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Startup America Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you’ll find marketing summaries of technologies identified in the Startup America program available for licensing from U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and participating research institutions. The summaries provide descriptions of the technologies including their benefits, applications and industries, and development stage.

177 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Efficient Polymer Solar Cells

Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a process for producing more efficient polymer solar cells by increasing light absorption through a thin and uniform light-absorbing layer deposited on a textured substrate. 

03/04/2015
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Polybenzimidazole Compounds, Polymeric Media, and Methods of Post-Polymerization Modifications

INL has developed a patented process to handle and process polybenzimdazole (PBI) compounds that previously could only be handled in very heavy low vapor pressure organic solvents. With the new process the resulting compounds are modified to provide increased solubility in higher vapor pressure solvents and at significantly greater concentrations. These compounds may be utilized in a wide array of applications where high temperature and polymeric materials are utilized. Compounds made with... read more

06/11/2014
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Metal Nitride Catalysts to Enhance Hydrogen Evolution Reactions

This novel and inexpensive composition of cobalt molybdenum nitride offers high catalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) - a critical reaction in a number of growing energy generation and utilization technologies. For example, water electrolysis can transform electrical energy produced by solar cells into chemical fuels that can be more easily stored and transported. HER is one of the two half-reactions in water electrolysis, and the efficiency of catalysts directly... read more

01/10/2014
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Biomass-derived Hydrogen-evolution catalyst and electrode

A simply made, inexpensive combination of biomass and earth-abundant metals has resulted in a durable catalyst for splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel. Biomass comprising protein-rich seeds or nuts of legumes heated in the presence of transition metal salts produced a material that is useful as an electrocatalyst and an electrode. The costs associated with electrolysis, the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen, are no longer dictated by the price per... read more

01/10/2014
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Non-Noble Metal Water Electrolysis Catalysts

This invention comprises an inexpensive catalyst system for water electrolyzers by replacing the noble-metal catalysts that are typically used in electrolyzer systems. A molybdenum-nickel nitride nanosheet catalyst has been found to be very stable.

01/10/2014
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Enhanced Thin Film Organic Photovoltaic Devices

A novel structure design for thin film organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices provides a system for increasing the optical absorption in the active layer. The waveguided structure permits reduction of the active layer thickness, resulting in enhanced charge collection and extraction, leading to improved power conversion efficiency compared to standard OPV devices.

01/10/2014
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Interdigitated Electrical Contacts for Low Electronic Mobility Semiconductor Photovoltaic Devices

Structures useful for forming contacts to materials having low charge carrier mobility are described. Methods for their formation and use are also described. These structures include interdigitated electrodes capable of making electrical contact to semiconducting materials having low electron and/or hole mobility. In particular, these structures are useful for organic semiconducting devices made with conducting polymers and small molecules. They are also useful for semiconducting devices... read more

01/09/2014
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Conductive Polymer/Fullerene Blend Thin Films with Honeycomb Framework

This composite conductive polymer/fullerene blend material can be fabricated to exhibit regular, micrometer-sized pores. The pores allow the material to transmit light while the hexagonal framework is conducting. The material is self-assembled from an organic solvent containing the fullerene and the conducting polymer using the Breath Figure Technique.

01/09/2014
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Regeneration of Aluminum Hydride

Alane is one of the most promising solutions to storing hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells. This technology provides exceptional improvement in solving the difficult problem of economically preparing the material.

01/09/2014
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Electrocatalysts on Carbon Nanoparticles

Carbon nanostructures offer extremely high surface areas and so are attractive candidates to support dispersed catalysts. These nanostructures, however, are not necessarily as conductive as is required for most methods of deposition of noble metal catalysts onto support structures. The inventive catalysts include an atomically thin layer of a transition metal on the carbon nanostructure which is then coated with an atomically thin layer of a catalytically active noble metal. These catalysts... read more

01/09/2014
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Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction with Reduced Platinum Oxidation and Dissolution Rates

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

01/09/2014
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Synthesis of Metal-Metal Oxide Catalysts and Electrocatalysts

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

01/09/2014
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Spiral Biasing Adaptor for Drift Detectors and Arrays

Bias is applied to silicon drift detectors (SDDs) to force electrons to drift toward the anode. A spiral SDD is a special type of SDD detector that utilizes a cylindrical geometry. Its smaller anode has lower capacitance and therefore less sensitivity to electronic noise, improving resolution. In spiral SDDs, ion implants are required as both the rectifying junction and a voltage divider that creates the potential field forcing the electrons to drift toward the anode. Coupling these two... read more

12/30/2013
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Two-Sensor System for Absolute Age and Temperature History

Numerous commercial and military applications require knowing the absolute age and/or temperature history of a device or system starting from the time it is assembled or commissioned. Ideally this information could be obtained simply and without power. The Sandia-developed age and temperature history sensor is a physical materials system solution to address this need.

10/14/2013
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Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block

This technology provides a fully integrated and self-containing alternating current (AC) photovoltaic (PV) Building Block device and method that allows photovoltaic applications to become true plug-and-play devices. The Building Block combines, contains, and integrates almost all of the electrical and mechanical elements of a PV system while eliminating the traditional DC voltage concerns of today’s PV systems.

08/19/2013
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Advanced Forms of Activated Carbon

Sandia National Laboratories has developed an economical and efficient activated carbon adsorbent for the trapping of noble gases including Argon, Krypton, Xenon and radioactive 85Kr. Unlike currently used adsorbents, this superior material is fire-resistant with spontaneous ignition temperatures (SIT) of up to 860°C and favorable sorption capacity.

06/11/2013
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Electrochemical Synthesis of Pd Nanorods and Nanowires on High Surface Area C Supports

Anisotropic growth of palladium nanoparticles on high surface area carbon supports is encouraged by the choice of surface preparation and electrochemical deposition parameters. The resultant nanorods and nanowires have extremely smooth surfaces, improving their catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells, as well as for other reactions. These ultra-smooth surfaces can be used as-grown, or may be subjected to further processing, such as deposition of monolayers of... read more

04/22/2013
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Hedgehog™ Water Contaminant Removal System
The in-tank recirculating treatment system reduces the levels of contaminants in water storage tanks. A recirculation pump continually sends water though a treatment in order to reduce the levels of contamination.
04/05/2013
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Microfabricated Field Calibration Assembly
Reliable determination of the presence and/or quantity of a particular analyte in the field can be greatly enhanced if the analytical instrument is equipped with a time-of-use calibration standard. While proper calibration is necessary for reliability and accuracy, it can be challenging and cumbersome to provide such calibration in the field using conventional methods found in analytical laboratories.
03/19/2013
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Kevlar and Carbon Composite Armored Gauntlet
The primary purpose of the "Kevlar Gauntlet" is to provide military personnel with much needed, lighweight protection while in combat.  A particular threat to U.S. soldiers are rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which can create significant risks to safety as a result of debris, shrapnel, spall, superheated air blasts, and shock waves.  The gauntlet, which can be worn on the arms for soldiers operating atop Bradley Fighting Vehicles and armored... read more
03/12/2013
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Small Caliber Guided Bullet
Self guided projectiles such as bullets that can be fired from small caliber weapons (around .50 caliber or less) are desirable due to the increased accuracy of hitting a target from a long range (about 2000 meters or more).
03/12/2013
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Method for Reducing Background Clutter in a Camera Image
Sandia has developed an eye-safe, robust, lightweight, and low-cost 3D structured lighting sensor for use in broad daylight outdoor applications.  This newly developed sensor overcomes the current limitations of laser-based 3D sensors and can help with threat assessment for first responders, crime scene investigation, and any other scenario which requires accurate 3D mapping.
03/12/2013
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TacNet Tracker
The TacNet Tracker is designed to transport information securely via portable handheld units without the need for fixed infrastructure. The low profile device is easily worn to provide users with real-time location tracking, communication with other users, and shared information along a secure encrypted self-forming and self-healing network. This line-of-sight network is essentially a custom, privately owned Internet with the capability to self-form on a second-to-second basis. If a unit... read more
03/12/2013
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Electrical Cable Testing by Pulse-Arrested Spark Discharge (PASD)
Sandia has developed an advanced electrical wiring diagnostic system capable of detecting insulation defects in complex wiring systems. The portable diagnostic system detects and accurately locates hard to find insulation defects as breached insulation, chaffing, and insulation cracks. PASD could greatly reduce the time required to track down wiring defects, as it can typically locate these defects within inches.
03/12/2013
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SIMWyPES® Cleaning Cloths

SIMWyPES cleaning cloths remove hazardous particulates from dry surfaces so well that the contaminants are undetectable.

