August 11, 2000

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Researchers have created what could be the world's smallest bearings and mechanical switches. Working at the National Center for Electron Microscopy, scientists crafted seemingly frictionless telescoped carbon nanotubes about 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. These nanotubes could prove immensely valuable to the microscopic machines of today and to the even smaller machines now in the works.

Understanding the molecular dynamics behind the absorption of sunlight could help enhance the efficiencies of solar cells.  Examining interactions that take place in less than one trillionth of a second, researchers have discovered new details about how solar energy is converted to chemical energy at the molecular level.

Neutron-scattering research has impacted all our lives. Jets, plastics, compact discs, auto windshields, and even satellite weather forecasts have been improved by the use of this analytical technique. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science has funded the construction of a new facility that will provide the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development. Development on the Spallation Neutron Source is quickly proceeding.


Researchers here have teamed with industry to overcome lingering barriers to the manufacture of solid-state light sources, further opening the door to a new generation of lighting that promises enormous energy savings.

Improved magnetic devices such as the read heads of computer hard drives could result from new insights into antiferromagnetic thin films

Quasicrystal alloys spring electronic

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