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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you’ll find marketing summaries for technologies available for licensing from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The summaries provide descriptions of the technologies including their benefits, applications and industries, and development stage.

155 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Early Stage R&DSuperhydrophobic Transparent Glass Thin Films
Glass used in building materials (curtain walls), windshields, goggles, glasses,
optical lenses, and similar applications must be durable and transparent. To meet
this challenge, ORNL researchers have invented a method to produce durable,
superhydrophobic, antireflective glass thin films for coating such surfaces.
Other processes exist for producing materials with the desired qualities,
including superhydrophobic and antimicrobial surfaces; however, in most cases
the resulting materials exhibit poor... read more
09/24/2012
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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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Plant 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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Automated 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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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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Citizen Engagement for Energy Efficient Communities (CoNNECT)
Promoting energy efficiency is a primary focus for achieving sustainable energy. There have been many programs that target the use of energy efficient technologies. But to increase the likelihood of achieving desired energy savings, citizens need to go beyond one-time improvements that are often not monitored and measured over time. By allowing consumers to easily analyze and share their own energy usage data, an effective and sustainable way of achieving energy efficiency goals can emerge.
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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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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Method and Compositions for Treatment of Subsurface Contaminants
This invention describes compositions and methods for oxidizing subsurface contaminants. Compositions include compatible combinations of surfactants, cosolvents and chemical oxidants.
10/06/2011
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Computational Method for Detecting and Enhancing Protein Dynamics
ORNL researchers have developed a method that uses simulation and experimental data to detect, analyze, and manipulate protein activity. This approach enables enhancement of the chemical reaction rates of enzymes by many orders of magnitude. More efficient enzymes are widely sought for applications in the biochemical industry, pharmaceuticals, and protein engineering.

Theoretical and computational techniques are particularly useful in discovering and characterizing internal protein dynamics at... read more
10/04/2011
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Bacterial Production of Mixed Metal Oxide Nanoparticles
Researchers at ORNL have developed a method for producing mixed metal oxide nanoparticles using anaerobic bacteria with an electron donor to reduce a metal oxide composition from a higher to a lower oxidation state. This method may be applied to cultures of a variety of metal-reducing bacteria to reduce the toxicity of dopant species to bacteria. In addition, the method provides a means by which bacteria with specifically tailored electron acceptors could facilitate research in bacterial... read more
10/04/2011
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Internal Labeling Technique Tracks Nanoparticle Transport
To track the transport of nanoscale particles and core-shell particles in biological and environmental systems, ORNL researchers developed a way to insert a radioisotope or a fluorophore into the particle as an observable marker. Internalized labeling of nanoparticles leaves the surface intact and available for functionalization with a host of species. No other comparable option for labeled nanoparticles is currently available.

Conventional approaches to surface labeling can cause markers to... read more
10/04/2011
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Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles for Rapid, Ultra- sensitive Detection of Environmental Pollutants
A rapid, highly sensitive, inexpensive method to detect and identify specific hazardous environmental pollutants has been invented by ORNL researchers. The method uses gold nanoparticles, modified and positively charged by an amine group, to identify hazards such as perchlorates, nitrates, and some radioactive materials in as little as one minute of real time. Because of its high stability, specificity, and sensitivity to these materials, the technique and substrate reagent can be used for... read more
10/04/2011
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Imprinting Method for Selective Mesoporous Sorbents
An ORNL invention uses a unique molecular surface imprinting technique to make sorbent materials that can be tailored to target specific molecules. The mesoporous, ordered sorbents can sense, quantify, and remove toxic ions from effluents. The method offers a new class of chemical tools for industrial cleanup processes.

