Sugars

Foundry users recently created a molecular mimic of the sugar-decorated proteins that help mouse embryonic stem cells develop into nerve cells. The goal is to better understand how cell surface sugars influence stem cell differentiation into specific cell types.

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Characterizing Hot Carriers Could Hold the Key to Future Solar Cell Efficiencies

Users of the Molecular Foundry have cleared one of the major road blocks to the design and development of new, more efficient solar cells by designing a theoretical model for characterizing electrical charge carriers.

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A New Chemical Recipe Raises Prospect of Inexpensive Fuel

Foundry users develop a new metal-organic framework (MOF) that turns ethane - a natural gas component - into liquid ethanol, paving the way for easier, safer, and less expensive use of natural gas.

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New Chemistry for High-Resolution Patterning at the Nanoscale

A collaboration between users from Intel and Foundry staff - with contributions from ALS - outlines the chemistry of photoresist, enabling smaller features for future generations of microprocessors.

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Foundry and NCEM Scientists Join LBNL Contingent to Raise User Facility Awareness on Capitol Hill

LBNL user facility staff and collaborators recently traveled to DC to meet with Congressional Representatives and their staff, as well as participate in the 4th Annual National User Facility Organization (NUFO) Science Expo.

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Nanoparticles: To Be or Not to Be Crystalline?

Researchers working at NCEM and another NSRC discovered that there is no one size where particles go from non-crystalline to crystalline phases

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Method Developed to Stabilize Semiconductors for Use in Artificial Photosynthesis

Researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), performed work at three user facilities at LBL; the Molecular Foundry provided fabrication resources while NCEM and ALS were used to characterize the device.

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Xiang Zhang Appointed Director of Materials Sciences Division

UC Berkeley professor, nanoscience researcher and Molecular Foundry user to lead the LBNL division that oversees the Foundry and NCEM.

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Unexpected Water Explains Surface Chemistry of Nanocrystals

A research team that included Foundry staff discovered how charged ligands balance on the surface of colloidal nanoparticles, thereby validating a novel atomic level simulation of semiconducting nanocrystals

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Probing Dopant Distribution

Finding by Foundry researchers opens the door to better doping of semiconductor nanocrystals

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Organic Facility Director Frank Svec Retiring

Frank Svec, Director of the Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis Facility since its inception, will be retiring on June 15. Matt Francis will be joining the Foundry as Acting Facility Director.

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Weber-Bargioni Selected for Early Career Research Award

Alex Weber-Bargioni, a staff scientist in the Molecular Foundry's Imaging and Manipulation Facility, was selected as one of 35 scientists to receive significant funding from DOE’s Early Career Research Program.

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Foundry Scientists Demo ‘Peppytide’ Protein Models at Maker Faire

Ron Zuckermann and Promita Chakraborty of the Foundry's Biological Nanostructures Facility participated in the 2014 Maker Faire to show off their 3D foldable peptide models recently featured in PNAS.

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Foundry/NCEM Create New Seminar Series Beginning May 13

Nine seminar speakers will represent the diverse expertise found at the Foundry and NCEM. Seminars on topics of general interest will take place on Tuesdays at 11am in the Chemla Room.

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Probing for Better Doping of Semiconductor Nanocrystals

Foundry research shows that the distribution of dopant is just as important as the amount of dopant when designing semiconductors with desired properties

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Foundry Volunteers Participate in Lab's Science Festival at Daughters and Sons to Work Day

120 Lab employee sons and daughters helped build a 20 foot carbon nanotube balloon model at the LBNL Science Festival on April 24.

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Molecular Foundry Participates in NASA Earth Day Global Selfie

Users and staff in the Foundry's Nanofabrication Facility with Facility Director Stefano Cabrini and Staff Engineer Adam Schwartzberg. Other participating centers from LBNL included NERSC, ESNet, ESD, JGI, and ALS.

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Sen. Feinstein Visits Molecular Foundry

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) recently visited the Molecular Foundry where she met with Director Jeff Neaton and Staff Scientist Delia Milliron.

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Frank Svec Honored with Nernst-Tswett Award by the EuSSS

Director of Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis Facility will receive the Nernst-Tswett Award from the European Society for Separation Science (EuSSS) at the 30th International Symposium on Chromatography in Salzburg later this year.

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EERE’s David Danielson Visits Molecular Foundry

As part of his visit to LBNL, David Danielson, Assistant DOE Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), visited the Molecular Foundry to hear about industry engagement at the lab.

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Bright Future for Protein Nanoprobes

Molecular Foundry researchers discover new rules for single-particle imaging with light-emitting nanocrystals that should be a big asset for biological imaging, especially deep-tissue optical imaging of neurons in the brain.

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Field of Peptoid Chemistry Emerges at ACS Meeting

Peptoid chemistry, a field originally developed by Foundry researcher Ron Zuckermann, celebrated its first dedicated session at this month's American Chemical Society (ACS) Meeting in Dallas

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Semiconductor

Discovery of New Semiconductor Holds Promise for 2D Physics and Electronics

Foundry users have discovered a new member of the transition metal dichalcogenides (sTMD) family that behaves as electronically and vibrationally decoupled monolayers.