01/23/2013
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The µChemLabTM: Bio Detector
Sandia National Laboratories has developed a series of compact, hand-held detection systems that place the capability of a fully functional chemistry laboratory at the fingertips of a trained field operator. Sandia's chemical analysis system can rapidly detect and analyze toxic agents such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

The µChemLabTM was designed, demonstrated, and tested by Sandia researchers over several years. The systems were initially developed for homeland security, defense... read more
01/15/2013
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An Environmentally Safe Detector for Hazardous Gas

ORNL researchers developed a breakthrough design for a hazardous-gas detector
that is environmentally safe and inexpensive and that includes both sensing and
detecting means. The invention can detect and identify volatile organic and inorganic
substances in vapors faster than conventional methods. Improved sensitivity using less
complicated, less expensive measuring devices is another key feature of this invention.
The core of this invention is based on observations that when an... read more

09/27/2012
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Method of Preparing Hydrous Hafnium, Cerium, or Aluminum Oxide Gels and Spherules

An internal gelatin process for preparing hydrous hafnium, cerium, or aluminum oxide
microspheres was invented at ORNL. The invention is a type of sol-gel process that
solidifies droplets of solution as they enter into a warm environment. The resulting gel
spheres have been proven to be structurally strong.
 

09/27/2012
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Dissolution Actuated Valve Sampler

Engineers at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have invented a new device for retrieving liquid samples.  The dissolution actuated valve sampler was developed to obtain pristine samples while operating without the assistance of a mast or messenger device.

09/26/2012
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Human Factors Engineering Analysis Tool

A new software tool enables the easy and quick selection of applicable regulatory guidelines as a starting point for human factors engineering (HFE) analyses.  Once selected, each guideline can be viewed on screen.  The software tracks and reports the status of HFE analyses and may be accessed simultaneously by multiple users.

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DNanomechanical Sensor Detects and Identifies Chemical Analytes
ORNL researchers developed a cost-efficient nanomechanical sensor that can
detect chemicals adsorbed to a surface and then quickly analyze and identify
those chemicals. The device is a significant improvement over current detection
technologies, which are not able to perform reliable identification. Rapid
identification of trace amounts of chemicals(e.g., polymers, explosives) is important
for ensuring safety in pharmaceutical, transportation, and other sectors.

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DPhotoacoustic Microcantilevers for Spectroscopy
ORNL researchers invented a unique microcantilever design that can identify the
chemical structure of minute sample materials using photoacoustic and photothermal
spectroscopy. The design advances current technology, which cannot identify specific
chemicals, and furthers the detection of vapors, cells, and tissues. The technology can
also characterize biomass, biomaterials, and pharmaceuticals.


09/26/2012
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VZCOMML©, Version 4.0

A researcher at the Savannah River Site has developed an analytical software application to simulate contaminant fate and transport through the vadose zone to groundwater.  VZCOMML© (pronounced Vee-Zee-Com-M-L) is a one-dimensional, three-phase equilibrium, analytical contaminant transport model incorporating mass-balance and time-limit criteria to calculate key fate and transport result output data.  The program automatically uses decision logic to determine the... read more

09/26/2012
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Composite Solid-State Scintillators for Neutron Detection

Using a room temperature process, a new type of transparent, crack-free, monolithic
scintillator has been developed at ORNL. This invention uses thin-film, glass, and
fiber-optic sensors, and is based on the preparation of neutron scintillators with a
room temperature sol-gel process. The result is an inexpensive, versatile system that is
compatible with both inorganic and organic dopants for hybrid material processing.
Typically, solid-state neutron scintillators are prepared by... read more

09/26/2012
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Directed Spray Mast

Engineers at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have developed a remotely-operated tank cleaning device for precise, high-pressure spray for use in limited access areas.  The device offers features unavailable in tank cleaning technologies currently on the market, providing for better, faster and cost-effective tank cleaning.

09/26/2012
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Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Radiation DetectionFluorescent Nanoparticles for Radiation Detection

Researchers at ORNL invented a promising material for more efficient nanoscale
scintillators, or radiation detectors. The new material, which can detect most kinds
of radiation, consists of fluorescent nanoparticles embedded in a transparent matrix.
The invention addresses needs in research, security, and industry for detectors with
improved light output and higher detection efficiency. The technology offers high
count rate capability and better time resolution.

 

09/26/2012
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Real-Time High Resolution Quantitative Imaging by Three Wavelength Digital Holography

An optical system capable of reproducing three-dimensional images was invented at
ORNL. This system can detect height changes of a few nanometers or less and render
clear, single shot images. These types of precise, high speed measurements are important
for a variety of nanoscience applications.
 

09/26/2012
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Double Coil Condenser Apparatus

A Glass Technologist at the Savannah River National Laboratory has developed a glass condenser apparatus that allows the user to adjust the rate of condensation during testing. The apparatus consists of a fixed condensing coil accompanied by a second, removable coil that fits inside the fixed coil.  Tests have shown increases in condensation rates of up to 24%.

09/26/2012
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Pella Drum Opener

The Pella Drum Opener is a developed and tested tool that facilitates the opening of open-head steel drums and resolves a safety issue with respect to drum handling.

09/26/2012
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NAPL Calculator

An environmental engineer at the Savannah River Site has developed a software application that will determine if non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) contaminants are present in soil, groundwater, or soil vapor samples.  The software will determine both the quantity and composition of NAPL chemicals in the samples based on the results of sample analysis.  The software also computes important environmental engineering measures such as the residual saturation, mass of the NAPL in the... read more

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DPhotoacoustic Point Spectroscopy
ORNL researchers invented a detector that uses photoacoustic waves to excite a
vibratory sensor coated with unknown molecules. This invention can be used to
identify these molecules and study solid, gas, or liquid samples.

09/26/2012
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Method for Confidence Metric in Optic Disk Location in Retinal Images

To improve accuracy in diagnosis of retinal disease, ORNL researchers invented a
method for assigning a confidence metric to computer-aided optic disc analysis. The
physical condition of the optic disk determines the presence of various ophthalmic
pathologies, including glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Unfortunately, localization
of the optic disk and detection of its boundaries on the retinal image are not easy tasks.
With this invention, the review process can be entirely... read more

09/26/2012
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Improved Lithium-Loaded Liquid Scintillators for Neutron Detection

A liquid scintillator with a substantially increased lithium weight was developed by
ORNL researchers. Scintillators are widely used for the detection of neutron radiation
emitted by radioactive sources.

Conventional liquid scintillators are loaded with neutron absorbers. However, these
scintillators generally have lower than optimum light output and pulse shape
discrimination. This invention addresses these limitations with higher lithium loads
that can remain transparent in... read more

09/26/2012
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IDEAS

This is a comprehensive software program adaptable to any company or corporation conducting an employee suggestion program.  The IDEAS (Individuals Developing Effective Alternative Solutions) program was created to stimulate employee participation in generating as many new IDEAS as possible that could benefit the site and its employees.  The IDEAS software program was developed to manage the numberous suggestions submitted by Savannah River Site employees.

09/26/2012
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Nanoscopic Electrode Molecular Probes

ORNL researchers invented a nanoscopic electrode system for measuring the
electron transport properties of a molecule. This invention offers a means of
enhancing measurements of a molecule positioned between two nanoscopic
electrodes for study. Currently, molecular sensing and identification is challenged
by uncertainty in conductance measurements.
 

09/26/2012
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Real-Time Airborne Particle Analyzer

Particle analysis is useful for determining chemical compositions in a wide range
of disciplines, from ascertaining the source of a petroleum sample to duplicating a
fragrance. The technique is appealing to a broad cross section of analytical sciences,
but its applications are limited because, for existing equipment, sample size is limited
and the testing is carried out under a high vacuum.
 

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DMicrocantilever Counter Electrode Electrochemical Sensor in a Three-Electrode Cell
Researchers at ORNL have invented a compact, highly accurate system to detect
and measure chemicals in solution. The device can be used to detect ions and other
electroactive species, hostile biological agents, and protein fragments. The device is
a three-electrode cell in which the counter electrode is a microcantilever. The entire
sensor (or an array of sensors) could be fabricated as an integrated circuit on a silicon
substrate.