A major challenge facing mining and energy industries is the removal of toxic metal ions from process water or gas. The ORNL invention improves on existing technology by offering... read more
10/04/2011
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Solid State eBurner for Supplying Power to Laptops, Cellphones
Researchers at ORNL invented a device that converts energy from thermoelectric materials to power for cell phones, laptops, and other portable electric devices. This unique means of producing power is more powerful, lighter, and smaller than existing technologies. Because the only byproducts from this invention are carbon dioxide and water vapor, a substantial reduction in environmental impact from conventional battery disposal is possible with wide-spread use of this device.
10/04/2011
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Intelligent Software Agents for Enhancing Sensor Networks Monitoring of Changing Conditions
Intelligent software agents developed by ORNL researchers can be used with sensor networks in distributed and centralized computing systems to enhance detection and response by sensors to changing, and potentially hazardous, environmental conditions. The software components are imbedded at the sensor network nodes in surveillance systems used for monitoring unusual events. When an event occurs, the software agents can establish a new concept of operation at the sensing node, post the event... read more
10/04/2011
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Sensor Rapidly Measures the Concentration of Oxygen in Fluids
To provide rapid measurement of oxygen concentrations in fluids, ORNL researchers developed a sensor that measures oxygen in temperatures from 0 degrees Celsius up to the 200 degrees Celsius commonly found in intake manifolds. The sensor can be used in a variety of applications to quickly and inexpensively detect oxygen levels, including internal combustion engines, medical monitors, and marine biology measurement technologies.

Compared to current sensor technology, such as universal exhaust gas... read more
10/04/2011
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Accelerated Technique for Carbon Mesoporous Materials
ORNL has developed improved production that is both more efficient and less costly for carbon mesoporous materials with pore diameters between 2 and 50 nm. This accelerated production method offers a more resilient product for commercial use in gas separation, water filtration, and electrode materials.
10/04/2011
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Using Ionic Liquids to Make Titanium Dioxide Nanotubes
Since self-organized TiO2 nanotube (NT) arrays were first reported in 1999, there has been increasing research interest due to their comparably larger surface area, chemical stability, biocompatibility and the ability to provide an excellent electron percolation pathway for vectoral charge transfer between interfaces. The most commonly used fabrication method is anodization of titanium metal in aqueous or organic polarized electrolytes baths containing fluoride species such as NH4F, HF, or NaF.... read more
10/04/2011
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Nanopost Arrays Anchor Molecules, Improve Ion Yields for Laser Mass Spectrometry
Silicon nanopost arrays (NAPA) in a broad range of geometries are being developed at ORNL. These can be used as matrices to detect and analyze molecules by laser mass spectrometry: A matrix of nanoposts protects the biomolecule from beam damage and facilitates the vaporization and ionization needed in mass spectrometry. The nanofabricated arrays also provide improved laser ionization yields, so that the molecular samples deposited on them can be detected and identified with great selectivity... read more
10/04/2011
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Optical Backscatter Probe for Sensing Particulate Matter
To provide emissions information for automotive engines, ORNL researchers developed a technology that enables very rapid measurement of particulate matter in gas emissions. This fiber optic-based probe can be used in engine locations that are typically inaccessible to existing measurement tools. The automotive industry values particulate information to support long-term objectives to reduce emissions, while auto technicians rely on these measurements to diagnose engine problems.
10/04/2011
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Mapping Battery Activity at the Level of a Billionth of a Meter
An ORNL method and apparatus offer a new approach to revealing battery behavior at the nanoscale. With this invention, researchers successfully mapped lithium diffusivity and electrochemical activity, showing how the battery works at the level of a billionth of a meter.

Future energy technologies will rely heavily on lithium-based batteries for electrochemical energy storage. To develop and to optimize battery performance, researchers need to understand how lithium, electron transport, and... read more
10/04/2011
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Carbon Films Produced from Ionic Liquid Precursors
Researchers at ORNL have invented a more effective method of preparing thin carbons films, a material that has become increasing important to the development of energy-saving storage batteries. Using this new method, it is possible to produce a very resilient, thermally stable porous carbon film characterized by a highly ordered arrangement of uniformly sized pores.

