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Advanced Materials Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you’ll find marketing summaries of advanced materials technologies 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.

320 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Early Stage R&DLow Resistivity Contact to Iron-Pnicitide Superconductors

Superconductors are materials which carry electrical current without dissipation. However, feeding electrical current into a superconductor generates heat dissipation into the contacts and degrades maximum attainable current value. The degradation in contacts is also different depending on the different chemical nature of the superconducting materials. Iron-pnictide based superconductors have a number of superior properties as compared to other known high temperature superconductors and due... read more

04/21/2014
Updated!
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Early Stage R&DAluminum-Alkaline Metal-Metal Composite Conductor

Researchers have developed a high strength, lightweight aluminum wire for high-voltage power transmission with reduced electrical resistance for overhead electrical lines.  High-voltage electric power transmission cables based on pure aluminum strands with a stranded steel core (ACSR) or stranded aluminum alloy (ACAR) core have the disadvantages of mediocre tensile strength, high density, and poor strength and conductivity retention at elevated temperatures. This combination of... read more

04/21/2014
Updated!
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Early Stage R&DPLZT Nano-Precursors for High Energy Density Applications

To improve the manufacturing and performance of ceramic materials Sandia National Laboratories has developed a method for synthesizing lanthanum-doped lead zirconate titanate (PLZT) nanoparticle precursors.

04/04/2014
Updated!
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Reliable, High Performance Transistors on Flexible Substrates

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have produced uniform, high performance transistors on mechanically flexible, stretchable substrates by solution processing semiconductor-enriched single wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) networks.

03/28/2014
New!
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Early Stage R&DMicrosystems R&D and Fabrication

Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) seeks parties interested in utilizing world-class facilities to advance the "state-of-the-art" in microsystems research and development and fabrication.  

02/27/2014
New!
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Novel Electrolyte Enables Stable Graphite Anodes in Lithium Ion Batteries

Berkeley Lab researchers led by Gao Liu have developed an improved lithium ion battery electrolyte containing a solvent that remains liquid at typical operating temperatures but, unlike similar additives, will not degrade graphite anodes.

01/11/2014
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Direct Thin Film Path to Low Cost, Large Area III-V Photovoltaics

A team of Berkeley Lab researchers has invented the first vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth technology yielding III-V photovoltaics. The photovoltaics achieve 25% power conversion efficiency at a cost significantly lower than current approaches due to the non-epitaxial processing approach and high material utilization rate.

01/11/2014
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Catalysts for interconversion of CO2H2 and formic acid

Catalyst compounds for the energetically feasible interconversion CO2 plus H2and formic acid are disclosed as are methods for using the catalysts for CO2 capture and H2 release from formic acid.

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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Intermetallic M-Sn5 (M=Fe, Cu, Co, Ni) Compounds

Among electrode materials for lithium ion batteries, tin offers a high theoretical capacity about 2.5 times that of graphite by weight. Unfortunately, when lithium alloys with tin the matrix undergoes a very large volume change. This change in volume results in a loss of capacity over a few charge-discharge cycles. By adding a transition metal to the tin, this volume change can be mitigated. The novel phase of FeSn5 or CoSn5 exhibits a capacity nearly twice that of FeSn2, the previous... read more

01/09/2014
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Sol-Char: Producing Char from Waste using Solar Energy

A recent “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” put forth by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called for researchers to develop sanitation solutions that are affordable and desirable to use, render fecal waste harmless within a short time-span, are self-contained without the need for flush water or electricity, and produce valuable end products. Current waterless toilets – such as dry pit latrines, ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, and composting toilets – fall... read more

01/08/2014
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Moisture Barrier

Moisture barriers serve as a robust packaging solution to enclose moisture sensitive encapsulated materials. They enable a device, product, substrate, or apparatus which in use will be exposed to moisture, water vapor, freeze thaw cycles or other environmental elements that could compromise the longevity or integrity of the device or product. For example, a photovoltaic cell must able to withstand long durations of rain, snow, fog, dew, environmental contaminants or other substances. The... read more

01/03/2014
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CUBICON Materials that Outperform Lithium-Ion Batteries

The demand for batteries to meet high-power and high-energy system applications has resulted in substantial research and development activities. Lithium-ion batteries are a chief contender today, but they still suffer from limitations in energy and power density because of their existing cathode designs. These newly invented cubic ionic conductor (CUBICON) battery materials improve safety and performance when used as electrodes or in cases requiring high ionic conductivity—all while... read more

12/30/2013
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High Bandgap Phosphide Approaches for LED Applications

NREL scientists have devised a set of innovations to allow the manufacture of green and amber LEDs with high quantum efficiencies.  These innovations enable a novel approach for obtaining LEDs that emit in the green, yellow and red regions of the visible spectrum, thus enabling white light LEDs with flexible Color Rendering Index (CRI) characteristics. 

12/27/2013
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Techniques for Growth of Lattice-Matched Semiconductor Layers

There are many potential applications for high-performance devices fabricated using III-V materials, including high efficiency solar cells, solid-state lighting, and high-speed transistors. In each case, the specific device designs rely on combinations of various materials where the lattice mismatch between the different materials can introduce problems for device performance and the deposition processes can be cost-prohibitive. With each of these markets approaching multi-billion dollars... read more

12/27/2013
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Electro-deposition of Bi-axial Textured Layers on a Substrate

To be commercially viable, superconducting materials used in various applications must have high critical current densities because high electrical current is required to power any significant load. It has been shown that superconducting materials formed with bi-axially textured layers have superior critical current densities. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed electro-deposited, bi-axially textured buffer layers for depositing a superconducting material onto a substrate... read more

12/27/2013
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Electrostatic Graphene Loudspeaker

Alex Zettl and Qin Zhou of Berkeley Lab have developed a miniaturized graphene-based electrostatic audio transducer. The speaker / earphone is straightforward in design and operation and has excellent frequency response across the entire audio frequency range (20 Hz - 20k Hz) with performance matching or surpassing commercially available audio earphones. Details of this technology are available in the researchers' publication and other articles listed below.

12/20/2013
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Vanadium Dioxide Microactuators

Berkeley Lab researchers Junqiao Wu, Kai Liu, and Kevin Wang have developed a powerful new microscale actuator that simultaneously achieves high amplitude, high work output, and high speed in both air and water. In fact, this technology is the first to exceed performance limits in amplitude, force, and speed of standard microactuators and piezoelectric devices.

12/19/2013
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Virus-based Piezoelectric Energy Generation

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated that the piezoelectric and liquid-crystalline properties of a modified virus, such as a recombinant M13 bacteriophage (phage), can be used to generate electrical energy. Using piezoresponse force microscopy, they characterized the structure-dependent piezoelectric properties of the phage at the molecular level and then showed that self-assembled thin films of phage can exhibit piezoelectric strengths of up to 7.8 pm V−1. They also... read more

12/18/2013
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Simplified Electrode Formation using Stabilized Lithium Metal Powder (SLMP) Doping of Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes

A team of Berkeley Lab researchers led by Gao Liu has developed a doping process for lithium ion battery electrode formation that can boost a cell’s charge capacity and lower its cost while improving reliability and safety.

12/03/2013
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Lithium / Sulfur Cells with Long Cycle Life and High Specific Energy

A team of Berkeley Lab battery researchers led by Elton Cairns has invented an advanced lithium/sulfur (Li/S) cell that, for the first time, offers both long cycle life and a high discharge rate in addition to the inherently low cost and light weight of Li/S batteries.

11/16/2013
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High-Speed, Stereoselective Polymerization for Renewable, Bio-Derived Plastics

Fabrication of polymers and plastics from naturally renewable feedstocks offers the potential for a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to petroleum-based polymers. Biomass-derived polymers based on butyrolactones are a potential substitute for petroleum-derived polyacrylic plastics, but methods suitable for large-scale production have been unknown previously.

11/05/2013
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Indium Phosphide Polycrystalline Films on Metal Foil for PV Applications

Berkeley Lab researcher Maxwell Zheng and colleagues have developed technologies for economic, high volume production of high optical quality polycrystalline indium phosphide (InP), with optical properties nearly identical to those of InP on single-crystal wafers, on low cost metallic substrates. The technologies reduce costs at both the growth stage and in downstream processing.

10/24/2013
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Highly Efficient Multigap Solar Cell Materials

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have invented multiband gap semiconducting materials for developing solar cells that could achieve power conversion efficiencies of 50 percent or higher.

10/24/2013
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Low Cost, High Efficiency Tandem Silicon Solar Cells and LEDs

Wladek WalukiewiczJoel Ager, and Kin Man Yu of Berkeley Lab have developed high-efficiency solar cells that leverage the well-established design and manufacturing technology of silicon cells while delivering the performance previously achievable only by far more complex and expensive tandem solar cells. 

10/24/2013
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Full-Spectrum Semiconducting Material for Affordable, Highly Efficient Solar Cells

Wladyslaw Walukiewicz and Kin Man Yu of Berkeley Lab have designed a new semiconducting material that will enable the fabrication of high efficiency solar cells at a fraction of the price of other technologies. 

10/24/2013
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Efficient, Low-cost Microchannel Heat Exchanger

A research team at the University of Colorado has developed a novel heat exchanger design and accompanying manufacturing technique for creating low-cost microchannel heat exchangers from plastics, metals, or ceramics. The prototype used laser welding (upper red lines at right). Expansion makes “chessboard” counter flow pattern (lower right). The figure below shows mass production, where sheets are added one at a time and welded with a mask and filament (left) or laser (right).... read more

10/17/2013
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Novel Class of Nanohybrids for Construction of Light Harvesting Systems

Semiconducting single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have unique electronic and optical properties for diverse optoelectronic applications, including photovoltaics, photodetectors and photoswitches. SWCNT-porphyrin molecular complexes are promising candidates for light harvesting applications, due to their long-lived charge separated states and efficient charge-transport behavior of SWCNTs. In the natural light-harvesting complexes, the electron transfer from the porphyrin pigment to the... read more

10/17/2013
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Energy Absorbing Material

To overcome limitations with cellular silicone foams, LLNL innovators have developed a new 3D energy absorbing material with tailored/engineered bulk-scale properties. The energy absorbing material has 3D patterned architectures specially designed for specific energy absorbing properties. The combination of LLNL's capabilities in advanced modeling and simulation and the additive manufacturing technique known as direct ink writing allowed LLNL researchers to design and control the... read more

10/03/2013
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Surface-Modified Active Materials for Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes

Berkeley Lab researcher Gao Liu has developed a new fabrication technique for lithium ion battery electrodes that lowers binder cost without sacrificing performance and reliability.

