The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

Four cloud-shaped illustrations showing the antigen bound to four different, smaller cloud-like shapes representing antibodies, colored in green, orange, pink and blue.

Research with Impact:

An international research team dedicated to eliminating malaria used the Advanced Photon Source to study monoclonal antibodies bound to antigen peptides. They discovered that one of the four binding modes leads to inhibitory antibody activity. 

A graph showing data points on a sloping line, an illustration of two diamonds with a sample of material between them, and an image taken at the APS beamline of a sample under pressure.

Research with Impact:

A team of investigators explored the phase diagram of iron oxide up to the pressures it would encounter at Earth’s core-mantle boundary for the first time. Their goal was to discover whether ultralow-velocity zones beneath the surface could be enriched with iron oxide, accounting for their effect on seismic waves. 

A colorful series of circles connected by lines, signifying atoms. A magnified view of one section of the illustration shows more exact detail.

Research with Impact:

Converting hydrocarbon gases into more valuable forms can help fight the buildup of atmospheric carbon that causes global warming. A group of scientists using the Advanced Photon Source have demonstrated a catalyst that uses a ready source of oxygen and operates at near-ambient temperatures.

Graphic representation of an X-ray beam striking a sample and sending data to a detector at an APS beamline.

Research with Impact:

Methods aimed at identifying defects in cathodes must be able to assess their crystal structures during active charging/discharging, and in three dimensions. Researchers used the APS to track the evolution of defects in two different sodium-ion battery cathode materials. Their results showed a unique pattern of transient defects in these materials, results that could eventually help scientists engineer longer lasting and better performing cathodes.

 

A multicolored graph showing a rainbow of bars, with a sketch inserted of the experimental setup at the APS.

Research with Impact:

Quantum spin liquids (QSLs) are an exotic and elusive phase of matter with unusual magnetic properties that offer tantalizing prospects for quantum computing applications. A group of researchers used the APS to study a material that's considered a strong candidate for a state called a Kitaev quantum spin liquid (KQSL), but instead discovered a new state of matter that appears to be a previously unknown type of QSL. 

A graphic representation of X-rays striking a sample and scattering off into detectors, which display data.

Research with Impact:

One way to reliably form supercrystals is by using DNA as a bonding agent between nanoparticles. Using the APS, researchers used a new approach: a combination of X-ray techniques to view defects in DNA-assembled supercrystals. Their findings revealed new insights into the growth mechanisms of these intriguing materials.

 

Closeup images of three protein structures made of multicolored ribbons.

Research with Impact:

Quashing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) at its roots is a big job. The virus has many strains, and each one must be neutralized to prevent infection. A research team has now taken an iterative approach to designing boosters. Their research lays the groundwork for a vaccine regimen that may prevent HIV infection.

Graphs of multicolored circles representing particles dissolving into an electrolyte.

Research with Impact:

The metal manganese could help to build rechargeable batteries that are more affordable and environmentally friendly than existing batteries. However, one of the major challenges is that they tend to degrade too quickly to be attractive for electric vehicles and other applications. Researchers using the APS have looked in detail at the degradation mechanism and proposed a way to counteract it.

 

A series of graphs and charts showing results from various experiments on cobalt-free cathode materials.

Research with Impact:

As our everyday lives become ever more dependent on battery technology – specifically the lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) that power our smartphones, laptop computers, electric vehicles, and other portable gadgets – the quest to build ever more efficient and economical batteries has only intensified. Researchers have now demonstrated a new approach to achieving viable cobalt-free, low-nickel battery cathodes using a method called complex concentrated doping.

 

A pair of illustrations showing stripes that represent bismuth ferrite transforming into crystal-like patterns with the application of an ultrafast laser pulse.

Research with Impact:

The need for efficient and inexpensive computer storage continues to increase. One new possibility for improving existing memory hardware is to incorporate a ferroelectric material into random-access memory (RAM). A team of scientists has characterized bismuth ferrite’s ability to act like a memory cell. 

 

Drawn diagram shows proteins delivering ligands to the nucleus of an atom.

Research with Impact:

Using the Advanced Photon Source, a team of researchers has uncovered an interaction between two molecules that may repress fat-burning under high-fat diet. The research may open the door for small molecule drugs that can help fight obesity and other metabolic conditions without unwanted side effects.

THE ADVANCED PHOTON SOURCE UPGRADE IS IN PROGRESS

The Advanced Photon Source is undergoing a comprehensive upgrade to replace its original electron storage ring with a new, state-of-the-art accelerator. This will increase the brightness of APS X-ray beams by up to 500 times, and new beamlines will be constructed to take advantage of these improved capabilities. The facility will be closed for operations during this time.

Visit the APS Upgrade webpage for information about the project’s progress and future science at the facility. We look forward to completing the project and welcoming our users back to the APS this year.