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DUltrasonic-Based Mode-Synthesizing Atomic Force Microscopy
In a single run and without damaging the sample, ORNL’s mode-synthesizing
atomic force microscopy (MSAFM), along with mode-synthesizing sensing, acquires
a variety of information and allows for new sensing modalities. ORNL’s invention uses
nonlinear nanomechanical interactions at ultrasonic frequencies to noninvasively and
nondestructively detect multiple surface and subsurface properties of materials at
the nanoscale.

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DStandoff Spectroscopy Using a Conditioned Target Identifies Hazardous Materials at a Distance
A safer method for the standoff (long distance) detection and identification of
molecules on a surface has been invented by researchers at ORNL and the University
of Tennessee. This invention avoids the necessity of close and potentially hazardous
contact. It combines tunable infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy techniques
to target identifying properties of surface residues.

09/26/2012
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In-Vessel Torsional Ultrasonic Wave-Based Level Measurement System

At Three Mile Island in 1979, a partial meltdown of the core was caused by a sudden,
undetected loss of reactor coolant water. In the past, a reactor’s high temperature and
pressure environment has complicated the implementation of level measurement
devices. To effectively measure the level of coolant, ORNL has developed a torsional
wave-based level measurement system. This system can be placed within a high
temperature and pressure environment.
 

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DHand-Held Analyzer Quickly Detects Buried Human Remains
A lightweight hand-held analyzer invented by ORNL researchers uses visual and
auditory cues to quickly alert investigators to the presence of buried human remains.
The Lightweight Analyzer for Buried Remains And Decomposition Odor Recognition
(LABRADOR) is a significant step forward in the field of forensic chemistry for
clandestine grave detection.

Traditional detection using canines and ground-penetrating radar is often slow and
unreliable. LABRADOR improves the ability to distinguish human... read more
09/26/2012
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Novel Instruments Usher in a New Paradigm for Eye Surgery (Cornea NanoPunch and Retina Velcro)

ORNL scientists working in conjunction with the Hamilton Eye Institute at the
University of Tennessee–Memphis invented new methods and devices to reduce
risk in surgical procedures for removing scar tissue and treating damage to the
eye from corneal erosion. Retina Velcro and the Cornea NanoPunch represent
significant microsurgical advancements in the invasive treatment of the eye. Both
inventions can improve patient outcome and minimize the risk of vision loss from
current... read more

09/25/2012
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Triply Redundant Integrated Navigation and Asset Visibility System

A quartz time, positioning, and navigation array that solves a fundamental
sensitivity problem is under development by ORNL researchers. Existing systems
with good timing stability are limited by poor motion sensitivities. In contrast, this
invention has stability at a much lower size, weight, and power; better acceleration
and shock tolerance; wider temperature tolerance; and very high reliability.

 

09/25/2012
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Early Stage R&DRaptor: An Enterprise Knowledge Discovery Engine

Enterprises generate large quantities of information contained in documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and databases. This information is stored across file shares, intranet portals, user desktops, and other business unit applications. Combined with a lack of structured organizational tools, keywords, tags, or other automated retrieval tools, organizations struggle to index, search, and find information across these disparate platforms.

09/25/2012
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Early Stage R&DRadio Channel Simulator
Radio Channel Simulator (RCSim) is a simulation package for making site-specific predictions of radio signal strength. The software computes received power at
discrete grid points as a function of the transmitter location and propagation environment. It is intended for use with wireless network simulation packages and to support wireless network deployments. 
09/25/2012
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Early Stage R&DSlow Waveguide Structures for Particle Accelerators
A waveguide design that can save time and money in the construction and tuning of
a particle accelerator was developed by ORNL researchers. Particle accelerators use
electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds within a well-defined
beam. The beam line is used for basic science investigations as well as for applications
in biotechnology and energy. This invention can be used in normal conducting and
superconducting accelerators.

09/25/2012
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Early Stage R&DPulse Thermal Processing of Functional Materials Using a Directed Plasma Arc
Using pulses of high density infrared light from a directed plasma arc, ORNL researchers
invented a method to thermally process thin films and other functional materials on
temperature-sensitive substrates. This approach, pulse thermal processing, could
revolutionize the handling of functional materials because it reduces the necessary
processing time to seconds from what is currently minutes or hours.



09/25/2012
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Early Stage R&DComputational Method for Improved Forewarning of Critical Events
ORNL’s computational method for analyzing nonlinear processes provides improved
forewarning of imminent critical events. This is achieved through phase space
dissimilarity analysis of data from mechanical or electrical devices, biomedical data, or
other physical processes. The need to distinguish between similar, yet distinct, states in
a nonlinear process is essential to many engineering, research, and medical applications.

09/25/2012
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Early Stage R&DDetecting Temporal Precursor Words and Phrases Using a Learning Algorithm and Wavelet Analysis

Most research on mammography focuses on image data, not textual reports. However, the reports associated with patient visits offer a valuable set of observations. To take advantage of these sequential writings, a robust ORNL learning algorithm assembles, searches, and analyzes cue phrases in radiology reports to determine if they define normal or abnormal traits in mammograms over time.

09/25/2012
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Fisheye Video Imaging for Diagnosis and Monitoring

A variety of investigative settings, from medicine to law enforcement, rely on the clarity
of wide-angle images in order to make accurate interpretations. At ORNL, researchers
developed a computerized video imaging process that maps the coordinates of a
moving image to computer-based reference coordinates. This helps to stabilize and
align images for review.

The ORNL invention addresses several current imaging problems. Medical images
usually have low contrast features. The... read more

09/25/2012
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Early Stage R&DAgent-Based Software for Gathering and Summarizing Textual and Internet Information
ORNL’s Piranha solves the challenge most users face: finding a way to sift through
large amounts of data that provide accurate and relevant information. This requires
software that can quickly filter, relate, and show documents and relationships. Piranha is
JavaScript search, analysis, storage, and retrieval software for uncertain, vague, or complex
information retrieval from multiple sources such as the Internet. With Piranha, researchers
have pioneered an agent approach to text analysis that... read more
09/25/2012
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ALPES
ALPES is a device that uses electrostatic precipitation to collect and concentrate airborne agents in a liquid sample for onsite or laboratory analysis.  The collection efficiency is 85% to 92% depending on the size of the particles.  The Aerosol-to-Liquid Particle Extraction System (ALPES) is designed to collect chemical agents; radioactive particles; microoganisms such as spores, bacteria, and fungi and molecules and other substances associated with explosives.

Agents that could be... read more
09/25/2012
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RadRope
This lightweight, portable system can rapidly detect the presence of nuclear materials in sealed containers without the use of harmful x-rays.  Using sensors arrayed linearly and encased in fabric, the RadRopeTM system can be dangled in the 2 to 4 inch gap between stacked shipping containers on a cargo ship by a customs inspector.  As the inspector walks along the top containers, a hand-held PDA shows an alarm when any sensor in the array detects radiation levels above background... read more
09/25/2012
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GeoSiphon
Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory have developed innovative processes for goundwater remediation.  The GeoSiphonTM offers significant advantages over pump and treat systems, funnel and gate systems, and continuous permeable wall treatment systems.  The GeoSiphonTM Cell is a passive, in situ, groundwater treatment system which uses a siphon between two points of natural head difference to induce greater than natural flow through a permeable treatment media.

GeoSiphonTM... read more
09/25/2012
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BaroBall
Barometric pumping is a remediation technique that removes volatile contaminants from soil in the vadose zone, above the water table.  The BaroBall control valve increases the efficiency of barometric pumping and allows natural soil gas to flow out of an underground well, while restricting air flow from the surface int the well.  air flowing into the well from the surface will dilute and possible spread still present in the subsurface.
09/25/2012
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Groundwater and Wastewater Remediation Using Agricultural Oils

Scientists have developed a groundwater treatment technique that employs agricultural oils to stimulate endogenous microbes which accelerates the cleanup.  The oils tested include canola oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, beef oil, cod-liver oil, tallow, candelilla oil, carnawba wax, beeswax, and palm tree wax.  The system can be configured as either in situ or ex situ.

09/25/2012
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Superhydrophobic Metal-Oxide Thin Film Coatings
Because of their numerous advantages and applications, considerable efforts have been expended to develop superhydrophobic (water repellant) coatings. However, traditional superhydrophobic coatings are soft in nature, with a Teflon-like surface chemistry that results in reduced adhesion and durability, and hence such coatings are not suitable for robust applications. In addition, the harsh chemical treatment processes used to create many of these coatings (e.g., use of chemical solvent... read more
09/24/2012
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Superhydrophobic Thin Film Coatings
Exploiting its expertise with thin films and superhydrophobic materials, ORNL has developed a simple, inexpensive way to apply and reliably bond superhydrophobic powder to various substrates, creating coatings that are both transparent and water repellant.

