Scientists have long pursued the ability to see the structure of a single, free-form molecule at atomic resolution, what many call the "holy grail" of imaging. One potential method involves aiming extremely short, highly intense X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses at a sample material. But this ultrafast imaging technique also destroys its target, so time is of the essence.
Many processes that generate electricity also produce heat, a potent energy resource that often goes untapped everywhere from factories to vehicles to power plants. An innovative system currently being developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory can quickly store heat and release it for use when needed, surpassing conventional storage options in both flexibility and efficiency.