Plans are being finalized for construction of a new Ames Laboratory research facility that will house current and next generation sensitive instruments such as electron and scanning probe microscopes. These instruments allow for detailed description of materials at the atomic level to aid in the discovery and design of novel materials. The nearly $10 million project is being funded through the DOE's Office of Science.
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The rare earth metals are becoming increasingly applicable in our everyday life. The enormous importance of rare earths in the technology, environment, and economy is attracting scientists all over the world to investigate them starting from the extraction to the physical and chemical properties measurements. Although a lot of works have been done on the experimentation of rare earths, the true understanding from theory and modeling on these materials is lagging behind.
Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) is one of the most promising materials for solar energy harvesting. Made of highly abundant, widely distributed and relatively biocompatible elements, and with a direct band gap of 1.5 eV, CZTS is an affordable, greener and more sustainable alternative to other semiconductors such as GaAs, CdTe, CuInS2 (CIS), or CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS).
Within the Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (AMCS) program we advance the use of scalable computing in scientific and engineering computation, and develop new programming paradigms for novel hardware. Multiscale simulation methods is an indispensable tool in understanding chemical processes and designing new materials. When simulation spans multiple temporal or spatial scales, existing capabilities of a single software package are often insufficient, and a coupling of multiple programming packages developed by different research groups is strongly desirable.
Could graphene â€“ a one-layer thick sheet of carbon atoms â€“ be the ingredient needed for super-efficient solar harvesting with metamaterials? Or for â€œlight on wireâ€ plasmonic data transmission? In the Aug. 9 issue of Science, U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory physicists discuss the potential and challenges of using graphene in metamaterials and plasmonics in terahertz applications, which operate at frequencies between microwave and infrared waves.
Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier, but also a valuable chemical used in a variety of industrial processes. Hydrogen is typically produced from natural gas by steam reforming, a process which requires high temperatures and generates CO2. More sustainable routes for H2 production exist. Water electrolysis, for example, is carried out at room temperature, H2 and O2 are the sole products of the reaction, and photovoltaics or wind turbines can supply the current. Unfortunately, several challenges remain.