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Image of Uli Dahmen

NCEM Leadership Change

After more than 20 years as Director of NCEM, Ulrich Dahmen has stepped into a new role as Senior Advisor. Andrew Minor is serving as Acting Director.

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Foundry/NCEM Combined Call for Proposals – Deadline March 31st

In preparation for their merge that will be finalized by October 1, 2014, the Molecular Foundry and the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) have combined their user proposal submission and review processes for their next Call for Proposals. Proposals can be submitted here and will be accepted through March 31, 2014.

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Newly Developed Tool Enables Remote Researchers to Take a Deeper Look at Interfaces

For the first time, data collected and analyzed by a very remote user of NCEM has been published.

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A New Mathematics for Experimental Science

Foundry researchers help lay the groundwork for a new LBL center designed to bring innovative math solutions to experimental science problems

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In Memoriam: Gareth Thomas (1932–2014)

Gareth Thomas, founder of the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) and one of the world’s foremost experts on electron microscopy, passed away on February 7. He was 81.

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Foundry Research Featured on Journal Cover and DoD Blog

The U.S. Department of Defense Blog, Armed with Science, recently featured computational work on peptoid forcefields from the Molecular Foundry that was also the subject of the February cover of the Journal of Computational Chemistry.

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Good Vibrations: Researchers Tune the Chemical Bonds of Buckyballs

Researchers at the Molecular Foundry, in collaboration with scientists from Rice University, were able to tune chemical bonds to become stronger or weaker by using an applied voltage and electric current in fullerene or "buckyball" molecules.

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Cooling Microprocessors with Carbon Nanotubes

Researchers at the Molecular Foundry have developed a "process friendly" technique that would enable the cooling of microprocessor chips through carbon nanotubes.

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Video Story on Peppytides: Interactive Models of Polypeptide Chains

Molecular Foundry researchers have created a new video short story on the development of Peppytides, the scaled, 3D-printed models of polypeptide chains that can be folded into accurate protein structures.

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Molecular Foundry Highlighted in Local Newspaper

Following a visit to the Molecular Foundry, Contra Costa Times Columnist, Tom Barnidge highlighted the the potential for nanoscience research in his front page column entitled, "Lab thinks small to net big results."

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Jeff Neaton Named American Physical Society (APS) Fellow

Neaton was part of the recently elected class of APS Fellows for his "fundamental contributions to the understanding of phase behavior, electronic structure, and transport properties of condensed matter, particularly multiferroics, nanostructures, and materials for energy conversion and storage."

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Peppytides Featured in Make Magazine

Make Magazine, a bimonthly magazine that focuses on DIY projects, recently highlighted the Peppytide models that were developed at the Molecular Foundry by Dr. Ron Zuckermann and Promita Chakraborty. Peppytides are scientifically accurate models of biological structures that can be used by students and researchers.

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Three Foundry Scientists Receive 2014 Lab Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Awards

Molecular Foundry Staff Scientists, Alex Weber-Bargioni, Caroline Ajo-Franklin and Brett Helms, were included among those LBNL researchers receiving funds through the FY2014 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program.

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Holistic Cell Design by Berkeley Lab Scientists Leads to High-Performance, Long Cycle-Life Lithium-Sulfur Battery

Researchers at Berkeley Lab, including the Molecular Foundry, have developed a lithium-sulfur (Li/S) battery that has more than twice the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries, and that lasts for more than 1,500 cycles with minimal decay of the battery's capacity.

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SOFs Take to Water

Researchers at the Molecular Foundry have unveiled the first two-dimensional SOFs that self-assemble in solution, an important breakthrough that holds implications for sensing and separation technologies, energy sciences, and, perhaps most importantly, biomimetics.

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USA Today Features Molecular Foundry Research

Delia Milliron's work on smart windows was included in the USA Today article, "Innovations that will transform home of the future"

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An Inside Look at MOFs

A team LBL researchers, including members of the Molecular Foundry's Theory Facility, probe into the electronic structure of metal-organic frameworks (MOF), which may lead to improved capturing of greenhouse gases.

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Foundry and NCEM Staff Gather to Identify Scientific Synergies

The Molecular Foundry and NCEM staff participated in a Scientific Retreat on November 4-5 to discuss new scientific opportunities in nanoscience and electron scattering and identify research areas that could benefit from increasingly close collaboration.

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Alison Hatt

Alison Hatt to Direct User Program

Former Molecular Foundry postdoc, Alison Hatt, has been selected as User Program Director.

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Foundry Researchers Take Cues From Nature in Designing a Programmable Nanomaterial for Biosensing

Researchers have created a new "molecular Velcro" that mimics the way natural antibodies recognize viruses and toxins, and could lead to a new class of biosensors.

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Napolitano

UC President Janet Napolitano Visits Foundry

Newly appointed UC President Janet Napolitano spent the day at LBNL recently, which included a visit to the Molecular Foundry.