09/26/2013
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Surface-Modified Copper Current Collector for Lithium Ion Battery Anode

A team of Berkeley Lab researchers led by Gao Liu has developed an innovative approach to improve the adhesion of anode laminate to copper current collectors in lithium ion batteries. This nanotechnology directly addresses delamination of graphite anode material from the collectors, a common result of cyclical swelling during charge / recharge operations and a major cause of shortened battery life. Delamination becomes even more problematic with advanced anode materials such as silicon or... read more

09/26/2013
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Low Temperature Sodium-Sulfur Grid Storage and EV Battery

Berkeley Lab researcher Gao Liu has developed an innovative design for a battery, made primarily of sodium and sulfur, that holds promise for both large-scale grid storage systems and for consumer products such as residential photovoltaic systems. The cathode is made of sulfur and a conductive polymer, while the solid electrolyte — based on cross-linked polyethylene oxide — forms a stable but ion-conducting barrier separating the liquid sodium anode.

09/26/2013
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Anodes Improve Safety and Performance in Lithium-ion Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

09/25/2013
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Redox Shuttle Additives

As the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles continues to grow, so does the demand for lithium-ion batteries that are safer, more powerful, and less expensive. These Argonne additives will help meet that demand.

07/16/2013
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Intermetallic Electrodes Improve Safety and Performance in Lithium-ion Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

07/16/2013
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Synthesizing High-Quality Calcium Boride at Nanoscale

With numerous attractive properties, calcium hexaboride offers great promise for many industrial uses, particularly in PEM fuel cells for electric cars. While previous commercial attempts to synthesize the compound have been unsuccessful, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory and Southern Illinois University (SIU) have devised innovative methods for synthesizing high-quality calcium boride nanoparticles.

07/16/2013
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The Economical Remediation of Plastic Waste into Advanced Materials with Coatings (IN-07-070)

Argonne has developed an autogenic pyrolysis process to convert plastic waste into high-value carbon nanotubes (50?100 nm outside diameter) and perfectly round carbon spheres (2-12 μm outside diameter). The tubes can be used as anode material in advanced batteries such as lithium-ion and eventually, lithium-air batteries.

 

07/01/2013
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Copper-tin Electrodes Improve Capacity and Cycle Life for Lithium Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

07/01/2013
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Silver Ink for Conductor Printing

Many applications require the ability to print conductors on devices that cannot tolerate high temperatures. Current methods for making printable conductors generally consist of silver nanoparticles or silver flake suspended in a suitable solvent amenable to printing. These silver metal suspension formulations require high processing temperatures to sinter the particles (180 °C). They leave behind unwanted by-products (usually surfactants) and demonstrate significantly reduced... read more

06/25/2013
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Innovative lithium-titanium-oxide anodes improve battery safety and performance (IN-98-069)

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

06/13/2013
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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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Method to Improve Steel Creep Strength by Alloy Design and Heat Treatment

 

The current invention describes a steel formulation and manufacturing approach that produces USC creep capable, high Cr martensitic steel for advanced fossil power generation, including advanced high-temperature steam components including rotors, airfoils, casing, valves, and other ancillary components.

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06/03/2013
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Spheroid-Encapsulated Ionic Liquids for Gas Separation

 

An innovative approach has been developed allowing the use of high viscosity for gas separations. The method involves the encapsulation of ionic liquids (ILs) into polymer spheroids, taking advantage of the gas-absorbing properties and cost-effectiveness of ILs, while circumventing known IL viscosity issues. Significantly, the process permits optimization or ‘tuning’ of the IL-containing spheroids for specific gas separation applications. This technology is available... read more

06/03/2013
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Precise Application of Transparent Conductive Oxide Coatings for Flat Panel Displays and Photovoltaic Cells

Argonne has developed a new method for applying thin film coatings of transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) to large panel displays and photovoltaic (PV) cells.

05/28/2013
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Computationally Optimized Homogenization Heat Treatment of Metal Alloys

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A computational approach has been developed to improve the homogenization heat treatment of solid substitutional alloys. The method utilizes computational thermodynamics to determine a stepped approach to achieve optimal homogenization of the metal alloy, resulting in improved materials and processing costs. In addition, the approach allows the homogenization process to be ‘tuned’ for the intended use of the alloy. This technology is available for licensing and/or further... read more

05/03/2013
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Sulfur-Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Cathodes for Lithium/Sulfur Cells

A Berkeley Lab team headed by Yuegang Zhang and Elton Cairns has developed a method to fabricate battery cathodes from nanoscale flakes of graphene oxide and sulfur. This innovation solves at once two design problems that have impeded efforts to make commercially viable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries: 1) sulfur is a natural insulator, and designers must find ways to overcome its resistance; 2) Li-S batteries are notoriously short-lived because sulfur that dissolves in the electrolyte can... read more

04/30/2013
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Linearly Polarized Thermal Emitter for More Efficient Thermophotovoltaic Devices

Ames Laboratory researchers have developed fabrication methods for a polarized thermal emitter than can be used to create more efficient thermophotovoltaic devices for power generation.

04/22/2013
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Low Resistivity Contact to Iron-Pnicitide Superconductors

Superconductors are materials which carry electrical current without dissipation. However, feeding electrical current into a superconductor generates heat dissipation in the contacts and degrades maximum attainable current value. The degradation in contacts is also different depending on the different chemical nature of the superconducting materials.

04/22/2013
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Aluminum-Alkaline Metal-Metal Composite Conductor

Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a high strength, lightweight aluminum wire for high-voltage power transmission with reduced electrical resistance for overhead electrical lines.

04/22/2013
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Removing Strongly Adsorbed Surfactants and Capping Agents from Nanostructures

During production, nanostructures are often capped by surfactants or other capping agents to keep them from agglomerating. These moieties often interfere with the properties of the nanostructures, and must be removed before further processing can occur. This technology is directed toward removing even strongly adsorbed surfactants and capping agents from metal, metal alloy, and core-shell nanostructures without damaging the nanostructure surface, facilitating their applications in... read more

04/22/2013
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Transition Metal Switchable Mirrors

Berkeley Lab's Transition Metal Switchable Mirrors (TMSMs) utilize a thin film made from an alloy of magnesium and one or more transition metals. This film enables the glass to which it is bonded to be reversibly converted between reflecting and transparent states either by applying an electrical current or exposing it to hydrogen gas.

Please note, this technology is only available in the following fields of use: displays and passive solar devices.

04/19/2013
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Thin Film Deposition Method for Sensor Manufacturing
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have developed an innovative method for gas sensor manufacturing using a thin film deposition. The thin film requires very little material and can be applied in high throughput applications.
04/04/2013
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Aligned Crystalline Silicon (ACSi)
This technology, which produces thin films that approach the high-performance aspects of single-crystalline silicon, has been proven and replicated in the laboratory and results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal [Findikoglu et al., Adv. Mater. 17, 1527 (2005)].
04/04/2013
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PAD: Polymer-Assisted Deposition of Metal-Oxide and Metal-Nitride Films
Polymer-Assisted Deposition (PAD) works with a wide range of metal-oxide and metal nitride films. Simply put, “problematic” metal oxides and metal nitrides are not a problem for PAD. PAD can be used for the high-quality deposition of metal oxides and metal nitrides for the successful production of both simple and complex metal-oxide films such as TiO2, ITO, SrTiO3, TiN, AlN, and GaN. In addition, nitrides, sulfides, and carbides could potentially be deposited using this process.
04/04/2013
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Hydrocarbon/Total Combustibles Sensor
the invention is an electrochemical hydrocarbon sensor that is more reliable and reproducible than any other hydrocarbon sensor on the market today. The patented method for producing the sensor ensures reproducibility and reduces the need for calibration of every sensor coming off the production line.
04/04/2013
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Sulfur Resistant Electrodes for Zirconia Oxygen Sensors
Terbium-Yttrium-zirconium oxide (Tb-YSZ) is high-temperature, sulfur-resistant material for manufacture of electrodes for oxygen (O2) sensors. The Tb-YSZ sensor is resistant to sulfur and other acidic compounds present in exhaust gases and offers increased lifetime, stability, and accuracy over O2 sensors on the market today.
04/04/2013
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Nanocrystal / Sol-Gel Nanocomposites

The present invention includes a composition comprising nanophosphor particles capped with a ligand.  The nanophosphor particles have are less than or equal to 20 nanometers.  The composition has at least one lanthanide and at least one halide.  The weight percent of lanthanide phosphor is greater than or equal to 5%.  The light transmission of the composition in greater than or equal to 50%. 

The invention also includes a detector.  The detector includes a... read more

04/04/2013
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Metal Aminoboranes

Metal aminoboranes of the formula M(NH.sub.2BH.sub.3).sub.n have been synthesized. Metal aminoboranes are hydrogen storage materials. Metal aminoboranes are also precursors for synthesizing other metal aminoboranes. Metal aminoboranes can be dehydrogenated to form hydrogen and a reaction product. The reaction product can react with hydrogen to form a hydrogen storage material. Metal aminoboranes can be included in a kit.

