AI Innovation Incubator

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is offering the opportunity to collaborate in accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) for applied science, including research in key areas such as advanced material design, 3D printing, predictive biology, energy systems, “self-driving” lasers and fusion energy research.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Surface Complexation Database Converter (SCDC) is a R-based script that creates a unified dataset of surface complexation experimental data with respective parameters and results. To provide context, it is commonly understood in the data science community that gathering and cleansing data can take up to 80% of the time in analytics - with the remaining 20% being the actual analysis. This script turns the 80% process of data cleansing into a more seemless, time efficient process.

CRETIN is a 1D, 2D, and 3D non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) atomic kinetics/radiation transport code which follows the time evolution of atomic populations and photon distributions as radiation interacts with a plasma consisting of an arbitrary mix of elements. It can provide detailed spectra for comparing with experimental diagnostics.

Autopack is an open-source python tool that enables the automatic labeling of packing motifs for large and chemically diverse datasets of molecular crystals. Autopack takes advantage of geometric descriptors to find useful cross-sections within the crystal structure to elucidate the associated packing motif. Autopack is capable of processing either crystallographic information files (CIFs) or Cambridge Crystal Structure Database (CCDC) reference codes provided in a CSV file. Internally, Autopack will both validate and filter crystal structures that do not satisfy the packing motif labeling criteria (as explained in the associated publication), limiting the number of manual preprocessing steps.

LLNL has developed a new method for increasing lifetime in quantum coherent devices.

LLNL has developed a method of extending device lifetimes by imprinting into the device a shape that excludes specific vibrational modes, otherwise known as a phononic bandgap. Eliminating these modes prevents one of the primary energy loss pathways in these devices. LLNL’s new method enhances the coherence of superconducting circuits by introducing a phononic bandgap around the system’s operating frequency.

LLNL is seeking industry partners to collaborate on quantum science and technology research and development in the following areas: quantum-coherent device physics, quantum materials, quantum–classical interfaces, computing and simulation, and sensing and detection.

Solid-state node-based rapid thermal cycler

Solid-state distributed node-based rapid thermal cycler for extremely fast nucleic acid amplification (LLNL Internal Case # IL-12275, US Patent 8,720,209)

Laser heating for PCR

Laser heating of aqueous samples on a micro-optical-electro-mechanical system (LLNL Internal Case # IL-11719, US Patents 8,367,976;

LLNL researchers have designed a synthetic, concatemeric bacterial expression vector that expresses a protein sequence that can be digested into a single peptide. The synthetic protein is designed to be secreted outside E. coli cells, and therefore can be purified using a His-tag from the cell supernatant (thereby reducing the need to lyse the cells for purification). The protein sequence is optimized for protein solubility, and the concatemeric peptide sequence is optimized for ionization using electrospray ionization (ESI), which is the most common ion source for proteomics. Taken together, the protein can be spiked into a complex mixture at very low levels as an internal control, and then digested and detected as single peptide species.

sensing, tracking and actuating droplets

LLNL scientists have created a technology that utilizes electrical means, instead of optical methods, to (1) provide label-free detection of droplet morphology; (2) manipulate droplet position through trapping and actuation; (3) track individual droplets in a heterogeneous droplet population; and (4) generate droplets with target characteristics automatically without optical intercession. The technology includes the use of electrodes to assay droplet contents and/or to actuate the droplet to release it from the trap. The technology is useful to detect the presence of cells, nucleic acids, proteins, or solute concentrations in an array of retrievable, trackable, trapped droplets in a closed fluidic system.

Droplet array

This device allows for observation of single cells encapsulated in droplets and provide the ability to recover droplets containing a cell of interest. This system provides the unique capability to monitor droplet contents from a few minutes to hours and overcome the limitations of the fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) in the purification of cell populations. The ability of this technology, to retrieve individual droplets, allows for a wide variety of downstream analyses, such as PCR, sequencing, chromatography and mass spectrometry (e.g. LC-MS or GC-MS), or other analytical techniques.

Rapid separation

This invention consists of a functionalized membrane (e.g. polyethylene glycol (PEG)) and osmosis or electric potential as a driving force. The PEG membrane provides high biological particles separation and prevents sample for clogging due to the strong hydration of functional polymers layer and their resistance to protein adsorption. The device is comprised of three chambers: 1) a feed and blood cells chamber, 2) a viral or bacterial concentration chamber, and 3) a cell waste chamber (see Figure). Each chamber is divided by membranes with different pore sizes and filled with electrolyte or draw solution to transport target solutes.