Conventional polymer carbon precursors are typically in solid form and must first be dissolved in a solvent. This is a... read more
10/04/2011
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“Brick-and-Mortar” Self-Assembly Approach to Mesoporous Carbon Nanocomposites
Mesoporous carbon materials lack sufficient ordering at the atomic scale to exhibit good conductivity properties and thermal stability. To date, mesoporous carbons having uniform mesopores and high surface areas have been prepared from partially graphitizable precursors in the presence of templates. High-temperature thermal treatments above 2000 C, which are usually required to increase conductivity, result in a partial or total collapse of the mesoporous structures and reduced surface areas... read more
10/04/2011
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Real Space Mapping of Oxygen Vacancy Diffusion and Electrochemical Transformations by Hysteretic Current Reversal Curve Measurements
Electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems based on solid–gas and solid–liquid reactions and local bias-induced transformations are a vital component of future energy and information technologies. Development of high- energy and power-density materials necessitates understanding the nanoscale mechanisms involved in secondary batteries, fuel cell and air-battery operation. These mechanisms include the interplay between interfacial electrochemical reactions, oxygen vacancy... read more
10/04/2011
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Microbial Reduction of Furfurals to Furan Alcohols by a Microbial Species
An ORNL researcher developed a method for producing furfuryl alcohol (FA) through bioprocessing using a thermophilic microorganism. This organism has been shown to be highly resistant to the toxic effects of furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and can propagate in the presence of over 48 g/L (500 mM) of furfural.

10/04/2011
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Caloramator sp. Tolerance of Pretreatment Inhibitors from Lignocellulosics
ORNL inventors discovered a novel microorganism that displays exceptional tolerance to several growth inhibitors generated during dilute acid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass.
10/04/2011
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Microorganisms to Speed Production of Biofuels
Researchers at ORNL developed microorganisms that can quickly overcome the resistance of biomass to breakdown, and improved both the cost and efficiency of the biofuel conversion process.
10/04/2011
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Decorative Steel Composition with a Crystalline Surface
A method for producing a new decorative steel with a crystalline surface was developed by an ORNL researcher. This invention potentially represents the first new decorative steel to be introduced since the development of Damascus steel around 1100 AD. In this invention, the type of decorative steel formed can be controlled by using crystals with different crystallographic orientations and by influencing the crystal growth process. The invention is suitable for a variety of applications where an... read more
10/04/2011
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Apparatus and Method for Oxidation and Stabilization of Polymeric Materials
Researchers at ORNL have developed a faster and more cost-effective method of oxidizing and stabilizing thermoplastic materials than is currently used in conventional carbon fiber production. This invention increases the rate of oxygen diffusion and chemical cross-linking of the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor or other polymeric materials.

The production of carbon fibers from polymeric materials is a multi-step manufacturing process. Conventional oxidation or stabilization is the most time-... read more
10/04/2011
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End-to-End Supply Chain Tracking
ORNL researchers have developed a method for tracking sensitive or hazardous materials through a supply chain across loosely coupled networks. This system enables tracking from manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing to transportation. As international trade and off-shore sourcing continues to transform the global supply chain, it is increasingly critical to be able to track assets across local, regional and international systems.

There are current systems which offer asset visibility but... read more
10/04/2011
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Quick, Efficient Film Deposition for Nanomaterials
Researchers at ORNL developed a process for manufacturing a thin film from a layer of particles, as well as complex three dimensional devices. The nanomaterials are deposited, and then rapidly fused into a functional, multi-material thin-film. The process saves time and energy compared to conventional methods.

A significant challenge in conventional thin film production is the need to use multiple deposition and annealing steps for introducing and reacting each of the elements which comprise a... read more
10/04/2011
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Flywheel Energy Storage Device for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
This cost-effective technology stores and reuses what would otherwise be wasted energy inside a hybrid electric vehicle engine. The invention, a mechanical flywheel coupled to a rotor inside the engine, stores rotational energy during engine performance, subsequently feeding it back to assist with acceleration and braking.