04/04/2013
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Solid State Gas Sensors
Over the past decade, scientists and engineers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have developed a family of solid state gas sensors that are accurate, reliable, and inexpensive to manufacture. LANL is now inviting participation from companies ready to cooperate with our gas sensor researchers, in-license select technologies, and commercialize our innovative solid state gas sensor technologies.
04/04/2013
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Carbon Monoxide Sensor
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have developed an electrochemical carbon monoxide (CO) sensor that is more reliable and reproducible than any other CO sensor on the market today. The patented method for producing the sensor ensures reproducibility and reduces the need for calibration of every sensor coming off the production line.
04/04/2013
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New Class of Plastic Scintillators
Sandia National Laboratories has developed a class of plastic scintillators capable of detecting fission neutrons, while discriminating against interfering gamma rays, enabling their use as a replacement for liquid scintillator neutron detector materials. Currently, pulse shape discrimination (PSD) is the most effective way of gamma rejection in liquid organic scintillators, however low luminosity for neutron scatter events and restricted volume required for nanosecond timing, limit the... read more
03/19/2013
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New Class of Radiation Detection Materials
Sandia National Laboratories has created a new class of scintillators with novel properties enabling use in a wide range of particle detection schemes, including pulse-shape discrimination methods for detecting fast neutrons. Known as Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), they are crystalline nanoporous structures in which a luminescent organic component is chemically linked to a heavy metal ion such as zinc. The light output and timing of MOFs is highly tunable because their structure is governed... read more
03/19/2013
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High Accuracy Non-A/C Powered Leak Tester and Volume Calibrator
This novel invention relates to a portable, pneumatically -controlled instrument capable of generating a vacuum (less than 10 Torr), calibrating volumes, and performing quantitative leak tests, all without the use of A/C power.
03/19/2013
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Tunable Surface Plasmon Infrared Modulator
There is a need for improved active infrared optical elements such as modulators. Extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) through subwavelength apertures allows for tailored filtering based on plasmon resonance. Until now EOT devices have not fully achieved the need for variable attenuation capabilities.
03/19/2013
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Low Cost TiO2 Nanoparticles
Current methods of producing titanium dioxide nanoparticles require costly surfactants and/or high temperature and pressure processing. Processing under these conditions results in nanoparticles with extremely wide particle size distributions and significant particle agglomeration. These problems are the primary reasons why TiO2 has had such difficulty transitioning from the laboratory to the marketplace. However, discrete, uniform TiO2 nanoparticles show great  potential in numerous... read more
03/19/2013
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Hybrid Polymer/Nanoparticle Multi-Functional Optical Coatings
Hybrid polymer-nanocrystal optical coatings are a platform technology in the field of multilayered films, and are seen in a variety of consumer products. The methods currently used to manufacture and apply these coatings are complicated and require expensive techniques, such as sputter deposition and chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which both require the use of a vacuum for application.
03/19/2013
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Direct Detector for Terahertz Radiation
There has been much interest expressed in terahertz technology due to the diverse range of applications that it applies to.  However, the terahertz components have been known to perform poorly due to it lying between traditional electronic and photonic fields.  Sandia National Laboratories has created a direct detector for terahertz radiation that seeks to close the "technological gap".
03/19/2013
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Semipermeable Membranes for Micromachined Silicon Surfaces
Sandia National Laboratories has developed semipermeable silicon nitride membranes using an etch process to be co-manufactured on a micromachined silicon surface.
03/19/2013
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Diffraction: Enhanced Light Absorption of Solar Cells and Photodetectors
The solar and photovoltaic industry has grown steadily over the last several years.  In order to maintain these growth rates, the processes and methods need to be continuously improved.  Sandia National Laboratories has created a method for enhanced light absorption of solar cells and photodetectors in a narrowband or wideband spectral absorption.
03/19/2013
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Heterojunction for Multi-Junction Solar Cells
Sandia National Laboratories has created a semiconductor p-n heterojunction for use in forming a photodetector that has applications for use in a multi-junction solar cell and detecting light at an energy greater than 0.95-1.2 eV. 
03/12/2013
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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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pH Adjustment of Power Plant Cooling Water with Flue Gas/ Fly Ash
Increased recycling of power plant cooling water calls for low-cost means of preventing the formation of calcium carbonate and silicate scale.  Hardness (Ca and Mg) and silica are two of the primary water components that must be selectively precipitated or maintained in solution for intensive water recycling to be achieved.  Sandia researchers propose that available on-site flue gas and fly ash could be used to control the pH of cooling water to prevent scale formation and achieve... read more
03/12/2013
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Micromachine Artifact
With counterfeit goods and company theft becoming a widespread problem, the importance of protecting valuable product is vital to the security of a company or country.  Sandia National Laboratories has created an anti-counterfeit unique identifying tag and seal that will prevent the possibility of counterfeit or the removal, replacement, or relocation of a product of object.
03/12/2013
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Gas Diffusion Electrodes for Fuel Cells
A unique gas diffusion electrode technique resulting in little to no leftover methanol, therefore increasing the overall effectiveness and performance of fuel cells.
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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Encryption Engine
In the past, traditional encryption engines utilized a mode of encryption that was vulnerable to certain attacks and not capable of running at full capacity.  Sandia has created an invention that provides a solution to the problem of keeping an encryption engine pipeline full so that the encryption engine can run at full capacity in CBC mode or other encryption modes that require feedback from previous computation. 
03/12/2013
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SEAWOLF
SEAWOLF (Sediment Erosion Actuated by Wave Oscillations and Linear Flow) is a method and apparatus for measuring erosion rates of sediments and high shear stresses in wave dominated environments.  Accurate prediction of erosion rates is complicated by a lack of understanding regarding cohesive sediment interactions.  A need exists for an apparatus that can accurately and directly measure the individual contributors to the total erosion rate of sediments from suspended and bedload... read more
03/12/2013
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Low Waste Method for Production of Radionuclides
Insuring a constant supply of radioisotopes is of great importance to healthcare around the world. With the increase need for a stable US supply of medical isotopes, this technology can help alleviate this problem.
03/12/2013
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Neutron Scatter Camera for Radiaton Detection
Sandia’s neutron scatter camera is an innovative design which combines the benefits of gamma ray imaging with fast neutron imaging. The camera detects special nuclear material (SNM) and rejects backgrounds from naturally occurring radiation sources that can produce false alarms. Additionally, the camera can detect and localize neutrons at greater distances and through shielding since fast neutrons are more penetrating than gamma rays. One of the key advantages is higher signal to... read more
03/12/2013
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Deposition of Graded Thermal Barrier Coatings for Gas Turbine Blades
Sandia has developed a method and apparatus for depositing thermal barrier coatings on gas turbine blades and vanes which increase the thermal resistance of the blades and leads to higher efficiency. Higher operating temperatures for gas turbine engines are continuously sought in order to increase their efficiency.
03/12/2013
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Red-Emitting Phosphors for Solid-State Lighting
Sandia has developed red-emitting phosphors that will help to transform the cold blue of many current light-emitting diodes (LEDs) into the warm white that is preferred for general lighting. This advance could help move solid-state lighting (SSL) into broader applications and market spaces. This class of rare-earth doped tantalates has unprecedented compositions and structures as well as excellent characteristics for a red-phosphor component for blue or UV excitation. Some compositions and... read more
03/12/2013
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Micro-Pyrolizer for Rapid Bio-Identification
Sandia has developed a micro-fabricated device for identifying different organisms by their unique chemical “fingerprint” based on fatty acid (lipid) content. Applications can include food composition testing (testing the purity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil), microbe analysis (e.g. Anthrax and virulent bacteria), high value/specialty crop verification (designer seeds, bio-fuels), and unknown substance testing.
03/12/2013
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Inherently Safe In-Situ Uranium Recovery
As uranium mining continues to grow in the United States, so does the concerns over its environmental impact. An approach that may alleviate some of these problems may be in situ recovery (ISR) of uranium which involves circulating reactive fluids through an underground uranium deposit. These fluids contain chemical agents that dissolve the ore so uranium can be recovered once the fluid is pumped back to the surface. New and more stringent standards of uranium traces in drinking water are... read more
03/12/2013
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Catalysts for Oxidation of Mercury in Flue Gas
Disclosed in this patent are catalysts for the oxidation of elemental mercury in flue gas. These novel catalysts include iridium
(Ir), platinum/iridium (Pt/Ir), and Thief carbons. The catalyst materials will adsorb the oxidizing agents HCl, Cl2 and other halogen species in the flue gas stream that are produced when fuel is combusted. These adsorbed oxidizing agents can then react with elemental mercury in the stream, which is difficult to capture, and oxidize it to form Hg (II) species,... read more
03/12/2013
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Producing microchannels using graduated diffusion bonding of a stack of precision machined foils or sheets (laminates) to make a micro-channel reactor

This patented invention is a method for producing microchannels using graduated diffusion bonding of a stack of precision machined foils or sheets (laminates) to make a micro-channel reactor. The method is a novel multi-step process for the diffusion bonding of laminates, which is independent of the channel width-to-fin lamina thickness (fin aspect ratio) and allows for laminae to uniformly and effectively bond. Unlike conventional hot-pressing methods, the NETL invention increases... read more
03/12/2013
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Laser Spark Distribution and Ignition System
Disclosed in this patent is NETL’s laser spark distribution and ignition system, which reduces the high-power optical requirements
normally needed for such a system by using optical fibers to deliver low-peak-energy pumping pulses to a laser amplifier or laser
oscillator. Laser spark generators then produce a high-peak-power laser spark from a single low power pulse. The system has applications in natural gas fueled reciprocating engines, turbine combustors, explosives, and laser... read more
03/12/2013
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CO2-Based Glue
Inexpensive CO2 is used a starting material to create a polyurethane compound.
03/12/2013
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Organoclay Sorbent for Removal of Carbon Dioxide from Gas Streams at Low Temperatures
By incorporating amines inside clay containing quaternary ammonium salts (organoclay) minerals, this invention has created a way to prepare sorbents that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from low temperature and low pressure gas streams. In this process, the clay minerals are modified with organic materials to retain the amines.
03/12/2013
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Oxygen Carriers for Solid Fuel Chemical Looping Combustion Process
This patent-pending technology, “Regenerable Mixed Copper-Iron-Inert Support Oxygen Carriers for Solid Fuel Chemical
Looping Combustion Process,” provides a metal-oxide oxygen carrier for application in fuel combustion processes that use oxygen.
03/12/2013
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Copper Palladium Hydrogen Separation Membranes
This patent-pending technology, “Cu-Pd Hydrogen Separation Membranes with Reduced Palladium Content and Improved Performance,” consists of copper-palladium alloy compositions for hydrogen separation membranes that use less palladium and have a potential increase in hydrogen permeability and resistance to sulfur degradation compared to currently available copper-palladium membranes. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research with the U.S.... read more
03/12/2013
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Robust RF Switch Yields Enhanced Communication Capabilities (ANL-IN-09-053 and ANL-IN-09-070)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a special radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switch based on ultra nanocrystalline diamond (UNCD) as a dielectric that promises a next generation of military and commercial communication systems with enhanced capabilities. Integrated with a CMOS driving device, the switch enables the simultaneous handling of data, voice, audio, and video while supporting many RF systems operating across a broad range of frequency... read more

03/11/2013
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Autogenic pressure reactors provide simple, rapid means of producing battery materials

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

02/28/2013
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Heat Transfer Fluids Containing Nanoparticles (08-066)

The issue of heat transfer offers fertile ground for scientific exploration across many disciplines. Argonne researchers have discovered the potential of nanofluids as an efficient agent of heat transfer.

02/27/2013
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Layered CU-based electrode for high-dielectric constant oxide thin film-based devices (ANL-IN-03-013)

Copper is drawing much attention as an electrode and interconnect material for integrated sub-micron circuit technology due to its low resistivity and high electro- and stress-mitigation resistance which are superior to Al and Al-alloys. Cu is also a promising candidate to replace Pt due to its low-cost, high conductivity and easier reactive etching properties. However, the successful substitution of Cu into thin-film devices requires the solution to critical issues such as adhesion of Cu... read more

02/26/2013
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Polyaniline-Based Membranes for Separating Carbon Dioxide and Methane
Berkeley Lab researchers have optimized polymer membrane technology to more efficiently remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from natural gas. The invention employs a novel method of fabricating a multilayered composite membrane, enlisting readily available porous polypropylene as a supporting film for an ultrathin (100 nanometers or less), homogeneous, defect-free polyaniline (PANI) layer. Modifications activating the surface for reaction with diamines and enabling accommodation of an oligoethylene... read more
02/25/2013
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Cathode Coating (IN-09-061)

A team of scientists at Argonne National Laboratory has developed a special coating for the cathodes used in lithium batteries. With the coating, batteries charge and discharge more quickly, without a loss in performance.

02/25/2013
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Lithium Iron Phosphate Composites for Lithium Batteries (IN-11-024)

Argonne National Laboratory has developed a series of inexpensive, electrochemically active phosphate compounds that are highly functional when used in high-power and high-energy lithium batteries.