Functionally graded materials

This invention is an improved chromatography device that utilizes the concept of a functionally graded material (FGM) for separation of components. The technology consists of a device that contains a FGM that is patterned to have a gradient in material properties (e.g. chemical affinity, surface chemistry, chirality, pore size, etc.) normal to the direction of flow of the mobile phase. The mixture is carried through the FGM by a mobile fluid phase, and the fluid that emerges from the FGM has the different components separated from each other.

solid-state real-time optical monitoring

The art described here incorporates a planar integrated optical system that allows for multiple biochemical assays to be run at the same time or nearly the same time. Briefly, each assay can include one or more tags (e.g. dyes, other chemicals, reagents) whose optical characteristics change based on chemical characteristics of the biological sample being tested.

Microfluid partitioning

This technology describes a method for partitioning fluid into “packets” between polymeric sheets. The fluid to be partitioned is introduced between two polymeric layers or within a polymeric channel and the layers are sealed together to form an array or sequence of individual milliliter to picoliter samples as shown in figure below. This approach allows a continuous flow of samples through the system and minimizes reaction and processing times. The invention described herein provides several advantages for DNA (or RNA) detection over the approach of suspending droplets in an immiscible fluid. The partitioned packets can be used in any assay such as PCR, isothermal amplification or other types of chemical or enzymatic analysis.


LLNL researchers have developed a variation of AMS technology that improves sample preparation, analysis, and cost for AMS. The device involves depositing liquid samples on an indented moving wire and passing the moving wire through a combustion oven to convert the carbon content of samples to carbon dioxide gas in a helium stream. The gas is then directed via a capillary to a high efficiency gas-accepting ion source for AMS analysis (see Figure). The device is also applicable to handling continuous flows of liquid enabling on-line real-time liquid chromatography. This technology allows for assessment of human-relevant exposure levels directly in humans and reduces extrapolation from animal and in vitro testing.

Microfluidic ultrasonic particle separator

LLNL has invented a new high-throughput assay for sample separation that uses the vibrations of a piezoelectric transducer to produce acoustic radiation forces within microfluidic channels. The system includes a separation channel for conveying a sample fluid containing the different size particles, an acoustic transducer and a recovery fluid stream. The polymeric films containing the fluid would be sealed upon application of heat and further partitioned into individual microliter or picoliter samples. This approach would allow for the purification, separation, and fractionation of different types of particles (viruses, proteins, nuclei acids, etc.) from complex biological samples suspended in a sample fluid.

Ultraviolet radiation detector

LLNL researchers have developed an apparatus capable of measuring and recording ultraviolet radiation that uses the Schottky diode/ZnSe/metal type UV sensor. This device can detect both UV-A (320-400nm) and UV-B(280-320nm) radiation. The present invention can also measure and accumulate doses with good sensitivity, and it can also store and make available the readings to be downloaded for a period of one year. The capability of the instrument to record and storage the data is provided by the integration of the single-chip MSP430-type computer produced by Texas Instruments. The microchip contains a built-in analog-to-digital converter, which allows substantial energy efficiency and long service time of the instrument without replacement of the power supply.

isotachophoresis system

The invention developed by LLNL researchers proposes to use staged isotachophoresis to improve sample separation. One of the problems with isotachophoresis is that there is a tradeoff between the diameter of the separation column and the ability to isolate a species into a detectable band. For example, wider diameter channels run faster, but narrower channels provide better ability to isolate one species into a detectable band. This technology uses staged isotachophoresis in which larger-diameter channels flow into one or more sequential channels with a reduced diameter (Figure). Although the width of the interface between species remains fixed, by reducing the channel width, the deleterious effect of diffusion across the interface is reduced.

Liquid and gel electrodes

LLNL researchers have devolved a technique to separate or purify samples using electrophoretic separation. This invention corrects the problem associated with pH changes by using the electrode, which contacts the sample, itself a high-conductivity electrolyte made of liquid or gel materials. This will keep the metal surface electrochemistry physically remote from the sample, while applying the necessary electric field. The technique can be applied within microfluidic and chip-based platforms. In addition, it can also enable transverse-mode free-flow isotachophoresis. The device can be used to separate and purify samples such as biomolecules, viruses, bacteria, and cells.

Bioluminescent probes

Researchers at LLNL have developed a more efficient and cost-effective method and system for synthesizing a critical D-aminoluciferin precursor and related compounds. D-aminoluciferin is as active as luciferin and provides a free -NH2 group for functionalization to attach peptide sequences corresponding to the cleavage site of a protease. This allows for the synthesis of bioluminescent probes for the detection of various proteases as diagnostic tools for diseases. However, D-aminoluciferin does not survive the harsh deprotection conditions used in the solid phase synthesis. LLNL inventors describe an alternative solution phase synthesis of D-aminoluciferin for generating protease probes.