The device significantly improves fuel efficiency and does not conflict with other energy storage components, such as batteries. No special container is required, as the... read more
09/29/2011
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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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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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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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Ultra-stable Gold Nanocatalysts
Gold is inert in large quantities but exhibits surprisingly high catalytic activity when dispersed as small nanoparticles on selected metal oxides. ORNL researchers successfully deposited and stabilized gold nanoparticles on surfaces of rare earth materials, creating ultra-stable gold nanocatalysts that exhibit unprecedented efficiency in industrial oxidation processes. The bottleneck for commercialization of gold catalysts has been problems with critical stability.
12/15/2010
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Spatially Resolved Quantitative Mapping for Thermal Analysis Using Scanning Probe Microscopy
ORNL researchers invented a method that uses band excitation acoustic force microscopy for quantitative mapping of polymeric materials. This technique probes thermomechanical properties and phase transition temperatures of materials at the nanometer scale. Data from this method are important for a variety of structural and functional materials, including composites, pharmaceuticals, and coatings.
12/15/2010
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Scanning Probe Microscopy with Spectroscopic Molecular Recognition
ORNL researchers developed an innovative imaging method that possesses the imaging capability of scanning near-field ultrasound holography and the chemical specificity of reverse photoacoustic spectroscopy. This imaging method can achieve chemical differentiation with nanometer resolution.
12/15/2010
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Band Excitation Method Applicable to Scanning Probe Microscopy
Using adaptive band excitation, ORNL researchers invented new scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques that offer improved data acquisition, processing, and control. These techniques enable researchers to carry out functional imaging and manipulation down to the nanometer and atomic scale.
12/15/2010
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New Ionic Liquids with Diverse Properties
Hundreds of new ionic liquids can be synthesized using a method invented by ORNL researchers. This innovation makes it possible to produce ionic liquids and ionic compounds with a variety of tunable chemical properties, and provides ion liquids that are nonvolatile and nonpolluting. These liquids are important in many scientific research and energy applications, including chemical catalysis and in the design of new ultracapacitors.
12/15/2010
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Treatment of Fuel Process Wastewater Using Fuel Cells
ORNL researchers invented a method using microbial fuel cells for cleansing fuel processing water of hydrocarbon by-products and metal salts. This cost efficient method can be used on-site, so that water does not need to be transported to a treatment facility. It also permits fuel processing water to be safely discharged into the environment or used for other purposes.
12/15/2010
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Toughened Graphite Electrode for High Heat Electric Arc Furnaces
A tougher and more resilient graphite electrode was developed at ORNL to melt steel, titanium, and other scrap metal in industrial electric arc furnaces. Researchers invented a carbon fiber-pitch binder composition that is tough enough to avoid recurrent electrode failure in industrial smelting. The technology also reduces the amount of carbon needed in the production process and resolves inefficient dispersion of carbon in current technology.
12/15/2010
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Carbon or Graphite Foam Heating Element for Regulating Engine Fluids
Automotive engines need to run hotter to meet requirements for better fuel economy and lower emissions, but devices to keep engine fluids from becoming too hot can add weight, cost, and complexity to engine designs. ORNL researchers developed a graphite foam heating element that can eliminate the need for a separate cooler for oil and other fluids. The invention also has the potential to cool known engine hot spots, which can increase the life of the engine.
12/15/2010
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Liquid Metal Heat Exchanger for Geologic Deposits
Researchers at ORNL developed a down-well heating apparatus that efficiently heats subterranean geological deposits, such as oil shale, to extract hydrocarbons for energy needs. The apparatus provides more efficient heat transfer than existing technologies for hydrocarbon extraction. It also holds promise for in situ remediation of contaminated soils and geological formations by thermal decomposition.