02/25/2013
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Nanosegregated Surfaces as Catalysts for Fuel Cells (IN-07-054)

Fuel cells are an important component in the energy industry, but the high cost of producing the platinum catalyst—an essential part of a fuel cell—has historically kept fuel cells from being commercially viable. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have devised a process for creating a “nanosegregated” platinum alloy catalyst with significantly enhanced properties, making it cost-effective and highly attractive for use in fuel cells.

02/11/2013
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Synthesizing Amorphous Pharmaceuticals Using Containerless Processing

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a process by which amorphous and nanophase pharmaceutical compounds can be synthesized without the use of a container, thus avoiding potential contamination. The process involves acoustic levitation—that is, a technique in which an object is suspended through pressure created by intense sound waves—to form molecular gels and amorphous solids. The method is expected to help pharmaceutical manufacturers create drugs that dissolve... read more

02/11/2013
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Nanotube Arrays for Advanced Lithium-ion Batteries

The development of high-power, high-energy, long-life, and low-cost rechargeable batteries is critical for the next-generation electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Among various battery technologies, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are promising energy storage devices as a result of the high energy densities, low self-discharges, and long cycle lives of known LIBs. Market analysis projects that the LIB market will increase to over $77 billion within the energy storage, electric vehicles, and... read more

01/31/2013
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Multiple Layer Graphene Optical Modulator

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny optical modulator based on graphene, potentially leading to significantly improved data transmission speeds in digital communications. The extremely strong interaction between light and relativistic electrons in graphene, a single sheet of carbon atoms, allows the integration of an optical modulator within an ultra-small footprint while operating at a high speed with broad bandwidth under ambient conditions.

 

01/30/2013
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Nanofilm Coatings Improve Battery Performance

Recent advances in battery technology are expected to more than double consumer demand for electric vehicles within the next five years. The lithium-ion battery is an attractive candidate for use in such vehicles because of its light weight and high energy density. At present, however, lithium-ion batteries are not performing at the level desired. Lithium-ion batteries require even higher energy/power densities, longer lifetimes, and improved safety.

Some existing obstacles include the... read more

01/29/2013
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Fabricating Dielectric Ceramic Films on Copper Foils (IN-09-006)

Highly specialized electronic devices operate today by virtue of printed circuit boards embedded with dozens of tiny components. The highest-performing, most reliable devices depend on non-conductive oxide films overlaid onto a copper substrate. An Argonne team has devised a unique processing method for fabricating dense ceramic films on copper foils used in these devices.

01/29/2013
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Unique Carbon-Coated Cathodes Improve Electrical Conductivity (ANL-IN-09-043)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a coating process for cathodes that improves their electrical conductivity. This procedure, which uses carbon precursors, has proved superior to conventional methods that involve high temperatures and other extremes during the manufacturing process.

01/29/2013
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Surface Modification Agents Increase Safety, Security of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Argonne National Laboratory has developed a process to modify the surface of the active material used in lithium-ion batteries. The modification agent can be a silane, an organometallic compound, or a mixture of two or more of such compounds. Both negative and positive electrodes for lithium-ion batteries can be made from the surface-modified active materials. Surface modification can be accomplished by either (1) adding the agent to a non-aqueous electrolyte used in constructing a battery or... read more

01/29/2013
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More Rapid Detection of Strontium in Urine Samples (IN-10-037)

Strontium-90 (Sr-90), a radioactive isotope, is a carcinogen that can be released into the atmosphere and human exposure can occur through nuclear weapons and accidents. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a new and improved detection method that provides more rapid and accurate identification of Sr-90 in urine samples.

01/29/2013
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Regenerable Sorbent Technique for Capturing CO2 Using Immobilized Amine Sorbents

This technology allows for optimal CO2 removal capacity for a given absorption and regeneration reactor size. Management of water loading in this manner allows optimal operation of the regeneration reactor with a significant reduction in energy losses incurred by the desorption of adsorbed water.

01/18/2013
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Method for the Production of Mineral Wool and Iron from Serpentine Ore

This invention discloses a method to fabricate a product that has the potential to replace asbestos, which harbors health and environmental risks, with magnesium silicate-based mineral wools. The mineral wool product yields advantages similar to asbestos while eliminating its inherent detriments.

01/18/2013
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Improved Martensitic Steel for High Temperature Applications

NETL has developed a stainless steel composition and heat treatment process for a high-temperature, titanium alloyed 9 Cr-1 molybdenum alloy exhibiting improved creep strength and oxidation resistance at temperatures up to 650 °C. The novel combination of composition and heat treatment produces a heat-treated material containing both large primary titanium carbides and small secondary titanium carbides. The primary titanium carbides contribute to creep strength while the secondary... read more

01/18/2013
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High Temperature Optical Gas Sensing

This series of inventions addresses harsh environment sensing at temperatures above approximately 400-500oC using novel sensing materials that are compatible with optical sensing platforms as well as more conventional resistive platforms. The sensors will use thin films of specialized materials that can be integrated with optical platforms for measurements of chemical composition or other process properties in extreme conditions. An emphasis is currently being placed on development of sensing... read more

01/18/2013
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Early Stage R&DAdditive Manufacturing - Materials by Design
Livermore materials scientists and engineers are designing and building new materials that will open up new spaces on many Ashby material selection charts, such as those for stiffness and density as well as thermal expansion and stiffness. This is being accomplished with unique design algorithms and research into the additive manufacturing techniques of projection microstereolithography, direct ink writing, and electrophoretic deposition.

Additive manufacturing is the process of building... read more
12/14/2012
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Sequential Infiltration Synthesis Advances Lithography (IN-10-017, 10-106)

Lithography is widely used for defining patterns with high spatial resolution. In most applications of this technique, a thin-film polymeric resist material coating the substrate is patterned using light, electrons, or self-assembly. This resist film defines the pattern to be etched into the substrate. For the resist to function properly, the masking portion of the resist must be able to withstand deep plasma etching of the substrate, even though the resist itself must be relatively thin to... read more

12/13/2012
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Tunable Magnetic Regenerator/Refrigerant
Magnetic regenerators utilize the magnetocaloric effect--the ability of a magnetic field to reduce the magnetic part of a solid materials entropy, generating heat, and then removing the magnetic field, permitting the reduction of temperature with the change in entropy. The cyclic heat generation and absorption in adiabatic magnetization and demagnetization. This invention uses a specific mix of rare earth magnetic materials capable of producing both a first and second order phase... read more
12/07/2012
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Regenerator for Magnetic Refrigerants
Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a new magnetic material that can be used at low temperatures (sub liquid hydrogen) for magnetic refrigerators.
12/07/2012
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Cost Effective Production of Giant Magneto-Caloric Materials
The giant magnetocaloric material Gd5(SixGe1-x)4, useful for various types of refrigeration applications, from liquifaction of helium (4K) to room temperature air conditioning and climate control, has just become more cost effective with the development of this new method for utilizing commercially available Gd to produce it.
12/07/2012
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Method for Creating Photonic Band Gap Materials
Innovative microstructures that can direct light in a manner similar to the way semiconductors can influence electrons can be produced by creating what is termed a photonic band gap. These microstructures have the potential to change the way optoelectronic devices, such as photodiodes, LEDs, and integrated optical circuit elements, are designed and used. Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a method for creating photonic band gap materials that is economical and does not require the... read more
12/06/2012
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Fabrication of Emissible Metallic Layer-by-Layer Photonic Crystals Using Microtransfer Molding with Electro-Deposition
Photonic crystals are optical materials that can be used to control and manipulate the flow of light. Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a method for the producing photonic crystals that can be used as highly efficient light sources.
12/06/2012
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Enhanced Light Extraction from Organic Light Emitting Diodes
Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a soft lithography microlens fabrication and array that enables more efficient organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), improving their commercial viability.
12/06/2012
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Conversion of Cyclic Amines into Lactams for Synthesis of Nylons and Other Polymers
Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a process for the conversion of cyclic amines into lactams, which may have utility for the production of nylons and other industrial polymers.
12/06/2012
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Material to Efficiently and Economically Obtain Microorganism and Microalgae
Technology provides an economical and efficient process to harvest microorganisms like microalgae from its growth media.
12/06/2012
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Selective Oxidation of Organic Substrates to Partially Oxidized Products
Rapid and controlled rate of catalysis, utilizing ozone for oxidation of alcohols to ketones or aldehydes, is made possible with this environmentally friendly and versatile technology.
12/06/2012
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Controlled Metal Photodeposition
A reliable syntheses of semiconductor-metal heterostructure has been developed to enable application of materials in catalytic, magnetic, and opto-electronic devices, and Iowa State University, The Ames Laboratory's Contractor, is looking for industry partners to commercialize this technology.
12/06/2012
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Electrical Calcium Test for Measuring Barrier Permeability
Moisture or water vapor barriers are important in many types of packaging including moisture sensitive consumables and pharmaceuticals, as well as some photovoltaics applications, flexible displays and consumer electronics. Before barriers are used in packaging, they are tested for their Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR) to determine how well they isolate the product from outside moisture. One current method for measuring WVTR through stand-alone barriers is an optical calcium test, which... read more
12/06/2012
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Economical Pyrite-Based Solar Cells

The first generation of solar cells, used in 90% of today's cells, have a focus of high efficiency. These cells use a single p-n junction to extract energy from photons, and are manufactured from silicon semiconductors. This allows for about 30% efficiency, but resulted in a price too high to compete with fossil fuels (payback time of about 5-7 years). The second generation of solar cells focuses on low production costs using thin film cells, which resulted in much lower efficiency rates.... read more

11/09/2012
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Alloy Design and Method for Processing Low-Cost Refractory Dispersoid-Reinforced Alloys for Harsh Environments
Alloys used in applications such as exhaust valves are increasingly subject to demanding operating environments, such as high temperatures and exposure to corrosive gases; these alloys must also be able to resist high cycle fatigue, extreme surface wear, and long-term creep deformation.  Iron (Fe)-based superalloys have been developed through a mechanical alloying process that results in a dispersoid strengthened metallic material.  However, mechanical alloying can add significant... read more
10/23/2012
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Method and Apparatus for Three-Dimensional Carbon Fiber Production

UCF researchers have discovered a method for producing three-dimensional carbon fibers. These novel fibers have a surface area approximately two orders of magnitude greater than the surface area of primary fibers.They are composed of original carbon fibers (OCF) with secondary carbon filaments (SCFs) grown thereon. Additional tertiary carbon filaments (TCF) can also be grown from the surface of SCFs, forming a filamentous carbon network with high surface area. The presence of carbon... read more

10/02/2012
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Early Stage R&DMethod 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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Early Stage R&DComposite 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 high temperature... read more
09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DFluorescent 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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Early Stage R&DReal-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&DMethod 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 automated.