09/24/2012
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Transparent Conductive Nano-Composites

Indium Tin Oxide, the most widely used commercial transparent conducting coating, has severe limitations such inflexibility, high processing temperatures for fabrication, increasing cost of raw materials and breakability.


 

09/24/2012
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Early Stage R&DPlant Pathogen Resistance
Crop plants are infected by numerous fungal and bacterial pathogens that reduce crop quality and yield. Common methods for addessing this problem include time consuming processes such as genetic engeneering, and possibly enviromentally risky processes, such as treatment of plants via synthetic anti?pathogen compounds.


09/24/2012
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Early Stage R&DAutomated Surface Sampling Probe for Mass Spectrometry
Dr. Gary Van Berkel and colleagues have developed a liquid microjunction surface sampling probe (LMJ?SSP). The LMJ?SSP provides mass spectrometry with a simple and efficient ambient surface sampling method that can be coupled with any liquid introduction ionization source.


09/24/2012
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Giga-Dalton Mass Spectrometry
Current techniques to study large bio?molecules using mass spectrometer require fragmentation for the mass?to?charge ratios to be within the working range of the mass spectrometer. Analysis of the data is complex and often requires simulation supported by fragmentation libraries. Furthermore, the working range of the mass spectrometer is limited to the Kilo?Dalton range and offered by high end expensive instruments. These are major limiting factors in the applications of mass spectrometry for... read more
09/24/2012
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Novel Phase-Coherent Programmable Clock

Direct digital synthesis (DDS) technology permits the generation of high frequency-resolved waveforms that can be changed on the nanosecond time scale (4 ns minimum). However when the DDS switches frequency, it occurs at any point in the phase accumulation consequently the output waveform during frequency stepping may be quite different. This randomness of frequency transition is called "DDS frequency transition jitter".

09/24/2012
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Synthesis of Ionic Liquids

Chemical separation, such as processes producing alkanes from olefins, often requires series of distillation steps that are highly energy intensive.


 

09/22/2012
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Risk-Based Sensor Placement Methodology

Current methods for sensor placement are based on qualitative approaches ranging from “best guess” to expensive, customized studies.



 

09/22/2012
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Cytometric Therapies for Cell Delivery

Stem cell therapies are a viable treatment options for some human diseases. Efficacy of such therapies can be maximized by addressing critical issues such as cell delivery and cell survival post delivery. Conventional methods for cell delivery do not determine the viability of the transplanted cell. For example, an estimated 5?10% of cells transplanted into the central nervous system survive post?transplantation, leaving only a small portion of the originally grafted cells to contribute in... read more

09/22/2012
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Carbon NanoFiber Systems for Tissue Interfacing

Scientists at ORNL have created vertically aligned carbon nano?fibers (VACNF) that are well suited for cell and tissue interfacing applications, such as electrophysiological stimulus and recording, and drug and gene delivery. VACNFs are produced in an uniform manner that allows for structural controls over the location, length, diameter, conicity, and surface composition.
Preliminary data with nanoelectrode arrays show effective tissue stimulation due to improved contact with tissue and... read more

09/21/2012
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Optimization of Industrial Enzymes

Enzymes are highly efficient naturally occurring catalysts that are used in a wide range of applications from industrial processes to new drug development. Conventional mechanism for understanding the mechanisms of enzyme functions are costly and time consuming. Moreover, many applications do not increase the activity energy to be applied to enzymes with slow reaction rates.

 

09/21/2012
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Laser Induced Spectroscopy

INL’s Laser Induced Spectroscopy technology detects and measures the composition of a material or the molecules in the material. It traces the constituents of the material by using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy and laser induced fluorescence under ambient conditions.

The technology measures the decay emission values of the excited absorption state and compares it to decay emission values of samples of known trace constituent composition. The laser is performed at a selected... read more

08/31/2012
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Acoustic Imaging Suite

INL’s acoustic imaging technology improves methods of capturing moving images of a specified object by using a photorefractive effect to produce a full-field image of the object without using a probe to perform a full scan of the object. INL technology includes a second device that produces an acoustic image of an object using acoustic wave results in the formation of at least one surface displacement on the surface of the target object. A light source produces an optical object wave... read more

08/31/2012
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Advanced Material Development, Processing and Characterization
The patented suite of Advanced Material Development, Processing and Characterization offers armor structures to prevent unauthorized entry or intrusion into a building or area. Primarily, armor structures, like load bearing walls or exterior doors, are designed for resisting an attack from a wide variety of sources.
08/31/2012
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Method for Detecting an Element
Using gamma ray spectrum analysis, this patented invention detects a desired element from a very small sample and by compares it to a small sample of the element already present in the detection field. Available devices have been developed with a similar function, but are slow and inaccurate.
08/31/2012
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An Additive Resin Reaction Product, a Method of Treating a Wood Product, and a Wood Product

 INL has developed a novel hybrid organic/inorganic substance that is highly flame resistant, fully compatible and directly bondable with the most common wood impregnation resins in current use. This substance is expected to improve not only the flame resistance of the wood, but also simultaneously lengthen useful lifetimes.

08/31/2012
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Nanoporous Membranes for Pretreatment of Lignocellulose and Other Applications
Researchers at ORNL have developed an inorganic membrane element and a flowthrough recycle (FTR) process for pretreating lignocellulosic biomass to produce a high-quality ethanol feedstock more amenable to hydrolysis and fermentation than other pretreatment methods. The ORNL process minimizes carbohydrate and lignin degradation while providing a clean sugar stream for further processing.

Producing ethanol from inedible plant matter such as wood and agricultural or forest residues is an... read more
08/21/2012
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Early Stage R&DSuperhydrophobic Coating for Evaporative Purification and Minerals Extraction
Researchers at ORNL are using their superhydrophobic coating technology to tackle the age-old problem of obtaining potable water. In the process, they have
also developed a cost-effective method to extract industrial minerals and metals such as potassium, lithium, and magnesium from the seas and other waters.
Potable water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Evaporative desalination is one of the cheapest, easiest, simplest ways to covert salt or brackish
water into fresh water.... read more
08/21/2012
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Pulsed Ionization Source for Ion Mobility Spectrometers
ORNL’s new wave of detection devices based on ion mobility spectrometry offer enhanced sensitivity and resolution and increased safety and flexibility. Leading
the way is a miniature ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) that uses a pulsed corona ionization source. This detector has demonstrated both high sensitivity and high resolution without the drawbacks of other systems.

Ion mobility spectrometry is an important method for detecting drugs, explosives, volatile organic compounds, and chemical... read more
08/21/2012
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Advanced Chlorophyll Fluorometer
To advance miniaturization of the AquaSentinel environmental monitoring technology, ORNL and the University of Tennessee researchers developed a microfluidics-based pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) chlorophyll fluorometer—the first of its kind.

Fluorometers have a wide range of applications in the life sciences, including medical, chemical, biological, and environmental, and have proven especially helpful in the analysis of organic compounds. Miniaturization broadens their appeal and... read more
08/21/2012
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Early Stage R&DAdvanced Credentialing for Trusted Networks
During and following disasters, rapid, valid systems are needed to exchange information—among emergency responders, with others in the community, and with the outside world. ORNL researchers have developed a Web 2.0 credentialing system that offers greater assurance of the validity of information on social networks and media and the potential to thus improve and enhance the unimpeded flow of vetted information and resources during and following a disaster to assist impacted areas and... read more
08/21/2012
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Early Stage R&DProduction of Materials with Superior Properties Utilizing High Magnetic Field
Processing materials in a magnetic field is an innovative and revolutionary means to change materials and structural properties by tailoring the microstructure. Properties, equivalent or beyond, can be achieved with significantly less energy than materials treated by conventional thermal methods. New properties can also be created by manipulation of phase stability through the application of a high magnetic field.

