Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



Scientific researchers, technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurs and visionary business people create the stories of technology commercialization success. Along the way to success awards are won for technology transfer efforts. Since 1978 LLNL has been winning R&D 100 Awards—the “Oscars of Invention”. Winners each year represent the most revolutionary technologies recently recognized by the market. Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) awards recognize the work of scientific innovation as well as the work of technology transfer professionals that push the research into the private sector. Our Entrepreneurs' Hall of Fame (EHF) recognizes current or former LLNL employees who have made major contributions through their inventiveness and entrepreneurial work in and with the private sector. Through the stories of entrepreneurs that have furthered LLNL innovations we understand a small part of LLNL’s contribution to U.S. economic development.


2018 R&D 100 FINALISTS

2018 R&D Finalists


High-repetition-rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) for FLC Far West Region Outstanding Commercialization Success

HAPLS is a new laser system designed and constructed by LLNL's NIF and Photon Science Directorate (NIF&PS). What makes HAPLS unique is its repetition rate and repeatability. It can fire up to 10 times per second and deliver in each of these pulses the peak power of 1 quadrillion watts — an order of magnitude faster than any other high-peak power laser in the world. This high repetition rate translates into photon flux that is important for commercial applications: HAPLS can deliver up to about 1.1 megajoules per hour of petawatt pulses. Furthermore, the high repetition rate allows exploration of new science with unprecedented precision. Under a $52 million agreement with the Czech Republic's European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), Lab researchers developed and constructed the laser system in only three years from concept to product. After an evaluation by an international peer review group, the HAPLS petawatt laser was declared fully integrated and operational at the ELI Beamlines Research Center in Dolní Břežany, Czech Republic in June. The LLNL-Czech partnership was made possible through an Agreement for Commercializing Technology (ACT) — a new technology transfer mechanism piloted by the U.S. Department of Energy in June 2012. LLNL team members included Constantin Haefner, Andy Bayramian, Dan Mason, Jeff Horner, Craig Siders, Genaro Mempin, and Dave Dawes. ELI recognized team members were Roman Hvezda and Bedrich Rus.

Electrochemical Solid-State NOx Detector for FLC Far West Region Outstanding Partnership

The electrochemical solid-state NOx detector is an accurate, innovative, and affordable emissions sensor for diesel-fueled automobiles. LLNL scientists developed the sensor being commercialized by a Colorado-based company, CoorsTek Sensors. In 2011, the technology was licensed to EmiSense, a venture-backed developer of advanced sensor technologies who engaged with LLNL in a 30-month cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to advance the technology. EmiSense further developed the technology's durability, stability and capabilities to be more suitable for commercialization and manufacturing. The electrochemical solid-state detector could be an important step in the development of accurate and affordable emissions sensors for diesel engines in cars, commercial and marine vehicles, locomotives and stationary equipment. The Livermore/CoorsTek nitrogen oxide detector is simple and inexpensive, potentially opening the door to a $2.5 billion industry by 2023, as the regulation of diesel engines continues to expand. In 2014, EmiSense was acquired by CoorsTek Sensors; they expect the technology to hit the market within the next several years.

FemtoProWrite: A Femtosecond Projection Lithography System for FLC Far West Region Outstanding Technology Development

LLNL working in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, developed a femtosecond projection lithography system (a femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second). FemtoProWrite is an additive manufacturing (AM) system for the high-speed writing of complex 3D plastic structures with submicron features. AM is used to fabricate 3D structures by enabling fine control of the geometry and material properties of the different building blocks. To perform high-speed AM of 3D structures with submicron features, FemtoProWrite leverages two-photon polymerization (TPP). TPP is a light-directed writing technique in which chemical reactions initiated by light lead to a change in the phase of a material from liquid to solid within a region that is smaller than the light spot. Submicron AM allows this level of control on a scale 100 to 1,000 times finer than a human hair. FemtoProWrite increases the throughput of submicron AM by a factor of at least 35 times without degrading the submicron resolution. Using the fine resolution of submicron AM, the technology has been used in a wide variety of fields to fabricate functional micro- and nanoscale 3D structures for photonic crystals, optical and mechanical metamaterials, micro fluidics, miniaturized optics and flexible electronics.