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Foundry User Wins "Genius Award

Molecular Foundry User, Craig Fennie, received one of this year's 24 MacArthur Fellowship Awards for his research on the material properties of new nanostructures

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Milliron's Nanotech Breakthrough Enables Manipulation Of Light

Forbes Magazine recently conducted a Q&A with Delia Milliron of the Molecular Foundry, asking about her research in developing smart windows, commercialization of this technology, how the Foundry works, and building relationships with local start-ups.

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2013 Annual User Meeting Postponed

Due to the impact of the partial federal government shutdown on our event planning and outreach activities, the 2013 Annual User Meeting (AUM) has been postponed. A new date in the first half of 2014 is currently being arranged.

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In Water as In Love, Likes Can Attract

An LBNL research team that included Molecular Foundry theorist David Prendergast has shown that, when hydrated in water, positively charged ions (cations) can actually pair up with one another.

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Jeff Neaton Named Director of Molecular Foundry

Jeff Neaton, a long-time Foundry researcher in the field of computational nanoscience, has been appointed director of the Molecular Foundry.

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nature

Size Matters as Nanocrystals Go Through Phases

Foundry researchers have demonstrated that as metal nanocrystals go through phase transformations, size can make a much bigger difference than previously believed.

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Research may Predict How Carbon is Stored Underground

Computer simulations indicate calcium carbonate has a dense liquid phase.

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nature

Raising the IQ of Smart Windows

Researchers at the Molecular Foundry have designed a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass that can dynamically modify sunlight as it passes through a window.

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r and d 100

Foundry Researchers Receive Two 2013 R&D 100 Awards

Congratulations to the Molecular Foundry's award-winning innovators! Presented by R&D Magazine, the R&D 100 Awards recognize the year's top 100 technology products from industry, academia, and government-sponsored research, ranging from chemistry to materials to biomedical breakthroughs.

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Rachel Segalman Appointed Acting Division Director for Materials Sciences

Rachel Segalman has been appointed as the acting director of the Materials Sciences Division, effective July 8. The Molecular Foundry is a part of the Material Sciences Division.

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Three Foundry Scientists Honored with Director's Awards for Exceptional Achievement

Congratulations to the winners from the Molecular Foundry of the 2013 Director's Awards for Exceptional Achievement!

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April 2013

Branden

Foundry Welcomes Branden Brough

Before becoming the Foundry's new communications and outreach specialist, Brough worked at the NIH where he led congressional and public outreach efforts.

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Ron Zuckermann Takes Center Stage

The Foundry's Ron Zuckermann presented his "Big Idea"—mimicking nature to make better materials—before a live audience at a recent Science at the Theater event.

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Foundry's Ritankar Das Is Campus's Top Graduating Senior

At 18, Das graduates as Cal's youngest University Medalist in at least a century, earning degrees in bioengineering and chemical biology in only three years.

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Gold Boosts Chromatography

At a recent ACS National Meeting, the Foundry's Frank Svec described how gold nanoparticles can improve the performance of chromatography.

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Nanoscientist Shares Love of Bike Racing with Local Community

Alex Weber-Bargioni of the Foundry revealed the "Actual Science" of riding a bike before a standing-room-only crowd at the Actual Café in North Oakland recently.

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Black Gold Makes Bright Beams

Researchers led by Foundry scientist Alex Polyakov have designed nanoscale arrays for photocathodes, opening new possibilities for next generation light sources.

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Foundry User Wins $4 Million Grant

ARPA-E has awarded $4 million to local start-up and Foundry user Alveo Energy to develop efficient, cost-effective batteries based on the pigment Prussian Blue.

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Smart Windows: Behind the Scenes

Foundry scientist Delia Milliron and colleagues look ahead with smart window technology for energy efficiency in this Behind the Scenes @ Berkeley Lab video.

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Seeing in Color at the Nanoscale

Foundry researchers have developed a new tool that delivers information about nanoscale chemistry and interactions with light, the atomic microscopy equivalent to color.

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Intern Shakes Up Science

Molecular Foundry intern Arron Phillips likes to shake up her perspective for the good of science, as seen in these artistic images of her research on metal-organic frameworks.

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Foundry's Milliron Wins $3 Million ARPA-E Grant

Foundry scientist Delia Milliron has received a $3 million ARPA-E grant for her work on enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings through smart windows.

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Foundry Spin-Off Wins NOVA Competition

Heliotrope Technologies, a Molecular Foundry spin-off company, has won the 2012 NOVA Innovation Competition for its energy-efficient smart window coatings.

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Folding Funnel Key to Biomimicry

Foundry researchers led by Jim DeYoreo and Carolyn Bertozzi have proved that folding funnels are essential to self-assembling multiple proteins.

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Foundry Scientists Honored with Director's Awards

Congratulations to Jim Schuck, Alex Weber-Bargioni, and Ron Zuckermann for winning the 2013 Director's Awards for Exceptional Achievement!

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Better Bonding

The Foundry's Jim DeYoreo led the development of a groundbreaking model that describes how molecular bonds form and break, and predicts molecular interactions.

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