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New Silicon Nanowires Can Really Take the Heat

A Berkeley Lab-led research team has demonstrated an ultrathin silicon nanowire that conducts heat 150% more efficiently than conventional materials used in advanced chip technologies. The device could enable smaller, faster, energy-efficient microelectronics.

How Venice, Italy Can Cut Carbon Emissions from Social Housing

Research using software developed at Berkeley Lab recently pinpointed actions that could help the historic canal city of Venice, Italy slash energy use and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Skyrmions on the Rise – New 2D Material Advances Low-Power Computing

A team co-led by Berkeley Lab has discovered a new ultrathin material with exotic magnetic features called skyrmions. The new material could enable the next generation of tiny, fast, energy-efficient electronic devices.

How X-Rays Can Make Better Batteries

In this Q&A, ALS senior staff scientist David Shapiro and Stanford materials science professor William Chueh share how their pioneering X-ray techniques can help researchers understand how battery materials work in real time at the atomic scale.

Quantifying California’s Lithium Valley: Can It Power Our EV Revolution?

The Salton Sea geothermal field in California potentially holds enough lithium to meet all of America’s domestic battery needs, with even enough left over to export some of it. But how much of that lithium can be extracted in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way? And how long will the resource last? These are just a few of the questions that researchers hope to answer in a new project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

New Smart-Roof Coating Enables Year-Round Energy Savings

Scientists have developed an all-season smart-roof coating that keeps homes warm during the winter and cool during the summer – without consuming natural gas or electricity. Research findings point to a groundbreaking technology that outperforms commercial cool-roof systems in energy savings.

India’s Clean Power Target Will Double Electricity Supply Economically if Low-Cost Storage is Deployed

Dramatic cost reductions over the last decade in battery storage and wind and solar energy position India to leapfrog to a more sustainable system for delivering affordable and reliable power to serve near a doubling in electricity demand by 2030, according to a new study by researchers at Berkeley Lab.

How Can Next-Gen Computer Chips Reduce Our Carbon Footprint?

Berkeley Lab scientists Maurice Garcia-Sciveres and Ramamoorthy Ramesh discuss how future microchips could perform better – and require less energy – than silicon. Over the next three years, they will lead two of the 10 projects recently awarded nearly $54 million by the Department of Energy to increase energy efficiency in microelectronics design and production.

Sizing Up the Challenges in Extracting Lithium from Geothermal Brine

For geothermal fields around the world, produced geothermal brine has been simply injected back underground, but now it’s become clear that the brines produced at the Salton Sea geothermal field contain an immense amount of lithium, a critical resource need for low-carbon transportation and energy storage. Demand for lithium is skyrocketing, as it is an essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Currently there is very little lithium production in the U.S. and most lithium is imported; however, that may change in the near future.

Big Batteries on Wheels Can Deliver Zero-Emissions Rail While Securing the Grid

The recent dramatic decline in battery prices has created a new possibility for electrification of freight trains. Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, collaborating with UCLA and UC Berkeley researchers, make the case that the U.S. can retrofit diesel-electric trains with batteries in a way that is cost-competitive with diesel. Doing so would avoid up to 1,000 premature deaths and save the U.S. freight rail sector $94 billion over 20 years from reduced air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.