Researchers at ORNL have developed various novel methods which offer improvements... read more
08/20/2012
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Material-Independent Design of Photoluminescent Systems
Nanomaterials have attracted much attention recently because of their unique functionality. Researchers at ORNL have discovered a method to make nonluminescent nanostructured materials luminescent (photoluminescent and/or electroluminescent), independent of the starting material. This material-independent approach enables conversion of many different types of nanomaterials for optoelectronic applications such as light-emitting displays, solar panels, optoelectronic sensing and imaging... read more
07/17/2012
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Synthesis Method for Stable Colloids of "Naked" Metal Nanocrystals
Researchers at ORNL have developed a unique membrane-assisted thermal electrochemical synthesis (TECS) process for making colloidally stable aqueous solutions of small (<10 nm) metallic nanocrystals that are "clean," stable, and uniform in size. The nanocrystals produced by the TECS process represent a unique class of colloids that could be used in a variety of applications, including coatings, catalysts, and sensor devices.

Metallic nanocrystals have generated considerable interest because... read more
07/11/2012
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Metabolic Prosthesis for Treating Ischemic Diseases
ORNL researchers have developed a new approach for treating ischemic diseases that will deliver oxygen directly to affected tissues by electrolysis of body fluids. Numerous treatments currently exist or have been proposed for treating ischemic tissues, but most are invasive, involve chemicals, and/or have undesirable side effects. The ORNL metabolic prosthesis addresses most of these concerns.
07/11/2012
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Enhanced Detection of Toxic Agents
Researchers at ORNL and the University of Tennessee have taken the next step in the development of their AquaSentinel water quality monitoring system by improving the sensitivity of the process using a new electrokinetic enrichment technique.
07/11/2012
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New Methods in Motion Tracking to Generate Motion-Corrected Tomographic Images
High quality three-dimensional images from conventional MRI, CT, PET, or SPECT scans require that the subject being imaged remain stationary during the scan. Any motion during the scan significantly reduces the quality of the resulting images. Although sedation and physical restraint can be used to impede live subject motion, both methods have the potential to alter the neurological and physiological processes under analysis. This invention corrects for any motion during a scan, improving the... read more
07/11/2012
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Bioluminescent Bioreporter Integrated Circuits
To address the need for fieldable real-time biological recognition systems, ORNL researchers developed a "laboratory on a chip" using genetically engineered whole cell biosensors attached to integrated circuits (ICs). These bioluminescent bioreporters can be deployed to assist with environmental detection and analysis during natural and human disasters.
07/11/2012
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Coating Surfaces with Superhydrophobic Powder
Researchers at ORNL have developed a method of modifying existing coating techniques to include a bonded superhydrophobic outer coating layer. Superhydrophobic powder will not readily bond to most substrates directly, since superhydrophobic powder is almost entirely made up of fluorinated particles of silica glass, which is chemically inert to most materials. In a standard electrostatic powder spraying process, dry resin powder is sprayed on to a given substrate. The powder adheres to the... read more
07/11/2012
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Superoleophilic Particles and Coatings
Researchers at ORNL have developed a superoleophilic coating that pins a layer of oil to a specially coated substrate and particularly to the surface of the coating. The pinning action keeps the oil from leeching out of the coating, even when the coating is submerged in water or subjected to very wet conditions. This enables the oil to persist on the surface of the coating without significantly reducing the coated surface’s coefficient of friction.
07/11/2012
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Brainwaves as a Biometric Parameter for Unique Identification and Authentication
A number of biometric parameters exist for positive identification of individuals including, fingerprints, facial recognition, ear pattern, eye iris and retina, written signature, voice, and facial thermogram. The objectives of personal identification are primarily to deter identity deception and to accelerate recognition of trusted personnel. The use of current methods for positive identification is impacted by a number of factors including universality, uniqueness, permanence, collectability,... read more
07/09/2012
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Secure Identification of Textiles and Other Consumer Products

Researchers at ORNL have developed an invisible marking system for textiles and similar products that could save governments and businesses millions in lost revenues and legal fees. In addition to information required by law, useful tracking and inventory information can be embedded in the tags, as well as valuable consumer information on content and point of origin of materials.

Each year unethical units in the enterprise supply chain falsify operational data and business information to avoid... read more

07/09/2012
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Activated Aluminum Hydride Hydrogen Storage Compositions

Aluminum hydride is the best known alane and has been known for over 60 years. It is potentially a very attractive medium for onboard automotive hydrogen storage, since it contains 10 wt.% hydrogen with a high volumetric density of hydrogen. Pure aluminum hydride requires heating to about 150°C before it desorbs significant hydrogen. Doping it with alkali metal hydrides reduces the desorption temperature, but the dopants limit the hydrogen storage capacity in proportion to the amount... read more

06/29/2012
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Process for Fabrication of Efficient Solar Cells

Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a process for fabrication of solar cells with increased efficiency. 

03/23/2012
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Binary Cultivation in Photobioreactors
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new approach to converting solar energy, water, and CO2 into small molecule precursors, fatty acids, lipids, proteins, and other value-added products. The approach uses binary cultivation—inside photobioreactors—to facilitate growth by creating a closed system in which the metabolic by-products of one organism are used to fuel the metabolism in the other.
02/08/2012
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Molecule Nanoweaver Improves Drug Delivery and Treatment Efficacy

The ability to tailor medical patches and capsules at the molecular level offers a game-changing approach to medical treatment and drug delivery. With each molecule positioned for optimal effectiveness, patches and capsules can be improved and customized for a variety of purposes.

02/07/2012
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Magneto-Optic Biosensor Uses Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles (ANL-IN-05-122)

Magnetic nanoparticles and their broad array of properties are enabling scientists to develop increasingly sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective biological sensors. The sensors promise an array of applications as wide-ranging as the discovery of a new drug or remote detection of toxins or contaminants in air or water.

02/07/2012
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Metal Oxide Semiconductor Nanoparticles Pave the Way for Medical Innovation

Argonne researchers have developed a unique application of technology that involves using metal oxide semiconductor nanoparticles to target and control biological molecules. This approach promises to fuel medical breakthroughs in many areas, including the treatment of disease, in vivo gene surgery, and cellular drug delivery.

02/07/2012
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Endoscopic Radiation Revolutionizes Cancer Treatment

Typically, cancer patients who require radiation therapy may experience an array of side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, or changes in the skin.  In addition, the x-ray treatment is linked to secondary cancers.  Recently misaligned x-ray treatment systems have caused illnesses—and even death.   This groundbreaking innovation in radiation therapy provides successful, cost-effective radiation without the limitations of conventional treatment. The... read more

02/07/2012
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Three-Dimensional Thermal Tomography Advances Cancer Treatment (ANL-IN-07-170)

Because they grow more quickly than healthy cells, cancer cells are typically a few degrees higher in temperature. This attribute makes it possible to detect cancer cells through thermal imaging. In active thermal imaging, heat or cold is applied to an object and an infrared camera is used to observe the resulting temperature change. For this reason, thermal imaging is helpful in detecting breast cancer and determining skin damage as a result of radiation cancer treatment.

A recent... read more

02/07/2012
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High-Tech Brain Implant Predicts, Prevents Epileptic Seizures (ANL-IN-08-043)

Epilepsy, a seizure disorder, affects nearly 3 million people in the United States and 50 million worldwide. Although medication can help treat epilepsy, it has not eliminated seizures for all who live with the condition. Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory—together with researchers from Flint Hills Scientific, LLC, and Biofil, Sarov, Russia—have developed an advanced brain implant system that finds and stops seizures before they happen. This innovation offers... read more