12/15/2010
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Enhancing Cation-Exchange Capacity of Biochar for Soil Amendment and Global Carbon Sequestration
Photosynthesis captures more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than any other process on Earth. However, because biomass is not stable and is always decomposing, it is of limited use for carbon isolation. In contrast, carbonized biomass, or biochar, is very stable. This ORNL invention is a process technology that can improve the soil nutrient properties of biochar by enhancing its cation exchange capacity.
12/08/2010
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Ultrastable Superbase-Derived Protic Ionic Liquids
ORNL researchers developed a method of producing a new family of conductive,low-volatility protic ionic liquids (PILs). Protic ionic liquids can be used in protonexchange membrane fuel cells for the transformation of chemical energy to electrical energy. These liquids are also useful as separation materials and solvent systems in chemical reactions.
12/08/2010
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Ionic Liquids as Lubricants or Additives
New ionic liquids invented at ORNL show great promise as lubricants for aluminum and steel in combustion engines, bearings, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The ammonium-based ionic liquids are strongly adsorbant on contact surfaces, leading to a more than 30% friction reduction in metal-based interacting parts, compared with conventional 15W40 engine oil. This new class of lubricants can lead to dramatic energy savings: Friction and wear in machine parts costs the United States... read more
12/08/2010
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Multi-winding Homopolar Electric Machine Offers Variable Voltage at Low Rotational Speed
A nineteenth century invention by Michael Faraday, the Faraday disc machine, has undergone a twenty-first century improvement at ORNL. Now known as a homopolar electric machine, the ORNL invention offers greater (and variable) voltage output at low rotational speeds without a gearbox. Previous designs have been restricted to low voltage output at high rotational speed, thus requiring heavy and expensive gearboxes.
12/08/2010
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Microbial Fuel Cells for Recycle of Process Water from Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefineries
A method was invented at ORNL for removing inhibitor compounds from process water in biomass-to-ethanol production. This invention can also be used to produce power for other industrial processes.
12/08/2010
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Bioelectrochemical Treatment of Gaseous By-products
A new method for using gaseous compounds to produce energy, while also removing harmful by-products, was invented by ORNL researchers. This invention offers an efficient use of waste products, such as sulfurous compounds or carbon monoxide, and can reduce the overall cost of industrial operations.
12/08/2010
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Targeted Mutagenesis Tool in Mesophilic Cellulolytic Clostridia Species
ORNL researchers invented a targeted mutagenesis method to genetically modify Gram-positive bacteria, especially within the class of Clostridia. Clostridium cellulolyticum ATCC35319 is the model system of mesophilic cellulolytic Clostridia species. These anaerobic bacteria are capable of degrading cellulose and can contribute to the production cellulose-derived ethanol. This is the only system of its kind for these species.
12/08/2010
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Microbially Mediated Method for Making Semiconductor Nanoparticles
To address the commercial need for bulk production at a reasonable cost, ORNL researchers developed a microbially mediated method for the production of semiconductor nanoparticles. This invention also offers a means of microbial synthesis that yields a purer and more uniform product.
12/08/2010
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Directional Reactive Power Ground Plane Transmission
ORNL researchers have developed a pioneering power alternative to batteries using directional reactive power. Batteries are currently the primary option for powering mobile electronic equipment; however, batteries are heavy and battery life is limited. Reactive power is the phenomenon that occurs when alternating voltage and current are 90 degrees out-of-phase with respect to time. This phenomenon allows electrical transmission on a single wire without a return path.
