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Home > Press > It’s the small stuff that matters

Scientists developed methods to
determine how fast clusters of 
molecules, such as this salt and 
water cluster, form and their 
corresponding stability.
Scientists developed methods to determine how fast clusters of molecules, such as this salt and water cluster, form and their corresponding stability.

Abstract:
To understand transformations of matter, scientists at DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory aided in developing methods to determine how fast clusters of molecules form and their corresponding stability.

It’s the small stuff that matters

Oak Ridge, TN | Posted on July 21st, 2009

Molecular-level reactions that produce aqueous nanoparticles ultimately aid in designing better crystals for manufacturers and new catalysts for producing alternative fuels. The PNNL-led team designed new theoretical and computational approaches to studying the nanoparticle formation. With the new approach, the team determined the rate constants, or how fast the clusters dissociated or fell apart. Next, they determined the thermodynamic stability of the clusters, and provided a streamlined approach to calculate cluster thermodynamics. Key research was done at DOE's EMSL, a national scientific user facility.

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About Oak Ridge National Laboratory
ORNL is a multiprogram science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, LLC. Scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation's leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.

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Kristin Manke
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