Welcome to the Fundamental & Computational Sciences website.
I hope you take the opportunity to explore it and learn about the outstanding people, capabilities and scientific research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
—Doug Ray, Associate Lab Director
"We strive to make progress on today's important scientific challenges."
In Situ Chemical Imaging at the Sub-Biofilm-Scale Now Possible
Provides new look at naturally wet microbial community behavior
A multidisciplinary team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is the first to demonstrate imaging of a biofilm's chemical components as they form in hydrated biological samples, rather than from frozen or dried samples. They used a surface technique called time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to study complex microbiological processes, such as chemical attachment of microbes to surfaces to form biofilms. The work used PNNL's vacuum-compatible liquid probe.
The Myth of Perfection
Defects on graphene electrode alter behavior of electrode-electrolyte interface in next-generation energy storage devices
Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, potentially has the highest surface area among the carbon material and thus has the potential to significantly improve supercapacitors for energy storage and delivery. Yet, it is difficult to understand and control how the charged ionic species are incorporated and transported in the graphene electrodes. Scientists at PNNL and Princeton University found that surface defects alter the liquid's interaction with the graphene surface. The study provides a basic understanding to create better materials for energy storage.
Full Story | March 2014
Krypton Reporter Uncovers Oxygen's Antics
On the surface of a popular catalyst, certain atoms and molecules flee when light appears
Despite being part of numerous devices and industrial processes, photocatalytic reactions on metal oxides are not well understood. For example, negatively charged oxygen ions stuck to the catalyst's surface, known as oxygen adatoms, were thought to be unresponsive, when actually the adatoms do respond to light, according scientists at PNNL. The researchers made this discovery by coating the surface of the common catalyst titanium dioxide with krypton reporters. When light strikes the catalyst, the oxygen adatoms become electronically excited and cause the krypton reporters to exit.