12/08/2010
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Solid Lithium Ion Conducting Electrolytes Suitable for Manufacturing Processes
The lithium ion battery found in electronics like cell phones uses liquid electrolytes associated with shorter battery life; this material is also a safety hazard if it is overheated or overcharged. Batteries with solid lithium ion conducting electrolytes would overcome these limitations, but they have insufficient power to meet device energy requirements at a reasonable cost. Researchers at ORNL invented a method for synthesizing materials from solid state reactions that resolves some of these... read more
12/08/2010
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High Volume Method of Making Low Cost, Lightweight Solar Materials
A critical challenge for solar energy is the high cost (>$1/W) of quality solar materials. Researchers at ORNL have invented an approach for producing large volumes of solar cell material at a fraction of the cost of today’s solar cells. The concept combines ORNL’s unique pulse thermal processing (PTP) capabilities with standard highvolume manufacturing techniques to improve the performance of extremely low cost solar cell materials. The idea entails roll-to-roll manufacturing... read more
12/08/2010
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Energy Saving Absorption Heat Pump Water Heater
ORNL’s new absorption heat pump and water heater technology offers substantial energy savings and can reduce the use of fossil fuels by buildings. While conventional heat pump water heater designs are limited to using toxic ammonia water systems, this system uses heat drawn from the ambient environment to achieve energy efficiency. This approach extends the application of the invention beyond industrial settings to residential and commercial use.
12/08/2010
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Calcium Hexa Aluminate Linings for Alkaline Environments
A new composition of calcium hexa aluminate developed at ORNL is a highly effective chemical barrier against corrosive materials inside storage, process, and transport vessel containers. The CA6 composition protects containers from the critical temperatures and chemical environments created by alkali and/or high alkaline salts or salt forming compounds.
12/08/2010
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Water-Heating Dehumidifier
A small appliance developed at ORNL dehumidifies air and then recycles heat to warm water in a water heater. The device circulates cool, dry air in summer and warm air in winter. In addition, the invention can cut the energy required to run a conventional water heater by an estimated 50 per cent.
12/08/2010
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Super Energy Saver Heat Pump
ORNL researchers developed a broad class of dynamic hybrid phase change materials and coupled them to residential heat pumps, inventing a super energy saver heat pump. This invention significantly improves heating/cooling efficiency in existing pumps and decreases greenhouse gases, due to reduced energy consumption.
12/08/2010
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Method for Removing Precipitates in Biofuel
At ORNL the application of ultrasonic energy, or sonication, has been shown to successfully remove or prevent the formation of 50–90% of the precipitates in biofuels. Precipitates can plug filters as biodiesel is transported from one location to another, and often cannot be detected by visual inspection.
12/08/2010
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Integrated Inverter Control for Multiple Electric Machines
Conventional electric or hybrid electric vehicles have a main motor and one or more accessory motors or generators, plus an inverter for each. A consequence of this design is that each vehicle requires a number of inverters and inverter controllers, plus the engine volume to house them all.
12/08/2010
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Resonator for Coherent Addition of Semiconductor Laser Arrays and Applications for a Solar Pumped Laser Array
ORNL inventors designed a scalable V-shaped resonator for coherent addition of semiconductor laser arrays. A V-shaped external Talbot cavity offers a solution for the broad-area laser-diode-array coherent-beam combination. In this design, narrow line width and high output power from the laser array have been achieved without using the spatial filter. This technology is scalable to broad-area laser-diode stacked arrays.
12/08/2010
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Self-Learning Controller for Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles Learns Recharge Stations for Optimal Battery Charge
Researchers at ORNL invented a robust self-learning controller for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). This device improves PHEV performance and fuel efficiency by maintaining as high a state of battery charge as possible, given the location of area charging stations. The invention is especially useful for improving performance over time, because the more PHEV drivers avoid depleting their energy storage devices, the longer the effective lifetime of their batteries.
12/08/2010
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Power Conversion Apparatus and Method for Hybrid Electric and Electric Vehicle Engines
ORNL researchers developed a solution to power source problems in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and electric vehicle (EV) engines. These engines typically use voltage source inverters. The conventional type of converter requires costly capacitors, has trouble with high temperature operation, and is associated with a variety of other electrical problems.
12/08/2010
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Power Charging and Supply System for Electric Vehicles
A versatile new power electronics system for electric and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs/HEVs) solves several key challenges in green transportation. Current EVs and plug-in HEVs require an external plug-in charger powered by the utility grid. This ORNL technology eliminates the need for an external charger and enables these vehicles to function as mobile electrical power generators for emergency and other uses.