09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DImproved 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 the liquid composition.... read more
09/26/2012
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Early Stage R&DNanoscopic 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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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&DIn-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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Flow-Through Electrode Capacitive Desalination

LLNL has developed an innovative technology known as flow-through electrode capacitive desalination (FTE-CD) that promises to unlock an almost inexhaustible water source for U.S. and global population markets. FTE-CD represents a robust and low-maintenance path for efficiently and cost-effectively producing clean drinking water from seawater and brackish water.and poor water quality increase the risks associated with disease and political conflicts, which makes the lack of clean water a... read more

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&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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Early Stage R&DTransparent 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&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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Early Stage R&DNovel 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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Early Stage R&DSynthesis 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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Early Stage R&DRisk-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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Early Stage R&DCytometric 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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Early Stage R&DCarbon 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 higher... read more
09/21/2012
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Ion Removal
INL’s ion removal technology leverages the ability of phosphazene polymers discriminate between water and metal ions, which allows water to pass through the membrane while retaining the ions.
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&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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Indestructible Ultra-filtration: Ceramic HEPA Filters

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are widely used commercial products to remove airborne particulates from a gas stream in a gas process system or ventilation system. Filter life span is determined by filter design and materials. Existing HEPA filters are made from glass fiber, which is fragile and easily damaged. They are subject to handling errors. Shelf life is reduced by contact with moisture. They are damaged by high pressures, chemical attack, high temperature, and fire.... read more

07/25/2012
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Batteryless Chemical Detection

Existing nanosensor technologies employ gas, chemical, and biological detection methods that depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. This limits conventional technologies by constraining both the nanosensor size, and reachable locations. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed a superior alternative: the first batteryless sensors using one-dimensional semiconducting nanowires. The commercial applications for this technology include readily deployable... read more

07/25/2012
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Superhydrophilic Nanostructure for Antifogging Glass
Samuel Mao and a team of scientists at Berkeley Lab have created superhydrophilic nanostructures that can be used as a stable antifogging agent when applied to glass. The Berkeley Lab invention does not require UV irradiation and is nontoxic.
07/17/2012
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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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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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Binder Formulations Utilizing Furanic Components
This technology describes the use of furanic components derived from agricultural waste streams, such as hydroxylmethylfurfural (HMF).  When used in combination with a phenolic urethane resin and cured with a gaseous amine catalyst, the resulting composite shapes are instantaneously cured and can be used for various applications. A primary use of these binders is in preparing foundry molds for the casting of various metal parts.
06/21/2012
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Furanic Modified Amine-based Curatives
Aromatic diamines are currently used as curatives in an array of applications such as polyurea and epoxies. When used as curatives, aromatic diamines have relatively short pot lives (gel times) due to their high reactivity, especially in reactions with polyisocyanates and epoxides. In order to increase their pot lives and provide more even filling of complex molds, Battelle has developed a process for decreasing the reactivity of aromatic diamines by partial amidification with... read more
06/21/2012
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Protein Stabilized Latex Polymer Emulsions, Methods of Making, and Adhesives Containing Such Emulsions
The invention relates to the stabilization of latex polymer emulsions with soy proteins, and to adhesives formed from the protein-stabilized latex emulsions.
06/21/2012
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Structural Composites with Enhanced Moduli of Elasticity

The invention provides a low cost structural composite alternative for use in typical structural lumber/wood applications in building construction, marine, transportation applications, and the like.

06/21/2012
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Metal Organic Clathrates for Carbon Dioxide Removal

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new material, called Metal Organic Clathrates, for efficiently capturing carbon dioxide for removal from coal-fired power plant flue gas streams.  Modified variations of the materials can be used in a variety of other fields as well, including adsorption cooling, separation of radioactive xenon and krypton (for nuclear energy applications), desiccant dehumidification and methane storage.  

06/12/2012
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Organic-Inorganic Complexes Containing a Luminescent Rare Earth-Metal Nanocluster and an Antenna Ligand, Luminescent Articles, and Methods of Making Luminescent Articles
Battelle has developed a material capable of spectral conversion, that is, absorbing light across a broad range of wavelengths and re-emitting this light in a narrow wavelength range. These materials can then be integrated into devices to convert solar radiation into energy. In one implementation, this material can be applied to a solar cell to enhance the absorption efficiency of the solar cell. In a second implementation, this material can be placed between two panes of glass, and used to... read more
06/11/2012
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Supercapacitor Materials and Devices: Nickel-Cobalt Supercapacitors and Methods of Making Same

Battelle has developed materials that can be used to create a supercapacitor with performance superior to that of commercially available devices.  The common measures of performance are the energy density (energy per kg) and power density (power per kg).  This technology is based on specific metal oxide compositions synthesized in conjunction with carbon nanotubes or activated carbon.  The performance of the supercapacitor can be tuned by altering the specific metal oxide... read more

06/11/2012
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Preparation of Propylene Glycol Fatty Acid Ester or Other Glycol, or Polyol Fatty Acid Esters

This technology provides an alternate method to synthesize a key type of PVC plasticizer described in US 6,797,753 (see separate description entitled “Plasticizers Derived from Vegetable Oils”).  This approach uses esters of fatty acids as feed materials and more specifically uses methyl esters of vegetable oils that are referred to as “biodiesel” fuels.  One particularly useful biodiesel is soybean oil biodiesel (methyl soyate) that is projected to be a high... read more

06/11/2012
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Absorbent Protein Meal Based Hydrogels

Non-purified soymeal is used as an inexpensive and biobased reactive filler in preparing high capacity hydrogels. Preparation of these hydrogels involves partial neutralization of acrylic acid, which is subjected to free-radical initiated polymerization in the presence of crosslinkers such as trimethylolpropane triacrylate.  A key approach in obtaining high performance hydrogels involves the removal of low molecular weight acrylic acid oligomers by a simple extraction procedure.

06/11/2012
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Energy-absorbent Material and Method of Making

This invention relates to materials that absorb and dissipate energy and/or selectively allow energy to be transmitted – in particular, polymeric materials that include polyol(s) such as polyethers, polyesters, polyether/esters, acrylics, plus other formulary components such as hydroxyl-terminated polybutadienes, polyisocyanates, silicone, RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) silicone, and  suitable catalysts. Included are such polymeric materials that are resilient and resist... read more

06/08/2012
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Plasticizers Derived from Vegetable Oils

This technology addresses the known health issues of commonly used petroleum-based plasticizers used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a high volume thermoplastic material (one that is moldable and formed by heating) by providing a biobased and renewable PVC plasticizer with no known adverse health effects.  These PVC plasticizers are derived from soybean oil, but also can be obtained from other vegetable oils.

06/08/2012
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Cellulosic Fiber Composites Using Protein Hydrolysates and Methods of Making Same

This technology relates to cellulosic fiber composites using protein hydrolysates. Cellulosic fiber composites currently use petroleum-derived binders such as isocyanates and phenol formaldehyde. This work fills a need for a new fiber-adhesive, resin binder system that reduces the amount of phenolic and/or isocyanate resin needed.

06/08/2012
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Lithium Salt-doped, Gelled Polymer Electrolyte with a Nanoporous, Bicontinuous Cubic Architecture and High Room-temparature Ion Conductivity
Li ion batteries have high energy density, high power delivery, and the ability to be recharged over a large number of cycles. One component that needs to be improved to make them suitable for high performance applications is the electrolyte material . High Li ion mobility/conductivity in electrolyte material is required for larger energy applications, and efficient discharge and recharge with a minimum of power loss to resistive heating. However, these electrolytes can leak from the battery,... read more
06/01/2012
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Ceramic-zeolite Composite Membranes and Use for Separation of Vapor-gas Mixtures
Having both high selectivity and high permeability, the zeolite membranes have great potential for highly selective separation of vapor/gas and gas/gas mixtures and for catalytic membrane reactor applications. However, it is very difficult to prepare the membranes with pore diameter smaller than 1 nm, to meet the needs for highly selective separation of gases.

A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder led by Richard Noble had devloped a method of creating membranes with a uniform... read more
06/01/2012
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New process to convert lipids and cellulosic biomass to renewable diesel
A research team at the University of Colorado Denver led by Arunprakash Karunanithi has developed a decarboxylation process that will provide pathways to convert two different renewable feedstocks (lipids and waste biomass) directly to renewable diesel without the use of hydrogen.
06/01/2012
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Nanohybrid Solar Cells Consisting of Self-Assembled Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube and Covalent Organic Polyhedrom (COP)-Fullerene Core-Shell
A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder led by Wei Zhang has developed a novel method to engineer a new class of self-assembling materials for photovoltaic applications.
06/01/2012
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Nucleation of Ultrathin, Continuous, Conformal Metal Films Using Atomic Layer Deposition and Applications as Fuel Cell Catalysts
A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder led by Steven George has developed a method to prepare a conformal thin film of platinum or one of its alloys onto a substrate, and more particularly to reduce the cost associated with depositing platinum as a catalyst in a fuel cell.
05/23/2012
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Solid-state Inorganic Lithium-Ion Conductors
A research team at the University of Colorado Boulder led by Se-Hee Lee has developed an advanced single step, high energy ball milling system for preparation of electrodes for use in a solid state lithium-ion battery.
05/23/2012
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Lipid Extraction from Wet-Algae for Biofuel Production
There is a growing interest in algal biofuels; however, current methods of a thermal separation process for solvent mixtures involve concomitant issues and increased energy consumption. A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder led by John Pellegrino has developed a two-step membrane process which allows a solvent mixture to be used without the problems of concomitants and high energy expenditure that are usually inherent in a thermal separation process.
05/23/2012
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Novel Method of Ethanol/Water Separation with Nanoporous Polymer Membranes

Bioethanol is an economical and environmentally friendly biofuel that has emerged as a sustainable fuel source. Fermentation is an attractive process for producing bioethanol, but requires costly product separation due to the low concentration of the fermentative products. Nanoporous polymer membranes have recently been explored not only in separating water from dissolved solutes in fermentation systems such as this, but also in liquid water purification and desalination. However, attempts at... read more

03/29/2012
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Highly Efficient, Scalable Microbial Fuel Cell

With present day environmental and energy concerns rising, the development of environmentally friendly energy sources is quickly becoming a top priority. One group of alternative energy sources that show great potential to meet future energy demands are bioelectrochemical systems (BES) or microbial fuel cells (MFC), which can be used to both treat waste water and produce energy. Current wastewater treatment processes are energy-intensive due to the power demand for aeration, sludge... read more

03/28/2012
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High Aspect Ratio Metallic Structures for Use as Transparent Electrodes
Metallic structures that can be used as transparent electrodes or to enhance the performance of solar cells or LEDs.
03/23/2012
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“Green” Replacement for Industrial Applications of Polar Organic Solvents

Polar organic solvents are commonly used in cleaning, reactions, and processing in many industries. Today these solvents are known to be volatile, hazardous to health, toxic in the environment, and flammable, with no comparable alternatives. These toxic attributes make polar organic  solvents very hard to work with, and the harmful effects of these volatile compounds require that expensive procedures, equipment and environmental, health, and safety controls be in place at all times to... read more

03/20/2012
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Heterogeneous Catalyst for Improved Selectivity of Biomass-Derived Molecules

In today’s industrial processes, heterogeneous catalysts are widely used because of their stability and ease of separation from the reactant phase compared to their homogenous counterparts. A continual challenge in the advancement of heterogeneous catalysts is in the improvement of selectivity, which can significantly reduce costs of product purification and waste. Historically, homogenous catalysts offer high selectivity utilizing specific interactions, while heterogeneous catalysts... read more

03/20/2012
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Composite Armor and Methods for Making Composite Armor
The present invention relates, in general, to a composite armor and a process for forming a composite armor. Composite armor containing ceramics and high strength fibers have been useful to provide protection against ballistic projectiles. Typical existing armor for vehicles uses rigid plates of steel. However, they have the disadvantage of being very heavy. Ceramic containing armor systems have demonstrated great promise as reduced weight armors. These armor systems function efficiently by... read more
03/13/2012
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Supertough Polylactide Composites

Biodegradable Plastics from Strengthened Polylactic Acid

Polylactic acid is a renewable polymer used for creating biodegradable plastics. Unfortunately, polylactic acid has limited applications due to its brittleness when compared to petroleum-derived plastics.

