News Archive 2010
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have spent several years developing a newly licensed laser power source that, when used in laser-based gas sensors, enables scientists to more accurately detect smaller levels of trace gases than would otherwise be possible.
Scientists often analyze atmospheric gas concentrations with laser-based sensors. The Low Noise Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) Current Controller developed at PNNL is a laser power source that provides current with very low levels of electrical "noise" to the lasers used in such sensors. Noise–random fluctuations in a laser's wavelength and intensity–can prevent researchers from obtaining precise readings that are needed to help determine the presence and concentration of specific gases.
The PNNL Controller has the lowest noise of any other controller known and is designed specifically for use with QCLs, which emit light in a wavelength region that many trace gases strongly absorb. When QCL-based sensors are powered with such a device, their sensitivity increases, and analysis of a wider range of gases or chemicals is possible.
The new technology is a quiet, stable, and agile power supply that is readily incorporated into a variety of laser-based analytical instruments. It also has the potential to work with laser diodes that could be used in applications such as microbial detection, skin cancer scanning, DNA sequencing, and remote measurement and testing with vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers.
Following several patents for the technology and research to find a strategic partner for the technology, PNNL identified and approached Wavelength Electronics Inc (WEI), a small developer of controllers and related laser components. The Montana-based company participated in one of PNNL's economic development programs to assist them in evaluating the controller and testing its performance in one of their customers' systems.
Shortly thereafter–just eight months following their first involvement with PNNL–WEI entered into an exclusive license agreement for the QCL Current Controller design for use in light emitting diode devices and lasers. WEI is now incorporating the design into new commercial products specifically targeting the QCL market.
-This article was provided by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.-
Scientists and entrepreneurs partnering at Berkeley Lab.
Since 1990, technology developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists has helped launch nearly 30 start-up companies, including Solexant (solar cells), Soladigm (“smart” glass) and PolyPlus (batteries).
Like most large research universities and national laboratories, Berkeley Lab has a technology transfer office to help make sure that scientific innovations get into the marketplace, including filing for patents and negotiating licensing deals. But they don’t always have the time and resources to deliver all the support needed to launch a startup—or to determine if a startup is even viable.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy started the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Program in 2008 to accelerate the deployment and commercialization of advanced clean energy technologies from the national laboratories. In the first year, three venture capital (VC) firms were paired with three national labs. The following year, five more firms were each paired with a national lab, including Berkeley Lab.
Since late last year Jim Matheson, a partner at VC firm Flagship Ventures, has been Berkeley Lab’s “entrepreneur in residence.” From his firm’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he travels to Berkeley monthly to meet with scientists and “add some commercialization impulse to the Lab,” as he puts it. Read more.Browse technologies available for licensing and research collaboration from Berkeley Lab.
-This article was provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.-
Louis Peña, principal researcher at BNL
Brookhaven Science Associates, the company that manages the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and Biosurface Engineering Technologies, Inc. (BioSET) of Rockville, Maryland, have been issued a U.S. patent for an improved second-generation technology for designing synthetic peptides that are important for tissue regeneration. These bioactive peptides are designed to communicate growth signals to cells of damaged tissue in order to foster efficient, rapid healing. Read more.
The Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) Web site at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) provides information to the general public looking for information on the innovative technologies developed at Argonne, those in the commercial sector seeking information on the technology, and expertise available at the Lab for either partnering or licensing opportunities, and Argonne scientific staff looking for insight on technology transfer, partnering and funding opportunities. It also provides information on how TDC assists Argonne staff, industry and academia in working together through a variety of mechanisms. Read more.
-This article was provided by Argonne National Laboratory.-
As part of the Obama Administration's ongoing commitment to transparency surrounding the response to the BP oil spill, the Department of Energy is providing online access to schematics, pressure tests, diagnostic results and other data about the malfunctioning blowout preventer.
Ames Laboratory has a history of successful invention disclosures, patent applications and issued patents, with a variety of programs aimed at forming partnerships with private and public entities. Most important of these is technology transfer, designed to move the basic science developed to the private sector where that science can be applied to improve the quality of products and services available to the public.
Read more about technology transfer at Ames Laboratory.
