The Molecular Foundry is a Department of Energy-funded nanoscience research facility that provides users from around the world with access to cutting-edge expertise and instrumentation in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment.

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The Foundry is looking for a dynamic leader with an international scientific reputation and record of accomplishment to serve as its new Director.

New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

Science team of Foundry staff and users unravels the mystery of a multiplier mechanism in an organic crystal.

Coupling Experiments and Theory to Build a Better Battery

A team of Foundry staff and users has reported that a new polymer used in lithium-sulfur batteries allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

Shirley Meng, University of California, San Diego

Molecular Foundry/ALS Joint Seminar: Enabling High Energy Long Life Rechargeable Batteries by Advanced Materials Diagnosis and Operando Characterization

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Building 66 Auditorium

Foundry Industry User Secures Funding from Boeing

Industry user Richard Wang, whose startup Cuberg enables safe, high-performance batteries for critical applications, has recently closed a second round of seed funding, led by Boeing HorizonX Ventures.

Foundry Staff Retreat to... the Zoo!

In a new annual tradition, the Foundry's operations and scientific staff gathered for a two-day retreat, this time at the Oakland Zoo.

Let the good tubes roll

Inspired by biology, a team of Foundry users has created new tiny tubes that could help with water purification and tissue engineering studies.

X-Rays Reveal ‘Handedness’ in Swirling Electric Vortices

Foundry users used spiraling X-rays to observe, for the first time, a property that gives left- or right-handedness to swirling electric patterns in a layered material called a superlattice.

Lukas Eng, Technische Universität Dresden

Nanoscale Topologies in Multiferroics – From Bloch & Néel-Type Skyrmions to Conductive Domain Walls

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
67-3111 Chemla Room

DOE Under Secretary for Science Visits Molecular Foundry

Paul Dabbar, DOE Under Secretary for Science, toured the Foundry during his recent trip to Berkeley Lab and met some of the Foundry's industry users as part of his visit.

Introducing Nancy Nano!

Foundry Scientist Tracy Mattox has written a series of books featuring 'Nancy Nano', a nanoparticle who explains the science being done at the Molecular Foundry.

ACS Scholars Program Highlights Career Path of Foundry's Caroline Ajo-Franklin

The ACS Scholars Program awards scholarships to underrepresented minority students majoring in undergraduate chemistry-related disciplines. Foundry Scientist Caroline Ajo-Franklin has been featured as an alumnus of the program.

Foundry Winter 2018 Seminar Series Starts January 23

The next Molecular Foundry seminar series features a lineup of eight distinguished speakers whose research interests span the field of nanoscience (Tuesdays at 11am). Shirley Meng from UC San Diego will headline the group as the joint Foundry/ALS seminar speaker.

New X-Ray Probe Shines Light on Interfaces

A team of Foundry users and staff have developed a new spectroscopy technique that employs X-rays from a free electron laser to measure the properties of interfaces that may be hidden within a material.

Olga Ovchinnikova, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Multimodal Chemical and Functional Imaging of Nanoscale Transformations Away from Equilibrium

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
67-3111 Chemla Room

Happy Holidays from the Molecular Foundry!

The Foundry gives thanks for the little things in life and wishes you and yours a warm and happy holiday season.

New Hybrid Supercapacitor is Super-Charged

In work that could lead to alternatives to lithium batteries, Foundry users, working with staff, have developed a method to make a supercapacitor that has the highest energy density of any comparable system.

New Hybrid Supercapacitor is Super-Charged

A team of Foundry scientists and users have developed a way to make a new kind of supercapacitor by coating carbon nanotube electrodes with titanium disulfide.

Multicultural Feast at the Foundry

The Molecular Foundry hosts staff and users from around the world belonging to a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. To highlight and celebrate this diversity, the Molecular Foundry’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted its first ever Multicultural Thanksgiving Potluck where participants were encouraged to bring favorite dishes and stories from their culture to share with their colleagues.

A New Composite Polymer Membrane for Capturing CO2

Molecular Foundry users and scientists have developed a new nanocrystal-polymer composite membrane that can quickly and efficiently separate CO2 from N2 gas.