A process developed at the University of Minnesota can strengthen polylactic acid using less added material (as little as 1 wt% of non-polyactic acid material as opposed to 2-3 wt% for commercial additives) by creating a... read more

03/13/2012
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New OLED Cathode Materials with Tailored Low Work Function
Organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs), utilizing organic materials to produce light, consume relatively little power. OLEDs are composed of three essential elements: the anode, a light-emitting layer, and the cathode. The requirements of the cathode and anode limit the types of organic material that can be used for the light emitting layer. The work functions of the conductors must match the appropriate energy levels of the light emitting material. These devices have a high failure rate,... read more
03/07/2012
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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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‘Supergel’ System Cleans Radioactively Contaminated Structures (ANL-IN-03-032)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a system that can remove radioactive cesium contamination from porous structures, such as brick and concrete, which are notoriously hard to clean, as well as contamination from metal surfaces.

The “Supergel” system focuses on rapid response—capturing as much of the contamination as possible, as quickly as possible, and filling a technology gap immediately.

02/07/2012
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Advanced Carbon Aerogels for Energy Applications

Nanomaterials that are emerging out of cutting edge nanotechnology research are a key component for an energy revolution. Carbon-based nanomaterials are ushering in the “new carbon age” with carbon nanotubes, nanoporous carbons, and graphene nanosheets that will prove necessary to provide sustainable energy applications that lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

Carbon aerogels (CAs) are nanoporous carbons that comprise a particularly significant class of carbon... read more

02/06/2012
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High-Voltage Insulators and Components

One of the ongoing challenges to improving performance in capacitors and other high-voltage electrical structures is to identify and reduce the factors that cause failure.  High-voltage devices typically fail following excessive partial discharge activity, which is a localized dielectric breakdown that does not transcend the main electrode gap spacing. One type of failure is anticipated to start at a triple junction, the point at which an electrode and two different dielectric materials... read more

02/06/2012
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Multilayer Graphene-Silicon Structures for Lithium Ion Battery Anodes

 A team of Berkeley Lab researchers led by Yuegang Zhang and Liwen Ji has taken a major step toward an improved lithium ion battery with the development of anodes coated with vanishingly thin, alternating layers of graphene and silicon. Tests have shown that Berkeley Lab’s graphene-silicon layers create anodes with a much higher charge capacity than those made of graphite. In addition, the multilayer nanostructure of this easy-to-fabricate design resists the rapid degradation that... read more

01/21/2012
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Lower Cost, Nanoporous Block Copolymer Battery Separator

Although the polyolefin polymer material often used for lithium battery separators costs approximately $1.30/kg, the difficult process used to make it porous, to allow the flow of ions and electrons, raises its cost by two-orders of magnitude, to $120–$240/kg. A Berkeley Lab team led by Nitash Balsara has developed an inexpensive and easily controlled process yielding a nanoporous polymer separator that performs just as well as those made by conventional means.

01/21/2012
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Block Copolymer Cathode Binder to Simultaneously Transport Electronic Charge and Ions

A Berkeley Lab team led by Nitash Balsara has developed a highly efficient lithium ion battery in which a single inactive material—a polymeric binding agent—serves as a binder that holds active cathode materials together and as a two-lane conductor that simultaneously carries lithium ions and electronic charge.

01/21/2012
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Fluid Submersible Sensing Device

The present invention relates to a fluid submersible sensing device and, more particularly, to such a device having sensing structure provided within a fluid-tight housing and an external structure located outside of the fluid-tight housing including a passage through which a fluid sample flows.

01/12/2012
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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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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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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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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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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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Reactive and Catalytic Air Purification Materials
Sorbents for the removal of toxic in-dustrial gases such as ammonia and phosgene. The materials offer reactive and/or catalytic sites within a high surface area, hierarchical pore structure.
10/06/2011
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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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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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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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Method of Production of Pure Hydrogen Near Room Temperature From Ultra High Capacity Hydride Materials
This is a cost-effective method for the production of pure hydrogen gas from ultra high capacity hydride solid materials.
09/22/2011
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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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Code 4 Armor

For DoD, law enforcement, and private security organizations that need personnel protection, Code 4 Armor is a multi-impact, customizable, monolithic armor technology. Unlike competitive products, Code 4 Armor uses cermet metallic patent-pending technology, a composite material composed of ceramic and metal, which provides multiple hit survivability. Code 4 Armor affords superior protection while reducing product weight and production costs. We’ve accomplished a proof-of-concept prototype... read more

09/12/2011
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Linearly Polarized Thermal Emitter for More Efficient Thermophotovoltaic Devices
Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed fabrication methods for a polarized thermal emitter than can be used to create more efficient thermophotovoltaic devices for power generation.
09/09/2011
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Acrylic Acid from 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid

3-hydroxypropionic acid is readily converted to acrylic acid by conversion to the acid salt followed by treatment with a solid oxide dehydration catalyst such as titania or alumina.

08/15/2011
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Environmental Energy Harvesting

Energy harvesting is a developing technology that seeks to exploit naturally-occurring energy to power systems, rather than relying on external sources such as batteries.  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed a method and a device for capturing the chemical energy in organic molecules and converting it into electrical energy. Vibration-based conversion has been commercialized to piezoelectric devices, and the LLNL team believes the time right for matrix-assisted energy... read more

07/27/2011
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Two-Phase Liquid Dielectric

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed a two-phase liquid dielectric composite with synergistic properties that boost the benefits of each separate form. Fluid dielectrics are versatile compounds that assist or govern numerous industrial processes such as  precision cooling, high-voltage capacitance, and the electrical protection of high-voltage switchgear.   Liquid dielectrics suppress or instantly quench corona discharge and arcing without forming... read more

07/27/2011
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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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High Capacity Hydrogen Storage Nanocomposite
Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory's (SRNL) Hydrogen Research Center have developed new processes to add metal hydrides to nanocarbon structures to yield high capacity hydrogen storage materials.  Testing of these materials has shown that hyrdogen can be efficiently absorbed and released in multiple cycles and in significant quantities.  Processes to add Lithium Hydride to Fullerenes have resulted in structures that can retain and release significant quantities of... read more
06/21/2011
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Catalytic Self-Decontaminating Materials
Self-decontaminating structures based on porphyrin-embedded, target imprinted, porous, organosilicate sorbents. The materials rapidly sequester targets as a result of the affinity of the sorbent structures. Catalysis proceeds upon stimulation of the porphyrin moieties through illumination or by an applied current. 
06/17/2011
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Microfluidic Flow Assay for Measuring Hemostatic Phenotypes
In this invention we report a method for measuring an individual’s ability to form a blood clot. 
06/14/2011
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Multifocal Multiphoton Laser-Scanning Structured Illumination Microscopy with Whole-Field Detection
This invention describes a multiphoton imaging process in conjunction with whole field detection which gives it the ability to penetrate deeper into highly scattering media. 
06/14/2011
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Binding Organic Liquids

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a reusable organic liquid that can pull harmful gases such as carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide out of industrial emissions from power plants. The process could directly replace current methods and allow power plants to capture double the amount of harmful gases in a way that uses no water, less energy, and saves money.

06/06/2011
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RAPID-CURE COATINGS SYSTEM
The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a durable, rapid cure coatings system that is designed for harsh environments. Developed for the maritime industry, it is suit-able for the interior & exterior of shipboard structures and tanks as well as other appli-cations where performance counts.
06/01/2011
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AlSb/InAs HIGH ELECTRON MOBILITY TRANSISTORS

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed materials growth and fabrication technology for the manufacture of high-speed, low power AlSb/InAs high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) that exhibit state-of-the-art low-power performance.

06/01/2011
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Cellulosic Fiber Composites Using Protein Hydrolysates and Methods of Making Same
This technology relates to cellulosic fiber composites using protein hydrolysates.
04/27/2011
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Readily Deinkable Toner
A bio-based resin and toner formulation for photocopier and laser printer toners – resins containing soy derived chemicals and protein were developed and have appropriate electrical charging and melting or fusing properties to hold the pigments onto the paper fibers during the xerographic or dry printing process.
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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Apparatus and Method for the Synthesis and Treatment of Metal Monolayer Electrocatalyst Particles

This electrochemical cell can be used to fabricate nanoparticles coated with an atomically thin layer of noble metal. It is based on the rotating cylinder electrode configuration. A cylinder electrode is immersed in a cell with a slurry of nanoparticles. On rotation, the nanoparticles collide with the cylinder and become charged. In one example use, copper is plated onto the nanoparticles. The excess copper solution is then rinsed away, a suspension is created by adding an acid, and platinum... read more

04/08/2011
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Azido Functionalized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) and Method of Forming Same

Conductive polymers are finding mainstream applications in organic light-emitting diodes, capacitors, batteries, organic transistors, sensors, solar cells, actuators, textiles, electromagnetic interference, electrostatic discharge, antistatic packaging, and paints and coatings. In order to make these materials more robust, it would be desirable to be able to crosslink them. However, crosslinking often damages the electronic properties of the polymers. By adding crosslinking species as side... read more

04/08/2011
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BioRenewable Chemicals and Solvents
As a spin-off of NREL’s long history of renewable energy research, alternatives to chemicals and solvents have been developed from renewable feedstocks. Traditionally, household and industrial chemicals and solvents are made from the limited petroleum sources. These chemicals and solvents play a major role in many areas of technology and in turn represent a large portion of volatile organic compounds released into the air. By using renewable sources in the production of these chemicals... read more
04/06/2011
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Nanofluids for Heat Transfer

Argonne National Laboratory is developing water and ethylene glycol/water-based dispersions of nanoparticles for use as the heat transfer fluid (HTF) in liquid cooling systems. The addition of nanoparticles increases the thermal conductivity of liquids, enabling more efficient heat transfer in liquid cooling systems. 