Chip-based droplet sorting

LLNL's technology employs improved sorting strategies related to chip-based droplet sorting. This technology uses electromagnetic fields and non-contact methods to sort and identify monodispersed water-in-oil emulsion droplets in a microfluidic chip-based device. The system selects individual droplets from a continuous stream based on optical or non-optical detection methods as well as the droplets interactions with applied alternating electromagnetic fields. The droplets are then sorted to different channels which are created by the system’s array of electrodes. The system also provides for the fabrication of the array of electrodes that allow selection and diversion of one or more droplets from a continuous-flowing stream.

Passive chip-based droplet sorting

Researchers at LLNL have developed a method to passively sort individual microdroplet samples of uniform size based on stiffness and viscosity. Unlike electrical or optical methods for droplet sorting, this apparatus does not require a measurement step. Instead, particle separation occurs through changes in shearing forces determined by the stiffness of the particles in the microdroplet sample and controlled by the particle’s flow rate. Forks diverge from the devices’ main flow channels into two separate flow channels.


LLNL researchers have created a method that uses isotachophoresis for the exclusion and or purification of nucleic acids. Isotachopheresis (ITP) is an electrophoretic separation technique that leverages a heterogeneous buffer system of disparate electrophoretic mobilities. The researchers created a transverse ITP system that offers high-throughput sample preparation as the amount of sample that can be processed is not limited by an initial confined sample plug as in a traditional ITP system. With a judicious choice of electrolytes and some knowledge of electrophoretic mobilities of the samples to be separated, the transverse ITP system can be used to isolate DNAs from the mixture of viruses, cells, and other electrolytes in a filter-free approach.

Monodisperse microdroplet generation

The steady-state phenomenon generates thousands of microdroplets per second which is a problem when the stream of droplets needs to be slowed down or stopped. LLNL technology provides a method for generating and trapping microdroplets at a desired location and subsequently stopping the stream of microdroplets without droplet coalescence. These microdroplets can then be chemically reacted, heated, cooled, optically interrogated, sorted and analyzed for as long as desired before channel flow is restarted. By trapping microdroplets at desired locations, greater optical or electromagnetic interrogation can occur. These results in a more thorough analysis of target analytes as well as increases reliability for techniques such as quantitative PCR.

Proteins and other functional molecules can often be synthesized in significant quantities, but their purification presents challenges. Also, many chemical/biological sensor technologies require that a small number of nanometer-sized molecules be filtered prior to being exposed to molecular recognition chemistries. Existing methods of filtering molecules by size for purification or sensing (e.g., porous microcomposites) suffer from several drawbacks, including (1) insufficiently small pore size (2) insufficiently uniform pore size, or (3) lack of mechanical stability or other deficiency in delivery mechanisms for forcing Iiquid through the pores. Thus, there is a need for low-cost filters with uniform pore size, scalable between 1-100 nm for protein screening.

Chip-based sequencing

The present invention uses magnetic fields to hold particles in place for faster DNA amplification and sequencing. This invention provides a method for faster DNA sequencing by amplification of the genetic material within microreactors, denaturing and de-emulsifying and then sequencing the material while retaining it in the PCR/sequencing zone by a magnetic field. Briefly, nucleic acid sequencing occurs on a microchip. The nucleic acids are next isolated and hybridized to magnetic nanoparticles or to magnetic polystyrene-coated beads and microreactor droplets are formed.

Chip-based device

This invention is designed to sort and identify complex samples using parallel nucleic acid characterization. By isolating single or double stranded nucleic acids derived from complex samples, researchers can sequence previously unknown genetic material to identify novel viruses and organisms. The chip-based microfluidic system achieves this through microdroplet PCR amplification, electrophoresis analysis and, genomic sequencing all performed on an integrated coplanar microfluidic system (see Figure). The present invention provides the opportunity for the scalable mass production for parallel and inexpensive microfluidic analysis chips.

Multiplexed photonic membranes

This technology is a photonic detection system developed by researchers at LLNL for the detection of biological or chemical threats with the intention of combining the collection, concentration and detection process onto a single platform. The present invention consists of a porous membrane containing flow-through photonic silicon crystals (see figure). Photonic crystals constitute an emerging alternative technology, due to their powerful light-confinement abilities which would enable direct refractive index measurements, but also empower technologies based on absorption and Raman spectroscopy.