02/07/2012
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Detecting and Analyzing Multiple Moving Objects in a Crowd
While human eyes can unconsciously perceive independent objects in coherent motion patterns such as crowds, automated systems have difficulty detecting and counting independently moving objects. A robust algorithm that works with a video recording apparatus to detect, count, and analyze regions of activity in crowds was developed by computer scientists at ORNL. The algorithm selects regions of coherent motion in both time and space, and then identifies sets of tracks that may contain objects of... read more
10/27/2011
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Low-cost, Rapid DNA Sequencing Technique
A faster, less expensive, more accurate and more reliable method for DNA sequencing has been developed at ORNL. The method takes a high-frequency measurement on a single strand of DNA or RNA deposited on a substrate using an alternating current (AC). The data is used as a criterion to identify the genetic sequence.
10/27/2011
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Search Method for Real-time Knowledge Discovery Modeled on the Human Brain
A new computational search method developed by an ORNL researcher detects patterns in digital data by adapting unique information processing properties of the human brain to computational knowledge discovery. The ORNL method follows a new paradigm, the neocortex of the human brain, which has superior speed and insight in processing text, images, audio, and sensory data simultaneously for real-time situational understanding. The technology can be used in situations as diverse as inferring... read more
10/27/2011
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Coordinated Garbage Collection for RAID Array of Solid State Disks
An ORNL invention that replaces existing magnetic disks with solid state disks, which have no mechanical moving parts, can more efficiently store, move, or clear unwanted data. The invention uses Global Garbage Collection (GGC) technology to enhance both storage and retrieval performance in future solid state disk-based computer systems. The new technology functions on both servers and mass consumer computers.
10/27/2011
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Intrinsic Feature-Based Pose Measurement for Medical Imaging Motion Compensation
Tomographic imaging of awake, unrestrained animals or humans during a scan can result in blurring and unusable 3D images due to movement by the subject. This invention measures and tracks the motion of an awake subject during a medical imaging scan using only the natural appearance of that subject.
10/27/2011
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Method for Preparing Nanoporous Cell-Scaled Reaction Vessels
Researchers at ORNL developed a method to engineer and fabricate nanoscale reaction vessels that mimic biological cells. The picoliter-size reaction vessls have nanoscale pores that allow molecules to enter and exit based on their size, much as molecules do in living cells. This method can eventually be used to contain and create more complex networks. The invention holds great promise for industry and research, where synthetic biologists can match the scale of biological systems and create... read more
10/27/2011
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Prevention and Treatment of Fouled Medical Device Surfaces
To prevent infection due to contamination on medical devices inserted into the body, ORNL researchers developed a method to inhibit bacteria growth and formation of biofilm. The technology could be applied to catheters, drug delivery devices, shunts, and long-term implants such as joint replacements. Because all of these devices have a tendency to become contaminated by bacteria or other microbial species, this invention is relevant for enhancing a wide range of medical treatments.
10/27/2011
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Universal Gene Transfer Technology for Gram Positive Bacteria
A genetic engineering technology invented at ORNL facilitates DNA delivery to a cell by using ultrasound to permeate the cell’s plasma membrane. DNA delivery using this technology is simple, quick, inexpensive, and offers a universal method for gene transfer.
10/27/2011
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Neutron Detection Using an Embedded Sol-Gel Neutron Absorber
ORNL researchers invented a method for neutron detection that can play an important role in international safeguards and U.S. security. The technology, based on sol-gel chemistry, uses metallic oxides embedded in a glass film that fission when bombarded with neutrons, producing a signature event in the film. Using ultraviolet light, fission products of the metallic oxides and electron emissions can be quickly detected.
10/27/2011
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Combined Electric Machine and Current Source Inverter Drive System
This technology is a drive system that includes a permanent magnet-less (PM-L) electric motor combined with a current source inverter (CSI). This integration of these two ORNL technologies opens a new chapter for component function integration, instead of traditional integration by simply placing separate motor and inverter components in the same housing.
10/27/2011
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New Vapor-Particle Separator Improves Understanding of Aircraft Engine Combustion and Particulate Emissions

A new apparatus has been developed by ORNL researchers to efficiently separate volatile particles from condensible vapors in aircraft engine emissions. The technology enables high-precision emissions research, generating insightful data that helps improve the scientific understanding of the combustion process of modern jet engines and the formation process of secondary particulate matter in the atmosphere.

10/27/2011
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System to Continuously Produce Carbon Fiber via Microwave-Assisted Plasma Processing
Using a microwave-assisted plasma (MAP) system developed at ORNL, carbon fibers with specific mechanical properties can be produced on a continuous or semi-continuous basis more efficiently and less expensively than conventional methods. This invention can contribute towards widespread use of carbon fiberbased composites by the consumer industry as an alternative to lower-strength, heavier conventional structure materials such as steel.
10/25/2011
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Integrated Used Nuclear Fuel Storage, Transportation, and Disposal Canister System

Researchers at ORNL have developed an integrated system that reduces the total life-cycle cost of used fuel storage while improving overall safety. This multicanister approach provides superior assembly and burnup/damaged fuel capacity. The invention also reduces the need for future repackaging of fuel for transit or storage.

10/25/2011
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Robust Low-Frequency Spread-Spectrum Navigation System
The Triply Redundant Integrated Navigation and Asset Visibility System (TRI•NAV) developed by researchers at ORNL expands the ability of GPS navigation systems to reliably function under a variety of adverse conditions, as well as detect multipath, jamming, or spoofing-induced errors. TRI•NAV synergistically combines the use of GPS with a ground-based radio-frequency (RF) scheme known as TPS (the Theater Position System) and a low cost, mid-level performance inertial navigation system... read more
10/25/2011
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Real Power Regulation for the Utility Power Grid via Responsive Loads
A new methodology for dynamically managing an electrical system was invented by researchers at ORNL. Balancing power generation with load demand is critical to ensuring a stable and reliable power supply. This invention provides a new solution to power regulation that can eliminate operational inefficiencies and potentially save the utility industry significant energy generation costs each year.
10/25/2011
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Ionic Liquids as New Solvents for Improved Separation of Medical Isotopes
A series of ionic liquids (ILs) have recently been applied as new solvents for potentially effective separation of different medical isotopes at ORNL. The uniqueness of these ILs includes excellent separation factors using neat ILs without any dissolved extractant ligand.
10/25/2011
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Composition and Method for Rapid and Equimolar CO2 Capture
The emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning of fossil fuels has received worldwide attention because of its implication in climate change, which threatens economies and environments. Accordingly, new materials that can efficiently, reversibly, and economically capture CO2 must be developed. Currently, the goal is to design and prepare sorbent materials with high capacities and rapid absorption rate for CO2 capture.
10/25/2011
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Lithium/Sulfur Batteries Based on Doped Mesoporous Carbon
A sulfur/carbon composite material was prepared by heat treatment of doped mesoporous carbon and elemental sulfur at a temperature inside a stainless steel vessel, which was used in lithium/sulfur batteries that were tested in electrolytes.
10/25/2011
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Hierarchically Ordered Porous Carbon Films for Commercial Water Desalination
Porous carbon films that can be optimized and assembled as electrodes in a device to desalinate water have been successfully produced at ORNL. The new porous carbon has a controlled, well-ordered hierarchy of pore sizes that readily adsorbs materials in industrial desalination processes. Unlike existing films, these carbon films can readily be produced in a batch-to-batch, repeatable, and uniform way on a commercial scale.
10/25/2011
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Screening Tool for Providers of Double-Stranded DNA
The invention screens purchase orders submitted to DNA synthesis companies.
10/25/2011
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Catalytic Conversion of Bioethanol to Hydrocarbons
A method for catalytically converting an alcohol to a hydrocarbon without requiring purified or concentrated alcohol was invented by ORNL researchers. This approach can be used for relatively dilute bio-mass produced alcohols, such as those found in a biomass fermentation reactor.
10/25/2011
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Acoustic Enhancement of Photodetecting Devices
ORNL inventors developed a method that enhances the photodetecting ability of devices used in many applications, from television remotes, to standoff detectors for suspect materials, to advanced weapons guidance. Using a high Q acoustic resonator, the invention increases the sensitivity of the detectors by an order of magnitude—producing a dramatic improvement in detection levels. The invention provides a very economic way of enhancing the sensitivity of detectors that would otherwise be... read more
10/18/2011
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Lithiated Glass Scintillating-Particle Neutron Detector
A unique neutron detector developed at ORNL features a matrix material that uses scintillating particles, suspended in glass, to detect neutron radiation. The technology enables a wide variety of non-neutron scintillators to be used for neutron detection, with properties tooled for the specific type of detection required. This detector holds significant potential in future security monitoring, medical technology, and scientific research applications.
10/18/2011
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Trapping and Measuring Charged Particles in Liquids
A nanoscale version of the Paul ion trap was developed by researchers at ORNL to trap and filter single atomic and molecular ions in liquid environments. Nanoscale control of matter offers an unprecedented means of examining and manipulating biological molecules, ions, polymers, and reactions. Genome sequencing especially benefits from the nanoscale approach.
10/18/2011
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Redox Flow Batteries for Grid-scale Energy Storage
Though considered a promising large-scale energy storage device, the real-world deployment of redox flow batteries has been limited by their inability to work well in a wide range of temperatures and their relatively high cost. Historically, the state-of-the-art has been an all-vanadium redox flow battery using a sulfate-based electrolyte.