04/05/2011
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“Upcycling”: A Green Solution to the Problem of Plastic

Plastics products—such as grocery bags, packaging foam, plates, and cups—are lightweight, strong, and inexpensive to produce. However, because these products are not biodegradable, they collect in landfills, litter the environment, and present a long-term environmental problem. Through a new process developed by an Argonne scientist Vilas Pol, a wide range of waste plastics can be converted into a fine black carbon powder or carbon nanotubes. This carbon-based substance has numerous... read more

04/05/2011
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High Performance Binderless Electrodes for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

Portable electronic applications including cell phones, laptop computers, as well as electric vehicles or hybrid electric vehicles require dependable rechargeable batteries.  The lithium ion (Li-ion) battery is the preferred source for portable energy storage due to its desirable energy to weight ratio. The materials used in the development of anodes, cathodes and electrolytes are directly responsible for the performance characteristics of Li-ion batteries.  In order to meet... read more

03/31/2011
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Early Stage R&DSkin-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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Diesel DeNOx Catalyst
The United States consumed about 50 billion gallons of diesel fuel in 2006. Because diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines, the use of diesel fuel is expected to continue to expand. With increased diesel use and the EPA’s new, stringent regulations on smog-causing pollutants, Argonne’s new catalyst is a timely breakthrough. The diesel DeNOx catalyst removes 80–85% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel fuel combustion by converting NOx to nitrogen,... read more
03/25/2011
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Simplified Synthesis of Bulk Ammonia Borane
Ammonia borane is a stable solid compound that has excellent potential as a hydrogen store for fuel cell and other applications. The ability to efficiently and economically manufacture pure ammonia borane in large quantities is important to keeping production costs manageable and for providing light-weight power options for applications ranging from small power to fuel cell vehicles. Ammonia borane is also used as a starting material for new generation of hydrogen storage materials, e.g., metal... read more
03/21/2011
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Conducting Domain Walls in Insulating Oxides
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have built on their discovery that the 2-nm wide domain walls in insulating multiferroic oxides conduct electricity at room temperature. The researchers are able to reversibly manipulate the number, position, and conductivity of these walls. This technology will make it possible to read, write, and erase memory and logic in electronic devices on an unprecedented nanometer scale.
01/21/2011
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Tunable Graphene Electronic Devices
Alex Zettl and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have induced a two-dimensional superconducting order on a graphene sheet and tuned its material properties—transition temperature, critical field, and critical current—via an electrostatic gate. The technology enables the properties of diverse electronic devices to be controlled by the simple addition of dopants (or coatings) combined with the application of an electric field via external circuitry. In addition to control, properties of... read more
01/21/2011
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Advanced Actuators and Transducers: Hybrid actuator systems recover environment energy to power devices
Actuators and transducers are deployed to harvest mechanical energy in the environment as electrical energy and to convert stored electrical energy into mechanical energy. By developing a transducer based on advanced electroactive materials, NASA has produced a design that can harvest orders of magnitude more energy in a given application than traditional solutions, yielding more power to drive devices and store in batteries. In a complementary effort, a hybrid actuator system (HYBAS) with both... read more
01/04/2011
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Structures with Negative Refractive Index for Applications in Optics and Nanophotonics
Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed materials and structures with a negative refractive index that potentially open new frontiers in optics applications.
12/28/2010
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First Diode for Thermal Management of Micro and Macro Devices
Alex Zettl, Arun Majumdar and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have invented the first solid state thermal rectifier. The device consists of a boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) loaded at one end with a high mass density material - specifically, trimethyl cyclopentadienyl platinum (C9H16Pt). The researchers achieved thermal rectifications as high as 7 percent at room temperature. Mass loaded carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were found to display thermal rectification of 2 percent.
12/27/2010
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An Inexpensive Brazable Material for Magnetostrictive Sensors and Other Applications Based on Ferrite Materials
This invention is a method for making a low cost magnetostrictive material which has utility for a variety of applications, including sensors, transducers and actuators.
12/16/2010
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Synthesis of High Surface Area Foams for Functional and Structural Applications
A substantially higher surface area is very desirable in porous metallic bulk materials for functional applications such as catalysts, hydrogen storage or high-sensitivity sensors. Traditionally, high surface area functional materials are prepared as powders. The development of this new process made it possible to fabricate them into a useable monolithic structure with high levels of connected, exposed surface areas.
12/16/2010
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Production of Giant magnetocaloric Substances Using Commercially Available Raw Materials
The giant magnetocaloric material Gd5(SixGe1-x)4, useful for various types of refrigeration applications, from liquifaction of helium (4K) to room temperature air conditioning and climate control, has just become more cost effective with the development of this new method for utilizing commercially available Gd to produce it.
12/16/2010
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Regenerator for Magnetic Refrigerants
Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a new magnetic material that can be used at low temperatures (sub liquid hydrogen) for magnetic refrigerators. Magnetic refrigeration is being investigated as an alternative to conventional gas compressor technology for cooling and heating because of its potential to save energy and reduce operating costs. The potential utility of magnetic refrigerants has been demonstrated using gadolinium palladium (GdPd) alloys. However,... read more
12/16/2010
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OLED Deposition Technology
Low-cost processing methods will be required if the small organic molecule materials currently under development for use in organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) and other electronics are ever to realize widespread commercial application.
12/15/2010
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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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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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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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Lead-Free Solder
A lead-free solder for use in electronic soldering including electronics circuit boards used in cell phones, computers and other electronics. These low melting point alloys have been in use since 1994. As a result of the movement to reduce environmental contamination resulting from disposal of lead containing electronics components, government regulations in many countries prohibit use of leaded solders for electronics. SAC alloys and are now a standard in the electronics industry. ... read more
12/13/2010
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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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Lyotropic Liquid Crystal (LLC) Nanofiltration Membranes
University of Colorado research groups led by Douglas Gin and Richard Noble have developed a novel type of filtration membrane based on the polymerization of lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) that contains ordered, densely packed, size-tunable pores of uniform size. These new LLC membranes have pore sizes on the order of 0.5-2 nm. The resulting size-selectivity of these membranes enables high, predictable rejection of dissolved ions (salts, in particular) from water as well as a number of... read more
12/06/2010
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Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Preparation of Noble Metal Catalysts
Organic pollutants in wastewater streams and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere have been increasing over the recent decades. Currently, semiconductor photocatalysts such as Titanium Oxide (TiO2), are used to minimize the effects of environmental pollution by detoxifying harmful organic materials. These photocatalysts are activated by UV light and break bonds in the contaminant to make it non-toxic. TiO2 provides many benefits in use, as it is low cost, non-toxic, and has the ability... read more
12/06/2010
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Hydrogenation of Glutamic Acid to Pyroglutaminol and Prolinol
Biomass feedstocks are increasingly in higher demand across the petrochemical industry as manufacturers research ways to make chemical products from something more environmentally friendly than petroleum. Glutamic acid is a ready platform for conversion to value added products. Among those are pyroglutaminol and prolinol, which may benefit a number of applications.
09/24/2010
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Method to Reduce Camber in Anode-Supported SOFCs
Thermal expansion differences between the porous anode/active anode and dense electrolyte in an anode supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) result in a camber (out of plane deflection) after high-temperature heat treatments. Researchers at PNNL have devised two methods to reduce the camber by applying a symmetrical thermal expansion design to the planar cell assembly.
09/23/2010
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Controlling Foaming in Hydrogen Release from Boranes
Ammonia Borane is a compound that has excellent potential as a hydrogen storage material for fuel cell power applications. However, as ammonia borane releases hydrogen during heating, the material expands to 10-100 times the original volume). This expansion complicates processing in fuel cell power applications. This solution controls the amount of foam produced so these compounds can be efficiently used to their fullest chemical potential.
09/22/2010
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Nano Structure Control and Selectivity of Hydrogen Release from Hydrogen Storage
Researchers at PNNL have developed new materials for hydrogen storage applications using nano structure approaches to enhance the properties of conventional hydrogen storage materials used to supply hydrogen to fuel cells.
09/22/2010
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Highly Dispersed Metal Catalyst
Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory have developed a platinum(Pt)catalyst material that exhibits higher dispersion qualities than catalysts used in commercial fuel cells. Better dispersion translates into improved activity indicating new active sites and/or reducing the precious metal usage. Fuel cell electrocatalysts frequently employ 20-50 wt% platinum while less than 0.5 wt% Pt is needed when 100% dispersed. If every platinum atom is active for catalytic reaction rather... read more
09/15/2010
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Textured Metal Catalysts for Heterogeneous Catalysis
Textured metal catalysts combine the advantages of both carbon supported and metal oxide supported catalysts for heterogeneous catalysis in aqueous systems. This combines the surface area of carbon catalysts with the metals retention and support effects of metal oxides, while avoiding the low surface area and water instability of traditional metal oxide supports as well as blocking access to the micropores of carbon supports that can sometimes lead to overreaction to unwanted byproducts. These... read more
09/10/2010
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Nanostructured Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), managing contractor of the Savannah River Site (SRS) for the Department of Energy, has developed new anodes for lithium-ion batteries that are reported to increase the energy density four-fold. It is widely known that the energy capacity of Lithium-Ion batteries is limited by the widely used graphite anode that intercalates lithium ions as LiC6. The theoretical capacity of LiC6 is 372mAh/g. To power an electric car for 300 miles, the energy density has... read more
08/20/2010
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High Power Performance Lithium Ion Battery
Gao Liu and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have increased the power performance of lithium ion batteries by over 20 percent by optimizing the ratio of polymer binder to conductive additive (acetylene black) in the cathode. The new electrode compositions also significantly improve mechanical resilience and promise longer cycling lifetimes.
07/28/2010
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Water-retaining Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications
While polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells offer promising power alternatives, the performance of current state-of-the-art PEMs is hindered by water loss when operating at temperatures greater than 60°C, and under low humidity (relative humidity of about 50%). This is a disadvantage, because proton conductivity, which is essential for a functioning fuel cell, is directly related to the ability of the PEM to retain water. Although low temperatures and high humidity are the ideal... read more
07/28/2010
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Fail-Safe, Inexpensive Electrochemical Device Stack Design
Craig Jacobson, Steven Visco, and Lutgard DeJonghe have invented a robust and low cost electrochemical device stack system based on a modified segmented-cell-in-series design. In this invention a number of small cylindrical cell segments are in contact with a planar metallic interconnect sheet that electrically connects one cell segment to the one above and/or below it as well as to the cell segments on the same interconnect sheet. This system allows one or more cells to malfunction without... read more