Bill Colston

LLNL 1989-2008

For his research in applications of optics towards dental diagnostics, development of an optical imaging system and cofounding QuantaLife, Inc.

Martin Casado

LLNL 1998-2003

For his development of software-defined networking (SDN), OpenFlow and Open vSwitch and cofounding Nicira Networks.

Fred Milanovich

LLNL 1975-2008

For leading projects across numerous LLNL departments, creating sensors to detect rare-event biological agents and contagions, and cofounding QuantaLife, Inc.

David Tuckerman

LLNL 1983-1989

For masterminding microchannel cooling, research into laser processing of semiconductors, electronic packaging and interconnection, spaceborne solid-state memory, x-ray optics and cofounding nChip, Inc.

Bruce McWilliams

LLNL 1981-1988

For developing semiconductor packaging technology, for founding nCHIP and S-Vision, and for leadership at Tessera Technologies and Suvolta.

James B. Bryan

LLNL 1955-1987

For his pioneering developments in the field of metrology and for being recognized worldwide as the Father of Precision Engineering.

C. Brent Dane

LLNL 1990-2003

P. Michael Farmwald

LLNL 1977-1986

For pioneering work on computer design and for founding Rambus, Chromatic Research,and Matrix Semiconductor.

Lloyd Hackel

LLNL 1974-2004

For developing high power laser technology for laser peening and facilitating its subsequent commercialization by Metal Improvement Company.

Thomas McEwan

LLNL 1989-1996

For inventing micro-impulse radar and enabling its commercialization by 42 companies in products ranging from motion sensors for security to collision avoidance in automobiles.

Joe W. Gray

LLNL 1955-1987

For co-inventing chromosome painting, subsequently commercialized by Vysis to become an enabling-technology for the genetic revolution.

Thomas Mcwilliams

LLNL 1975-1983

For co-inventing the Structured Computer-Aided Logic Design (SCALD) methodology and for co-founding Valid Logic, Key Computer Laboratories, PathScale, Schooner Information Technology, and Bay Storage Technologies.

Allen Northrup

LLNL 1974-1987

For co-invention of a micro-fabricated silicon thermal reactor the enabled rapid Polymerase Chain Reaction instrumentation, and his cofounding of Cepheid and MicroFluidic Systems, Inc.

Robert Parker

LLNL 1989-1996

For pioneering product development in liquid crystal technologies such as digital thermometers, the “Mood Ring,” the Duracell battery tester, and many others.

Daniel Pinkel

LLNL 1977-1991

For co-inventing chromosome painting, subsequently commercialized by Vysis to become an enabling-technology for the genetic revolution.

Walter Scott

LLNL 1986-1992

For founding Digital Globe, the first commercial satellite imaging company which today is a primary image provider to Google Earth.

John Hallquist

LLNL 1974-1987

For developing the DYNA3D finite element code, for founding Livermore Software Technology Corporation, and for commercializing LSDYNA for computerized automobile crash simulation.

L. Curtis Widdoes

LLNL 1975-1981

For co-inventing the Structured Computer-Aided Logic Design (SCALD) methodology, for co-founding Valid Logic, and founding Logic Modeling Systems and 0-In Design Automation.

Jeffery Rubin

LLNL 1979-1983

For co-developing the Structured Computer-AidedLogic Design (SCALD) methodology and for co-founding Valid Logic, Key Computer Laboratories, PathScale,and Bay Storage Technologies.

Richard F. Post

LLNL 1952-2010

For his years of service to the Laboratory performing original research in magnetic confinement fusion experimentation and pioneering inventions in passive magnetic bearing and levitation systems for energy and transportation