Researchers at PNNL have developed two novel approaches to redox flow batteries that overcome these barriers and offer superior performance and cost... read more
10/03/2011
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Reactive Air Aluminizing
Reactive Air Aluminizing is a process for applying a protective coating on steel components in solid oxide fuel cells and other high temperature electrochemical devices. This innovative process results in a continuous aluminum oxide coating that reduces chromium volatility and mitigates chemical interaction between glass seals and steel components during exposures at extremely high temperatures (up to 800° Celsius in lab tests).
10/03/2011
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Cofermentation with Cooperative Microorganisms for More Efficient Biomass Conversion
It is well known that biomass has primarily two sources of fermentable carbohydrates, cellulose and hemicelluloses. Research has been underway for decades aimed at both depolymerizing these complex carbohydrates and fermenting them to products of interest such as fuels and chemicals. Common approaches are the addition of enzyme to carry out the hydrolysis (depolymerization) and include a microorganism that can ferment some or all the resulting simple sugars. Various microorganisms have... read more
09/16/2011
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TiBor Skin

Y-12 invites interested companies to license its patent-pending method known as TiBor Skin. This two-part technology enables creation and fabrication of toughened and corrosion- and wear-resistant composite structures. First, it provides a family of coatings or surface materials for application on metals plus methods of applying these materials. Second, it provides methods of interjoining the applied coatings with their substrates to form composite structures, the surfaces of which wear and... read more

09/12/2011
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Infrared Debonding

Infrared (IR) Debonding is a dry, nondestructive method of using heat to separate components joined by adhesives. The method has many permutations, lending itself in separating a myriad of different materials bonded by a wide variety of substances. The technology involves the use of a portable IR apparatus within which debonding is accomplished.

09/12/2011
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Tropexx – Blending System
The Tropexx Blending System is a high-resolution blending system that works with gases, vapors and volatile (readily vaporizable) liquids in addition to moisture.

Tropexx can be used to check instrument calibration by substantiating, within parts per million, the accuracy of instrument readings. It also is a high-precision laboratory tool for blending gases and vapors for application in corrosion and material evaluation studies.
09/12/2011
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SSTARS – Safeguards and Security Tracking, Analysis and Reporting

SSTARS is a feature-rich system for issues management and enhanced tracking and trending related to security and safety. SSTARS allows users to drill down to distinct issues, such as security problems with a specific door during a particular time of day. Unlike other commercial systems, SSTARS has data-trending features that provide security and safety organizations the information they need to be proactive rather than reactive.

09/12/2011
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Personal Annunciation Device

The Personal Annunciation Device provides both the means to notify individuals instantly of an emergency situation, and also their approximate whereabouts to command personnel. This technology integrates RFID, wireless communication, sensors with alarm states into an integrated recognize-send-receive-account system. This technology can be adapted to most any high-hazard or emergency condition.

09/12/2011
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Extrans – Permeation Measurement System
The Extrans Permeation Measurement System is a customizable system for testing the behavior and uniformity of polymers and other materials. The system can be used to determine permeation rates using variable temperatures, total pressures, differential pressures, and mechanical deformations as well as adjustable concentration levels for gases and liquids. Extrans supports permeation testing from liquid-to-gas or from gas-to-gas phases.
09/12/2011
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ARCS – Access Rate Control System
The Access Rate Control System (ARCS) system is a fully mechanical, ready-to-install kit that controls the speed of a person’s entry through full-height turnstiles. The faster the entry speed, the more resistance is generated by ARCS on the rotor to slow the operator.

At a preset normal entry speed, the operator can pass through with minimal rotor force, and ARCS freewheels on exit. All internal components are furnished in a weather-protected steel housing. This low-cost kit can be... read more
09/12/2011
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Omni Jaw 5 Powered Protrusion Cutter

Y-12 invites interested companies to license its patented Powered Protrusion Cutter (PPC), originally designed for the Department of Energy as a portable asbestos cyanide-dipped bolt cutter. The PPC cuts and traps the bolt head to eliminate environmental and safety hazards.

The PPC is a high-powered hydraulic tool that generates up to 5 tons of force on the cutting jaw. An electric trigger placed ergonomically on the handle actuates it. The longer the momentary trigger is held open, the higher... read more

09/12/2011
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Hybrid Microwave Energy
A team of scientists from the Savannah River National Laboratory and the University of Florida has successfully applied microwave technology to a variety of waste management applications.  As a result of this collaboration, unique equipment and processes have been developed using hybrid microwave energy for the destruction of electronic circuitry and an assortment of waste streams, immobilization of hazardous constituents, and reclamation of valuable metals.

Each year many products... read more
07/20/2011
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MicroCED
Decades of widespread use and inappropriate disposal of chlorinated ethenes (CE) have resulted in pervasive environmental contamination at thousands of sites in the U. S. and abroad.  These compounds are potent toxicants to humans and extremely persistent in the environment.  Cost effective, reliable, and safe remediation technologies are needed to prevent, contain, and remove chloroethene contamination in the environment.  MicroCED was specifically designed as an efficient and... read more
07/20/2011
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In-Situ Production of Microbial Pigments for Metal and Actinide Immobilization

Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have developed a unique in-situ method of immobilizing metal and radionuclide contaminants in soil.  The In-Situ Production of Microbial Pigments for Metal and Actinide Immobilization has been shown to dramatically reduce the mobility of contaminants in the soil over the the long term without the need for excavation.

07/20/2011
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Nanocrystalline Separation Membrane for Improved Hydrogen Flux

A new method has been developed using a new processing technique that modifies perovskite materials to improve conductivity by altering the microstructure without changing the ratio of the chemical constituents.  The result is a nanocrystalline material that exhibits an increase in weight loss over similar materials made under standard bulk oxide synthesis.  The enhanced oxygen loss translates into an increase in the number of electron charge carriers and elevated electronic... read more

07/14/2011
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Biomass and Coal into Liquid Fuel with CO2 Capture

A scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory has developed a new and efficient process to produce biofuels from coal and other biomass. The new single-step hydrolysis process co-converts coal and any biomass to a liquid fuel while generating a high purity carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

07/11/2011
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Nanolipoprotein Particles for Hydrogen Production

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed a method using nanolipoprotein particles (NLP) to solubilize and isolate membrane bound hydrogenases for the biological production of hydrogen.

Hydrogen is a renewable energy carrier that has the potential to replace fossil fuels in our economy. The majority of hydrogen produced today is from natural gas, heavy oils, and coal. The Department of Energy Hydrogen Program technical plan calls for the development and commercialization of... read more

06/02/2011
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Traumatic Brain Injury Protection: Blast Pressure Sensors in Helmets

The cost of treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) is estimated to run into billions of dollars in the future. To date, the majority of research targeted at understanding and mitigating TBI has focused on impact (blunt trauma), where the duration and magnitude of the acceleration imparted by the impact are typically used to predict damage. However, in some environments, blasts can be a significant contributor to TBI. Using LLNL modeling methods a new mechanism was discovered that may... read more

05/10/2011
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Photon Induced Positron Annihilation (PIPA)

This suite of patents define a non-destructive testing technology that uses photon induced positrons to measure volumetric changes in the lattice structure of metals, polymers, and ceramic components.  The system uses a linear accelerator or calibrated photon source, a germanium (Ge) detector and a data processing that can be operated by an easily-trained individual to provide results for further interpretation. The photon source is directed toward a target to create positrons within it,... read more

04/27/2011
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Universal Fluid Droplet Ejector
Stanford researchers have developed a patented, economical fluid droplet ejector that is capable of varying the vertical and horizontal inter-droplet spacing of a two-dimensional droplet array in real time. This universal design is compatible for a wide variety of fluids because it can be manufactured with a material and process that enables the device to be both chemically inert and biologically sterile. It also utilizes a micro-machined aperture and thermally fused components for easy of... read more
04/27/2011
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Product and Document Security Method
Researchers at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center have invented a patented, inexpensive security method for uniquely marking and identifying of physical objects (such as documents or labels). This technology uses the mixing of inks in numerous different ratios in printing arbitrary marks on a given object. The ink mixture used in a printed mark produces a unique, nonlinear spectral response or pattern upon its optical excitation. This spectral pattern can then be easily measured for... read more
04/27/2011
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Underpotential Deposition-Mediated Layer-by-Layer Growth of Thin Films

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass of noble metal (the mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. First a monolayer of a sacrificial base metal such as copper or lead is deposited onto a core particle via underpotential deposition. Then the base metal is replaced by galvanic displacement with the catalytically active more noble... read more

04/22/2011
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Solid Catalyzed Isoparaffin Alkylation at Supercritical Fluid and Near-Supercritical Fluid Conditions

