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Story tips from the Departments of Energy's Oak Ridge National Lab -- March 2009
Date:3/2/2009

MATERIALS -- Entering a new domain . . .

With the aid of a one-of-a-kind instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, scientists have made a series of discoveries that could open new pathways for nanoscale electronics. The study, published in Nature Materials (http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nmat2373) and led by Ramamoorthy Ramesh of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has revealed that domain walls in a material called bismuth ferrite possess an unexpected electron conductance. The nanometer-scale domain walls separate the regions of a material with different magnetic, electric and other properties. Scientists believe that they hold a key to making great strides in logic and memory functions of tomorrow's electronic devices. Leading the collaborative effort from ORNL was the team of Peter Maksymovych, a Wigner fellow, and Sergei Kalinin. The ORNL team is pursuing the fundamental polarization and transport behaviors of ferroelectric materials, of which this and a recent study of local polarization switching are the first examples. This research was funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the Department of Energy's Office of Science. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]


ENERGY -- Hydrogen shake . . .

Hydrogen for transportation may have received a boost with the discovery of an enzyme cocktail that converts cellulosic materials and water into hydrogen fuel. A team of researchers from Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Georgia report in the journal ChemSusChem (Chemistry and Sustainability) that by mixing 14 enzymes, one co-enzyme, cellulosic materials isolated from wood chips and water heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, they produced hydrogen gas pure eno
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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