Highly Stable Nanorod Suprastructures of a Graphene Oxide– Polymer–CsPbX3 Perovskite Nanocrystal Composite

Nanorod composites with remarkably stable photonic properties are assembled from CsPbX3 perovskite nanocrystals (PNCs) and polymer-grafted graphene oxide (g-GO).

X-Rays Provide Key Insights on Path to Lithium-Rich Battery Electrode

A team of Foundry scientists and users created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give lithium-rich battery cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap their performance.

Foundry user awarded ALS Klaus Halbach Award

User Dmitriy Voronov was awarded for his pioneering work in the area of advanced x-ray gratings

New Catalyst Gives Artificial Photosynthesis a Big Boost

Foundry users and staff develop a catalyst that converts electrical energy to chemical energy at 64% efficiency.

Foundry Users Highlighted By APS for Marie Curie's 150th Birthday

In November, the editors of the Journal of Physical Chemistry (JPC) highlighted female physical chemists who have contributed to JPC and the field of physical chemistry.

Foundry Science Featured in the Annual Report for the National Nanotechnology Initiative

This year's NNI supplement to the President's 2018 budget highlighted work by Foundry scientists, showcasing how atomic electron tomography was used to map 23,196 atoms in a Fe-Pt nanoparticle.

Foundry Industry User Etosha Cave Named One of 7x7 Magazine's "Hot 20" List of Bay Area Innovators

Opus 12 is working to develop an industrial-scale reactor that has the power to upcycle CO2 waste. Using only water and electricity, they transform CO2 into new products.

Opportunities for scientific innovation at the water-energy nexus.

The Foundry’s Jeff Urban reviews how developing technologies could impact future water and energy use.

New Studies on Disordered Cathodes May Provide Much-Needed Jolt to Lithium Batteries

Foundry users report major progress in cathodes made with so-called “disordered” materials, a promising new type of lithium battery.

Solving a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

A team of Foundry scientists and users have discovered a new kind of chemical reactivity in next-gen battery components that were previously thought to be compatible.

Atomic-Scale Structure and Composition of Organo-Lead Halide Perovskites

Molecular scale understanding of local structure and its influence on solar cell performance.

Diversifying Nanoparticle Assemblies in Supramolecule Nanocomposites Via Cylindrical Confinement

Fabrication of complex 3-D nanoparticle assemblies enabled a Au helical ribbon-like assembly with chiral plasmonic response several orders of magnitude higher than that of natural chiral materials.

Molecular Arrangement and Charge Transfer in C60/Graphene Heterostructures

Charge transfer between C60 and graphene is sensitive to the nature of the underlying supporting substrate and to the crystallinity and local orientation of the C60

Foundry Scientists Solve a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

Foundry scientists have discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. The findings could steer the design of next-gen batteries.

Foundry welcomes the winners of the 2017 Inno'Cup Jr

The winners of this year's competition for young innovators in France visited the Foundry as part of their first prize trip to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Work by Foundry’s Ron Zuckermann Featured in News Magazines

New simulations suggest that life's first molecule was a protein, not RNA, and Zuckermann's work with peptoids may be able to prove it. His work has been featured in Scientific American and Quanta Magazine.

Foundry Hosts International Group of Journalists

On Oct. 29, the Foundry hosted a group international journalists who were attending the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists.

Screening for Disease or Toxins in a Drop of Blood

Foundry industry users developed a multinozzle emitter array, a silicon chip that can dramatically shorten the time it takes to identify molecular components within small volumes of biological samples, such as blood or urine.

Industry user PepsiCo Explores Future Food Products

Global food and beverage giant PepsiCo has been using the Foundry to explore some useful and novel solutions for barrier enhancement in their flexible packaging materials.

Lai-Sheng Wang, Brown University

Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Boron Clusters: From Planar Structures to Borophenes and Borospherenes

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

Kamil Godula, UC San Diego

Chemical Methods for Tailoring Glycan Interactions at the Cell-Matrix Interface

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

Foundry's Peter Ercius is Recipient of a 2017 Director's Early Scientific Career Award

The Director’s Awards program recognizes significant achievements of Berkeley Lab employees. Each year, Lab employees submit nominations, which are then reviewed by a Lab-wide Director’s Awards committee.