INL has developed a solid catalyst process for the alkylation reaction of isoparaffins with olefins over solid catalysts. The process includes contacting a mixture of an isoparaffin, an olefin and a phase-modifying material with a solid acid catalyst member under alkylation conversion conditions at either supercritical fluid, or near-supercritical fluid conditions. Temperature and pressure conditions are important in relation to the critical temperature (Tc) and the critical pressure (Pc) of... read more

04/14/2011
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Methods and Systems for the Production of Hydrogen

INL has developed a novel process for producing hydrogen using a reduced outlet temperature of Very High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor. This process uses a combination of hydrogen recycle, a molten salt or helium, and a supercritical CO2 cycle. This method preheats the feed, reduces pumping power in the primary side and/or thermal transmission piping, and converts the power unit, achieving a high electrical conversion efficiency of 45%. This process reduces the operating outlet temperature... read more

04/14/2011
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Phosphazene Membranes for Gas Separations

INL has developed novel membrane materials for the selective removal of polar gases from non-polar gases, such as methane. These phosphazene membranes are mechanically durable, as well as flexible, permitting their application for a wide variety of uses. They are effective when used in challenging environments, such as high temperatures (stable at approximately 300 degrees Celsius), various pressures and corrosive situations. These materials are much simpler, costs less, and are stable in... read more

04/14/2011
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Platinum-Coated Non-Noble Metal-Noble Metal Core-Shell Electrocatalysts

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass platinum (the platinum mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. The nanoparticles have a core-shell structure and include palladium, gold, and their alloys with other transition metals. The platinum-coated composite can be used as an electrocatalyst in place of pure platinum, for example, in... read more

04/08/2011
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Hollow Nanoparticles as Active and Durable Catalysts

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a hollow nanoparticle consisting of an atomically thin shell of the metal surrounding a hollow core. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits much higher platinum mass catalytic activity than solid nanoparticle electrocatalysts. These structures can be used in fuel cells and other... read more

04/08/2011
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Apparatus for the Laser Ablative Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes
This invention can produce copious quantities of carbon nanotubes at rates near grams per hour.
04/07/2011
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Hydrogen Absorption Induced Metal Deposition on Palladium and Palladium-Alloy Particles

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of an atomically thin layer of the metal on a palladium alloy particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits up to twenty times the platinum mass catalytic activity of commercially available platinum/carbon electrocatalysts. These structures can be... read more

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst Having Gold Monolayers on Platinum Nanoparticle Cores and Uses Thereof

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating chemical reactions in fuel cells for electric vehicles. During stop-and-go driving, though, it dissolves. This destroys the catalytic activity of the expensive metal. By adding gold overlayers or gold clusters to the platinum catalyst, dissolution is retarded during charge-discharge cycling.

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction with Reduced Platinum Oxidation and Dissolution Rates

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst for Alcohol Oxidation at Fuel Cell Anodes

Ethanol and other alcohols are nearly ideal reactants for fuel cells. Unfortunately they are difficult to oxidize, requiring breaking of carbon-carbon bonds. This ternary catalyst consisting of platinum and rhodium on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles effectively splits the carbon-carbon bonds of alcohols at room temperature in acid solutions. Other catalysts require much higher applied voltages to split the bonds, making them impractical for use in a power source such as a fuel... read more

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalysts for Alcohol Oxidation in Fuel Cells

Platinum is an excellent catalyst and electrocatalyst. It is also expensive and vulnerable to poisoning by carbon monoxide in the reaction environment. By supporting platinum on nickel or cobalt tungstate, the amount of platinum necessary to achieve the same catalytic activity for oxidizing alcohol in a fuel cell is reduced, as is the tendency for the platinum to lose its activity during contact with carbon monoxide. Adding about ten percent ruthenium or molybdenum oxide to the binary... read more

04/02/2011
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Carbon Monoxide Tolerant Electrocatalyst with Low Platinum Loading and a Process for its Preparation

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also easily poisoned by carbon monoxide and very expensive. Tolerance to carbon monoxide can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of clusters or an atomically thin layer of the platinum on a ruthenium particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxidation of fuel at a fuel cell anode, this structure exhibits low platinum loading and elevated tolerance to carbon monoxide when compared to commercially... read more

04/01/2011
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Skin-Like Prosthetic Polymer Surfaces

Artificial limbs help to restore normal function to amputees. Surface materials for prostheses need to look realistic, hold up to exposure, and mimic skin. ORNL scientists combined superhydrophobic polymer inventions with carbon nanotubes to create a self-cleaning skin-like surface material with the ability to transmit heat. This material provides an improved external covering for mechanical prosthetics.

03/29/2011
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Anatomic and Functional Imaging of Tagged Molecules in Animals
A novel functional imaging system for use in the imaging of unrestrained and non-anesthetized small animals or other subjects and a method for acquiring such images and further registering them with anatomical X-ray images previously or subsequently acquired.
03/29/2011
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Superhydrophobic Coatings
ORNL researchers have developed a variety of materials and processes to produce coatings with superhydrophobic properties (i.e. coatings that repel water extremely efficiently), providing  potential benefits ranging from reduced drag and increased fuel efficiency in maritime vessels, avoidance of ice accumulation on airplane wings, increased capacity in pipes and hoses, and improved performance of medical implants.
03/29/2011
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Dual-Color Auto-Calibration Scanning-Angle Evanescent Field Microscope

Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a new microscope that can be used for live cell imaging as well as for examining single molecule dynamics.  Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) is a mode of fluorescence microscopy that has been widely used for live-cell imaging at the interface between a biological sample and a cover slip or tissue culture well.  TIRFM is based on the induction of an evanescent wave in the liquid adjacent to the interface, which is... read more

03/28/2011
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Nuclear Cargo Detector
Apparatus for the inspection of cargo containers for nuclear materials comprising one or more arrays of modules comprising grounded, closed conductive tubes filled with an ionizing gas mixture such as, but not limited to, Argon:CO.sub.2.
03/28/2011
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Grid Friendly™ Charger Controller

The Grid Friendly™Charger Controller technology allows electric car owners to recharge their rides at times of lowest cost and least stress on the grid.

03/28/2011
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Rapid Cooling Using Ice Slurries for Industrial and Medical Applications

Under funding from DOE in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Argonne researchers developed ice slurry technology for industrial and municipal applications—specifically, to replace chilled-water cooling systems in building complexes. Because of the high energy content of ice slurry, its cooling capacity is many times greater than that of single-phase fluids. Ice slurry coolants in HVAC systems can therefore provide more efficient cooling, with substantially lower operational and equipment... read more

03/25/2011
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Next-Generation Catalysts for Fuel Cells

Argonne scientists have developed a rational design of catalysts for chemical reactions in fuel cells. The approach could lead to a new generation of electrochemical materials for efficient and clean energy conversion. Today, approximately 30 grams of platinum (Pt) are used to catalyze the electrochemical reaction in a fuel cell. At today’s prices, the cost of this amount of Pt catalyst material is almost $1,600. Argonne’s new, improved catalyst materials could dramatically... read more

03/25/2011
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Ceramic Membranes for Hydrogen/Oxygen Production

In the long term, hydrogen is expected to be the fuel of choice for both the power and transportation industries. Just as conventional cars need gas stations, hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars will need an infrastructure. Hydrogen separation technology is integral to successful fossil-based hydrogen production technologies. Thin, dense composite membranes fabricated from ceramic and hydrogen-transport metal may provide a simple, efficient means for separating hydrogen from fossil-based gas... read more

03/25/2011
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Battery Life Estimation (BLE) and Data Analysis

Argonne’s BLE Software is a state-of-the-art analytical tool for predicting cell and battery lifetimes on the basis of limited test data. Because hybrid vehicles are so new to the market, researchers don't have data spanning many years. They need a tool to reliably, quickly and accurately predict battery performance. BLE software can make life-cycle estimates using as little as two years' worth of aging data. With this limited data, researchers can use BLE to estimate how... read more

03/25/2011
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MEMS-Based Pyroelectric Thermal Energy Scavenger
A new type of microelectromechanical system (MEMS ) high efficiency heat energy converter, or scavenger, was invented by ORNL researchers. This device is based on temperature cycled cantilevered pyroelectric capacitors. The scavenger converts thermal waste heat to electricity that can be used to monitor sensor systems, or recycled to provide electrical power while simultaneously reducing thermal cooling requirements. Given the current state of global industry, which discharges over 100... read more
12/07/2010