12/08/2010
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Integrated Reactor and Centrifugal Separator
A more efficient reaction and separation process for reaction products was invented by ORNL researchers. This method is specifically applicable to the production of biodiesel through the esterification of organic oils and fats.
12/08/2010
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Glass Capacitor for High-Temperature Applications
To meet the demand for smaller, lighter capacitors that have high energy densities, an ORNL researcher developed a capacitor made of glass rods that is constructed like insulated wire. This device can be used for power factor correction, high-voltage capacitors, power electronic filters, energy storage, and components in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.
12/08/2010
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Magnetic Filtration Process, Magnetic Filtering Material, and Method of Forming Magnetic Filtering Material
ORNL researchers developed a new method for filtering materials and managing wastewater. This invention offers an integrated, intensified process to handle organic contaminants and heavy metals. By combining several separation processes and targeting different groups of contaminants, this invention is both cost effective and has the capability to be used in situ.
12/08/2010
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Clad Fiber Capacitor and Fabrication Method
Using glass and high performance polymer technology, an ORNL researcher developed a method for producing energy storage capacitors with high power density and the ability to operate at high temperatures. Conventional capacitors have low power densities and are limited to low temperature operations.
12/08/2010
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Epoxy Based Nanodielectric with Homogeneously Distributed Nanoparticles
The dielectric breakdown strength of materials is important when designing high voltage power equipment. This invention is related to decreasing insulation thickness in high voltage systems without changing system voltage requirements.
12/08/2010
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Alloys for Ethylene Production Furnaces
Ethylene production is one of the most energy intensive processes in the chemical industry, due to the decoking necessary to maintain ethylene furnace tubes.
12/08/2010
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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
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Electrical Motor Drive Apparatus and Method
This invention discloses an electrical motor drive topology that can significantly reduce the inverter dc bus ripple currents and thus the requirement of the dc bus capacitance. It enables the inverter to cost-effectively operate in elevated temperature environments such as the engine compartment in a hybrid electric vehicle.
02/03/2010
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Substantially Parallel Flux Uncluttered Rotor Machines (U-Machine)
A general concern based on the supply and demand trend of the permanent magnet (PM) raw materials suggests the need for elimination of these materials from electric motors (and generators) to control future costs. This invention discloses a new motor topology that eliminates the PM. Other innovations include brushless adjustable field excitation for high starting torque, field weakening, and power factor improvement and novel locks for higher peak speed. This novel machine shows promising... read more
02/03/2010
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Internal/External Split Field Generator
These technologies are designs and methods that boost the efficiency of electric generators by decoupling the magnetic polarity of the driving mechanism while increasing the operational frequency of the machine. Both are unique, low cost methods to develop a generator with a higher power density.
02/03/2010
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VERDE: Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth
VERDE is a software application utilizing the Google Earth(c) platform to provide real time visualization of the electric power grid.
02/03/2010
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Material Independent Design of Photoluminescent Systems Based on Alignment of Polar Molecules in Charged Surface
A design and method to produce new forms of photoluminescent (PL) matter (whose constituent materials need not be photoluminescent) to form materials useful in bio-imaging, energy storage, composite materials, etc. Non-luminescent particles can be transformed into PL materials with this methodology.
02/03/2010
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Composite Biaxially Textured Substrates Using Ultrasonic Consolidation or Bonding
A novel method of manufacturing single crystal substrates for the entire array of High Temperature Superconductivity (HTS) applications. The process is based on ultrasonic bonding. The result is a mechanically strong, nonmagnetic material.
02/03/2010
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Fermentative Method for Making Nonoxide Fluorescent Nanoparticles (Quantum Dots)
A fermentative method for scalable, economical production of tailored quantum dots.
02/03/2010
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Thermal Management Using Carbon Nanotubes
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