Foundry Welcomes 2017 TechWomen Delegates and Hosts Tunisian Researcher

The Foundry's Teresa Williams is once again hosting an emerging leader through the State Department’s mentoring program, designed to foster a global network of female scientists.

Study on Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals Makes Inroads Toward Next-Gen Fuel Cells

A team of Foundry scientists have determined how graphene-coated magnesium hydride is able to store and release hydrogen gas safely and easily.

Nanoparticle Surfactants for Structured Liquid Processing

Produced the first sub-micron, shape-persistent, all-liquid bicontinuous structures using interfacial formation, assembly and jamming of nanoparticles surfactants (NPSs)

Strain-engineered growth of two-dimensional materials

Developed a new method to achieve built-in and tunable strain in two-dimensional materials directly via growth.

Reimagining Hydrogen: A Small Molecule with Large-Scale Ideas

Foundry researchers pursue low-cost, efficient technologies for hydrogen storage

Maria Chan, Argonne National Laboratory

Co-refinement of Nanostructures by Combining First Principles Modeling and X-ray and Electron Measurements

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

Foundry Work Brings Nobel-Winning Cryo-EM Into Sharper Focus

Advances in detector technology made at the Foundry's National Center for Electron Microscopy played a key role in the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry, honoring the development of cryo-EM.

Nanoparticle Supersoap Creates ‘Bijel’ With Potential as Sculptable Fluid

Foundry users and scientists used nanoparticle surfactants to create a new type of “bijel,” a material that holds promise as a malleable liquid with applications in liquid circuitry, energy conversion, and soft robotics.

Foundry users share their #myfoundrystory

Join us on social media this week, and on Mondays through our fall proposal cycle, to hear Foundry users share their #myfoundrystory. At the 2017 Annual User Meeting, users recorded videos highlighting the research they do, why they use the Foundry, and what they love about the Foundry and Berkeley Lab.

Lena Fitting-Kourkoutis, Cornell University

New Frontiers in Cryo-Electron Microscopy: From Probing Low Temperature Electronic Phases to Processes at Liquid/Solid Interfaces

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

Stephen Jesse, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Imaging in the Information Dimension: From Ultrafast SPM to Atomic Scale Assembly

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion

Molecular Foundry users have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies coming out of Berkeley Lab tackling the challenge of creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use.

New Study on Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals Makes Inroads Toward Next-Gen Fuel Cells

A study led by Molecular Foundry researchers provides insight into the atomic details of the crystals’ ultrathin coating and how it serves as selective shielding while enhancing their performance in hydrogen storage.

Caroline Ajo-Franklin, Molecular Foundry

Nanomaterials for Molecularly-Precise Bioelectrocatalysis and Biosensing

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

First demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, Molecular Foundry users have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.

Bringing Atomic Mapping to the Mainstream

Mapping the internal atomic structure of nanoparticles just got easier thanks to a new computer algorithm and graphical user interface. The advancement brings a new tool to the field of electron tomography that may expand the usefulness of techniques used to assemble detailed 3-D images by scanning them with a beam of electrons.

Preventing Thin Film Dewetting via 2D Capping

Demonstrated that a monolayer 2D capping layer with high Young’s modulus effectively suppresses dewetting of underlying polymer, metal, and organic semiconductor thin films.

Formation of a Photovoltaic Material from Precursor to Crystal

Foundry users determine how lead iodide perovskite thin films form in real time, from the liquid precursor stage through crystallization.

Aeron Hammack, Epibiome

The Growing Threat of Antibiotics Resistance, and the Use of Microbial Surveillance and Bacteriophage Based Therapeutics to Combat the Trend

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

Foundry Hosts Family Fun Day

Over one hundred people attended the Molecular Foundry’s first ever family science day and ice cream social. The event was organized and hosted by the Molecular Foundry’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee in an effort to bring together the diverse community of staff, users, postdocs, students, and their families.

Foundry Users Fine-Tune System to Create ‘Syngas’ from CO2

Foundry users have developed a new recipe for creating synthesis gas mixtures, or syngas, that involves adding a pinch of copper atoms sprinkled atop a gold surface.

