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Newsletter Archive

Flipping Photoelectron Spins in Topological Insulators

topological insulator

Inherently strange crystalline materials called 3D topological insulators (TIs) are a hot topic in materials science. Now, a team of scientists headed by Alessandra Lanzara have found that the spin polarization of electrons emitted from TIs can be completely controlled in three dimensions when hit with a photon beam, simply by tuning the polarization of the incident light.  Read more...

New Ways to Catch Greenhouse Gas Methane

Zeolites for methane capture

Berkeley Lab materials scientists Berend Smit and Li-Chiang Lin, along with a team of Livermore Lab researchers, have discovered new ways of capturing the greenhouse gas methane. The team found some solid, porous substances called zeolites, which could be used to scrub methane from the air. Methane has characteristics that are different from carbon dioxide, making it more difficult to capture.  Read more...

Space-Age Ceramics Get Their Toughest Test

Ceramic composites at ultrahigh temperatures

Advanced ceramic composites can withstand the ultrahigh operating temperatures of jet engines, but detailed analysis of these materials at such high temperatures has been a challenge. In a new highlight from the Advanced Light Source, Rob Ritchie and colleagues develop a testing facility that enables microtomography of ceramic composites at temperatures above 1600°C.  Read more...

Hellman, Tilley Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Frances Hellman and Don Tilley

Frances Hellman and Don Tilley have been elected to the 2013 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary society founded in 1780 to recognize leading “thinkers and doers.”  Read more...

News Shorts: Neaton, Bajaj, JCAP

Jeff Neaton

Congratulations to Jeff Neaton for his promotion to Senior Staff Scientist!

Vik Bajaj

Vik Bajaj honored by International Society of Magnetic Resonance for work on MRI.  Read more...

new materials at JCAP

National Public Radio reported on developments at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis.  Read more...

Safety Update

Be Sensitive to Individual Background Factors that May Impact Safety. Investigators from around the globe travel to LBNL to work as guests, students, post docs and employees. They bring with them diverse cultures, backgrounds, experiences and expectations, which can occasionally make it difficult for them to adapt to the safety expectations at the Lab. In particular, we have observed that new researchers from other countries are sometimes inhibited by cultural or other factors in their willingness to ask for help or additional resources they need to work safely. Some may regard asking for help or resources as potentially offensive or impolite. This mindset has lead to injuries and explosions in MSD over the last 8 years.

MSD0010, the Division's new employee training class, addresses this issue in detail, with the intent of empowering new researchers to be assertive in asking that all of their safety needs be fulfilled.  In class, we review several incidents in the Division and a famous case from commercial aviation where unwillingness to ask for help or resources lead to serious accidents.

Everyone in the Division should remain alert to situations where people they work with may not be willing to speak openly about their safety or resource concerns. While this seems to be most common among new people in the Division, it can occur among more experienced researchers as their situation evolves. Supervisors, in particular, should be sensitive to this and work to ensure everyone in their group feels comfortable speaking up if they lack necessary assistance, training, facilities, equipment or materials.

-Rick Kelly, x4088