-This article was provided by Ames Laboratory.-
Leverage the resources of Sandia National Laboratories for your benefit through a technology partnership. Sandia has been transferring technology to external partners for more than three decades, making it possible for partners to access their science and technology, people, and infrastructure. Their many and varied collaborations with industry, small businesses, universities, and government agencies on emerging technologies directly support the primary mission of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the U.S. Department of Energy and bring new technologies to the marketplace. Read more.
-This article was provided by Sandia National Laboratory.-
Caption: Capturing relationships among types of information.
Associated patent: 6,711,577
The Starlight Information Visualization System is a Windows-based visual analytics tool developed over several years of research byPacific Northwest National Laboratoryscientists. Starlight integrates hundreds of thousands of pieces of information simultaneously and displays their complex relationships in graphical forms, allowing for more rapid and accurate analysis of data.
Using a common XML-based information model, Starlight captures multiple relationships that may exist among various types of information and enables the concurrent visual analysis of a wide range of information. The system is designed to manipulate the different relationships needed to solve complex, multifaceted, real-world problems. Starlight’s graphical representation of the data enables these underlying relationships to be revealed and visually interpreted by its users. The result is a system that is capable of both accelerating and improving comprehension of the contents of large, complex information collections.
Starlight’s unique capabilities can be used together to address a variety of different types of problems. In the National Security sector, for example, the technology is well suited to analyze the contents of intelligence data collected from multiple sources to quickly discover the “who, what, when, and where?” aspects of complex, dynamic situations. When it comes to Computer Security, Starlight can enable network analysts to quickly achieve and maintain an in-depth understanding of network vulnerabilities and security status. Another application for Starlight is in Web Mapping. The Starlight Network View can be used to find and interpret interesting features in Web page hyperlink structures.
In 2006, the Starlight technology was licensed to Future Point Systems, a start-up company founded that same year to build upon and commercialize the technology. Based in Mountain View, Calif., the company also has offices in Richland, Wash. and Washington DC. PNNL received a 2006 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for its license of the Starlight technology to Future Point Systems.
FPS and PNNL continue to develop Starlight to accommodate the ever changing technology needs in the visualization field. In fact, FPS recently launched a newer version of its Starlight Software Suite, with enhancements including social network analysis, custom web reporting capabilities, simplified usability and increased flexibility.
For more information: http://starlight.pnl.gov/
-This article was provided by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.-
Caption: Biorefineries may rely on coffee-roasting process.
Biorefineries may soon rely on a process akin to roasting coffee beans to get more energy-dense biomass.
A new collaborative study between Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will investigate whether such roasting can create a more valuable product for the nascent biofuels industry. Initial studies show that driving moisture and volatile compounds from wood or straw could make the biomass more stable, compactable and energy dense.
Read the press release from INL.
-This article was provided by Idaho National Laboratory.-
Caption: Artist's concept of the International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor (ITER)
U.S. ITER awards agreement for Tokamak Cooling Water SystemJanuary 2010
The U.S. ITER Project Office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has awarded a basic ordering agreement for design and fabrication of the Tokamak Cooling Water System (TCWS) - a major U.S. contribution to the ITER Project - to AREVA Federal Services LLC of Charlotte, N.C.
The TCWS is a complex piping network that is subdivided into four primary heat transfer subsystems with supporting functions performed by three additional subsystems. It removes heat that is generated by the plasma and absorbed by ITER's internal components and vacuum vessel while controlling the temperature of the device's Neutral Beam Injector. The system also will be used for baking and drying to support operations.
Specific work tasks will be authorized by individual task orders. Most of the TCWS subsystems are planned for delivery within the five-year duration of the agreement, although there is an option to extend if additional time is required.
The ITER Project is an international collaboration of scientists and engineers with the mission of designing and constructing a burning plasma experiment to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power. The goal is to produce fusion power that would be at least ten times greater than the external power delivered to heat the plasma.
The United States is working with its international partners, which include the People's Republic of China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. The device is being assembled at Cadarache in southeastern France from components designed and fabricated in the member countries.
MEDIA CONTACT: Cindy R. Lundy
ORNL Communications & External Relations
-This article was provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.-