X-ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

A Foundry-led team of scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available.

Molecular Foundry Fall Seminar Series Begins September 12

The next Molecular Foundry seminar series features a lineup of eight distinguished speakers whose research interests span the field of nanoscience (Tuesdays at 11am). Michael Fetcenko from BASF Battery Materials will headline the group as the joint Foundry/ALS seminar speaker.

X-ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

Molecular Foundry scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available.

Michael Fetcenko, BASF Battery Materials

Molecular Foundry/ALS Joint Seminar: Status and Critical Challenges of Battery Materials for e-Mobility and Energy Storage

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
67-3111 Chemla Room

Scientists Bring Visual ‘Magic’ to Light

Foundry users Magic Leap Inc., working with Foundry scientists, have developed new, versatile ways to control and enhance the light-bending properties of synthetic optical nanostructures.

New Results Reveal High Tunability of 2-D Material

A science team at the Molecular Foundry has precisely measured some previously obscured properties of moly sulfide, a 2-D semiconducting material also known as molybdenum disulfide or MoS2. The team also revealed a powerful tuning mechanism and an interrelationship between its electronic and optical, or light-related, properties.

Scientists Developing Innovative Techniques for High-Resolution Analysis of Hybrid Materials

In an effort to better study a promising class of materials that could energize the solar cell industry, Molecular Foundry users have developed a new method of analyzing the material’s molecular-scale structure.

Mimicking Nature with Designer Molecules

Molecular Foundry hosts 10th Peptoid Summit for researchers who are investigating new directions in
biologically inspired polymer research, focusing on synthetic chains of molecules termed “peptoids.”

New Model of Chemical Building Blocks May Help Explain Origins of Life

A research team from the Molecular Foundry and Stony Brook University have developed a computational model explaining how certain molecules fold and bind together to grow longer and more complex, leading from simple chemicals to primitive biological molecules. The research gives a testable hypothesis about early prebiotic polymers and their evolution.

Making Polymer Chemistry 'Click'

Scientists using Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry develop fast chemistry that unlocks a new class of polymers.

Berkeley Lab Highlights Molecular Foundry Intern in Lab Video Series

Foundry intern Daniel Durham talks about his experience working at Berkeley Lab this summer.

New Results Reveal Extensive Tunability of 2-D Materials

Molecular Foundry users and scientists have developed a new method to directly measure the band gap of MoS2, which is 30% higher than expected. The study also discovered how to tune optical and electronic properties in a 2-D material.

Foundry Users Discover Unique Thermoelectric Properties in Cesium Tin Iodide.

A newly discovered collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor blocks most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity – a rare pairing that scientists say could reduce heat buildup in electronic devices and turbine engines, among other possible applications.

Photo-Activated Catalyst Turns CO2 into Ingredients for Fuel

Foundry Users developed a light-activated material that can chemically convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide without generating unwanted byproducts. The technology could help generate fuel and other energy-rich products using a solar-powered catalyst while mitigating levels of a potent greenhouse gas.

DOE Oppenheimer Leadership Program visits the Foundry

The DOE’s Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program develops the next generation of leaders in the science and energy fields. The initiative brings together exceptional early- and mid-career professionals who have the potential to contribute significantly to DOE’s work.

Controlling Light with Optical Metasurfaces

Industry users and Molecular Foundry scientists have created two silicon-based optical metasurfaces that are more versatile and offer more control over light than previous designs.

Spatially Resolved Multi-Color CsPbX3 Nanowire Heterojunctions via Anion Exchange

Developed a method to fabricate spatially resolved multi-color CsPbX3 (X = Cl, Br, I) semiconductor nanowire heterojunctions with high resolution.

DOE's Self Assembly Efforts Embodied by Molecular Foundry Research

The Foundry's work on biomimetic polymers (a.k.a. peptoids) was used as the poster child for the DOE's self assembly portfolio. The feature article, "No Assembly Required: Nanoparticles that Put Themselves Together" talks about how DOE-supported scientists are coaxing tiny particles into making new, customized materials.