07/28/2010
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High Quality, Dense Thin Films Using Metal/Metal Alloy Additives
Berkeley Lab researchers Mike Tucker, Grace Lau, and Craig Jacobson have invented a novel layered structure for preparing a high-operating temperature electrochemical cell.
07/28/2010
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Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technologies: Improved Electrode-Electrode Structures for Solid State Electrochemical Devices
Berkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel-efficient and almost non-polluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the... read more
07/28/2010
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Inexpensive Production of High Density Thin Ceramic Films on Rigid or Porous Substrates
Steven Visco, Lutgard DeJonghe, and Craig Jacobson have developed a simple, inexpensive method for producing high density, crack-free, thin ceramic films on rigid or porous substrates. Polycrystalline films with thicknesses between 1m and 100 mm are achieved by compressing a ceramic material onto a pre-fired substrate.
07/28/2010
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Low Cost Fabrication of Thin-Film Ceramic Membranes for Nonshrinking Substrates
Certain fuel cell manufacturing specifications require deposition of a thin ceramic membrane onto a substrate that doesn't shrink over it's lifetime. Pre-firing the substrate improves substrate reliability and may lower its cost. This requires a film that has minimal volume change during drying and sintering.
07/28/2010
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Metal Current Collector Protected by Oxide Film
Steven Visco, Craig Jacobson, and Lutgard DeJonghe have designed a cost-efficient, structurally sound technology for current collection and cell-to-cell interconnection of high temperature (>600 C) planar electrochemical devices. Current collection is normally achieved using expensive metal oxides or metals such as platinum or nickel.
07/28/2010
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Method for Making Flat, High Performance Thin Membrane Structures on Porous Substances
Craig Jacobson, Lutgard DeJonghe, and Steven Visco have invented an improved colloidal deposition technique whereby high-quality films of a wide variety of ionic and mixed ionic-electronic conductors can be deposited on highly-porous electrode substrates. They have discovered that in order to fabricate large area, flat, bilayered plates, it is necessary to have exceptionally good homogeneity of substrate and film, as well as similar (well matched) sintering rates and total shrinkage to avoid... read more
07/28/2010
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Novel Support Structure for Ceramic Electrochemical Devices
Berkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel efficient and almost nonpolluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the... read more
07/28/2010
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Surface Additives for Enhanced Electrode Performance
Berkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel-efficient and almost non-polluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the... read more
07/28/2010
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Braze for Robust Seals with Ceramic
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a composite braze material that can be used to manufacture strong, gas-tight joints where one of the joining members is ceramic – typically yttrium stabilized zirconium (YSZ). The braze composition can be controlled to reduce the stress due to mismatched thermal expansion between the ceramic and the braze. Joints made using the new braze were failure-free after rapid thermal cycling up to 700°C.
07/28/2010
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Fuel Cell Housing for Rapid Start-Up Auxiliary Power and Gas Separation
Berkeley Lab scientists have designed a fuel cell housing unit that enables rapid thermal cycling of planar SOFCs made of conventional fuel cell materials. The invention makes strides towards enabling the use of SOFCs for portable applications such as auxiliary automotive power or the use of related electrochemical gas separators for single-user oxygen production for health purposes.
07/28/2010
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Durable Joining of Dissimilar Materials
One barrier to solid oxide fuel cell manufacturing is forming robust joints between materials that don’t chemically bond with each other and/or differ greatly in form or particle size, such as metals and ceramics. Berkeley Lab scientists solve this problem by decorating the surface of the more ductile material with particles of the less ductile material via milling and then sinter-bonding this composite to the less ductile materials and/or another material that will sinter with either of... read more
07/28/2010
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Single-step Infiltration for Improved Low Temperature Cathode Performance
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have invented a one-step method for infiltrating porous structures with a continuous, electronically conducting monolayer or several continuous monolayers using only 3-5 weight percent of ceramic. The technique enables high SOFC cathode performance at lower temperatures where less expensive and more pliable metals can replace ceramics for some cells parts.
07/28/2010
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Robust, Multifunctional Joint for Large Scale Power Production Stacks
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a multifunctional joint for metal supported, tubular SOFCs that divides various joint functions so that materials and methods optimizing each function can be chosen without sacrificing space. The functions of the joint include joining neighboring fuel cells in series, sealing cells so that distinct atmospheres don’t interact, providing electrical connections between neighboring cells, and insulating electrodes in the same cell.
07/28/2010
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High Conductivity Single-ion Cross-linked Polymers for Lithium Batteries and Fuel Cells
John Kerr and co-workers at Berkeley Lab have developed single-ion cross-linked comb-branched polymer electrolytes with high conductivity for use as membranes in lithium batteries, fuel cells, and electrochromic windows. Solid polymer electrolyte separators are used in lithium batteries instead of common organic solvents because (1) they are non-volatile, (2) they inhibit the growth of dendrites, the tiny metallic snowflake structures in lithium metal electrodes that lead to battery failure,... read more
07/28/2010
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Graphitized Conductive Carbon Coatings for Composite Electrodes
Robert Kostecki and Marek Marcinek of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a method to improve the performance and operational life of composite electrodes by direct deposition of a continuous, uniform film of graphitic carbon coating on the active materials.
07/28/2010
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Fast, Low Cost Method for Manufacturing Porous Structures for Fuel Cells, Catalysts and Filtration
Steve Visco, Craig Jacobson, and Michael Tucker of Berkeley Lab have invented a method for manufacturing porous structures that has advantages over using extractable particulates, pore formers that decompose or burn, tape casting, the replica method, and bubble-forming.
07/28/2010
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Tunable Thermal Link
Thermal links are incorporated into everything from frying pans to internal combustion engine spark plugs and heat sinks on integrated circuit boards. Typically, the link’s thermal resistance is fixed and cannot be tuned after manufacture. While the ability to tune electrical resistors is widespread, virtually no tunable thermal resistance link exists, which has held back the development of thermal systems.
07/28/2010
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Ultraclean Low Swirl Combustion
Burners are used in industry for a wide range of applications including water heaters, power generators, oilers, and HVAC systems. Parallel consumer applications include gas-fired home water heaters, heating systems, and clothes dryers. Natural gas is more efficient and less expensive than electricity and is the current and future fuel of choice. However, conventional gas burners emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) creating ozone in the lower atmosphere due to incomplete fuel combustion and high... read more
07/28/2010
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TRAMS: A New Tracer Gas Airflow Measurement System
The technologies currently available to measure airflow rates in duct systems require careful use and substantial time to produce accurate measurements. Traditional measurement systems use Pitot-static tubes or hot-wire or other anemometers to measure velocities at several locations in the cross section of an airstream. It is very difficult to accurately measure airflow rates using these methods because of problems such as large spatial variation in air velocities and air velocities that are so... read more
07/28/2010
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Low Cost, Stable Switchable Mirrors: Lithium Ion Mirrors with Improved Stability
Switchable mirrors are a new generation of electrochromic windows that can alternate between a reflecting state and a transparent or absorbing state when a small voltage is applied. These energy saving devices have advantages over traditional absorbing electrochromics for radiant energy control because of their large dynamic range in both transmission and reflection for visible light and infrared radiation.
07/28/2010
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Lean Flame Stabilization Ring
Robert Cheng at Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a means for retrofitting existing burners to burn lean, premixed natural gas/air mixtures to reduce NOx emissions without sacrificing efficiency and burner design simplicity.
07/28/2010
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Novel Electrochromic Device Controlled by Sunlight
Frank McLarnon and Robert Kostecki at Berkeley Lab have designed a two-component electrode, fabricated with titanium and nickel oxides, reacts to both light and electricity.
06/24/2010
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Clog-free Atomizing and Spray Drying Nozzle
Duo Wang and Mark Modera have designed an atomizing nozzle that eliminates clogging. The Berkeley Lab nozzle uses the high velocity gas efflux to create a layer of ambient temperature air around the tube containing the liquid to be atomized. This feature minimizes heat transfer from the gas to the liquid, thus eliminating premature drying. Several other design features also help to eliminate clogs.
06/24/2010
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Aerosol Remote Sealing System
Mark Modera and Francois Remi Carrie from Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a rapid, economical technique to seal duct and other enclosed systems by means of an internally injected aerosol.
06/24/2010
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Orderly Deposition of Uncontaminated Graphene
Xiaogan Liang of Berkeley Lab has invented an inexpensive, high-throughput process for depositing pure few-layer-graphene (FLG) in a desired pattern onto substrates, such as silicon wafers. This method uses electrostatic forces to print FLG in dimensions ranging from less than 20 nm to 100 μm and has the potential to be combined with step-and-repeat technology to cover large areas.
06/23/2010
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Ceramic-Metal Composites for Electrodes of Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium’s high energy density makes it desirable for use in rechargeable batteries, but its tendency to form dendrites has limited its use to primary batteries. This limitation can be addressed by using alloys, but their sticky consistency has proved an obstacle to manufacturing.
06/23/2010
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Nanocomposite Carbon/Tin Anodes for Lithium Ion Batteries
An approach developed by Robert Kostecki and Marek Marcinek of Berkeley Lab has given rise to a new generation of nanostructured carbon-tin films that can be produced quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively. These binderless carbon/tin thin-film anodes provide enhanced charge capacity and excellent cycleability in lithium ion battery systems compared with lithium ion anodes currently on the market.
06/23/2010
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Nanostructured Water Oxidation Catalysts
Heinz Frei and Feng Jiao of Berkeley Lab have developed a visible light driven catalytic system for oxidizing water. Efficient catalytic water oxidation is a critical step for any artificial sunlight-to-fuel conversion system.
06/23/2010
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Nanotubes as Robust Thermal Conductors
Multiwall nanotubes of carbon (CNT) and of boron nitride (BNNT) have a very high thermal conductance at room temperature. Their twin properties of high thermal conductivity along the axial direction and poor thermal conductivity in the radial direction provide an excellent heat conduction channel that can confine heat currents on the nano scale.
06/23/2010
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Thinner Film Silicon Solar Cells
Berkeley Lab scientists have designed a new approach to create thin film silicon solar cells with a potential increase in photon energy conversion of up to 20%, a significant improvement over conventional thin film photovoltaic technologies. By using thinner photon energy absorber layers requiring less silicon than conventional photovoltaic devices of similar photon absorptive power, the technology also promises to lower solar cell material costs.
02/12/2010
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Harvesting Energy from Abundant, Low Quality Sources of Heat
The basic concept of energy harvesting is to collect energy from solar or other free sources of thermal energy that exist in the environment and convert them to electricity. In principle, this technique could provide power from low quality sources of energy such as waste heat at low temperatures. A collaboration between LLNL and UCLA has demonstrated that a bulk compound thermoelectric laminate can convert thermal energy to electricity. If produced as a thin-film material and operated at high... read more
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
Optimal thermal management, especially in such cases as microelectronic packaging, requires thermal interface material with high heat carrying capacity. Although individual carbon nanotubes exhibit high thermal conductivity, aggregate forms of nanotubes lose this property due to processing that result from their aggregation.
02/03/2010
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Mega-Pore Nano-Structured Carbon
Current supercapacitor technologies cannot meet the growing demands for high-power energy storage. Meeting this challenge requires the development of new electrode materials.
02/02/2010