Separating particles from a sample fluid

The described invention is a miniature fluidic device for separating particles suspended within a liquid sample that is introduced into the interior volume of the device. The device uses laminar flow and a combination of gravity and acoustic, electrophoretic, dielectrophoretic, and diffusion-based processes in concert to separate the different particle types and allow them to be collected separately or passed selectively to a subsequent device. The particles may be biological in nature, such as cells, viruses, or bacteria, possibly in combination with non-biological particles.

Lipid nanotube or nanowire

Researchers at LLNL have developed a nanotube sensor (single-walled or multi-walled carbon nanotubes) enclosed within a highly selective lipid bilayer that can detect variations in ion transport using signal amplification generated from the disruption of protein pores across the lipid layer. Changes in the device’s transistor current are recorded by an external circuit with high efficiency as a result of the direct interface between the ion flow channels and the reporting nanostructure. The main sensing element of the device, as shown in the figure, is a carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (FET) with a single-wall carbon nanotube (CNT) connecting the source (S) and drain (D) electrodes.

Pumping and valving for microfluidic

Researchers at LLNL have created a new technology for performing pumping and valving operations in microfabricated fluidic systems. Traditional microfabricated devices have some disadvantages that defeat the advantages of miniaturization. For example, they require high power and voltage, and they need specific fluids to work properly and to be broadly applicable. The technology described here uses low power, high pressure approach to slide the device's polymer plug within its microchannel, in turn controlling complex fluidic processes on-chip. This method is more efficient than current micro pumping and valving technology and addresses unmet needs for a totally integrated on-chip microfluidic system.

Livermore Lab researchers have developed a new EUV target design that replaces liquid tin droplets with tin microbeads embedded in a low Z tamping fluid. The use of low Z liquid tamped targets can solve several problems that are currently faced by the industry. It can increase the total operational uptime from 80% to close to 100%. It can simplify EUV source design and reduce operating costs by eliminating the need for some major components and their associated maintenance requirements.

Polymer-based microfluidic system

Researchers at LLNL have invented a new method for forming microfluidic system platforms that allow the incorporation of various microfluidic devices into a single unit. The method involves creating channels, reservoirs, and ports using a polymer-based platform that allows for the interconnection of building blocks. Pre-fabricated structures such as T’s and elbows are used to interconnect the building blocks. Microdevices can be embedded or bonded to the platform, creating a versatile and easily scalable system with applications in a variety of settings. One advantage of the present invention is that it can integrate several functions into one system, including pumping, mixing, diluting, separating, filtering, sensing, etc.

Selective Immobilization of Proteins
Researchers at LLNL have developed a new method to utilize highly selective molecular recognition events to attach proteins to any solid support through the C-terminus. The approach is based on the use of protein trans-splicing, which is a naturally occurring process similar to protein splicing with the difference that the intein (e.g., DnaE intein from Synechocystis sp. PCC6803) self-processing domain is split into two fragments (N-intein and C-intein). These two intein fragments are inactive individually, however, under appropriate conditions they can bind to each other with high specificity to form a functional protein-splicing domain. In the method described here, the C-intein fragment is covalently immobilized onto a glass surface through a PEGylated-peptide linker, whereas the N-…

To solve these challenges using new and existing CT system designs, LLNL has developed an innovative software package for CT data processing and reconstruction. Livermore Tomography Tools (LTT) is a modern integrated software package that includes all aspects of CT modeling, simulation, reconstruction, and analysis algorithms based on the latest research in the field. LTT contains the most expansive and recently published CT data preprocessing and reconstruction algorithms available.

A cold-spray chamber is shown during deposition, with the nozzle at the top of the image and a near-full density sample being fabricated in the center. Particles of the brittle thermoelectric bismuth telluride are accelerated to more than 900 meters per second, or almost Mach 3, in inert gas and directed onto a copper surface, laying down the strips that form the basis of a functioning thermoelectric generator to harvest waste heat. Graphic by Jacob Long/LLNL
Versatile Cold Spray (VCS) enables deposition of brittle materials, such as thermoelectrics, magnets, and insulators, while retaining their functional properties. Materials can be deposited on substrates or arbitrary shapes with no requirement to match compositions. The VCS system is low cost, easily portable, and easy to use. VCS has been developed in a collaboration between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and TTEC Thermoelectric Technologies (

In order to identify new, unknown proteins associated with viruses, such as COVID-19, it is easiest to start by identifying structurally related proteins. LLNL scientists have created tools that identify structurally related proteins and their relevant residues, called cSpan. The cSpan (sequence conservation in structurally conserved “span” regions) calculation is a quantitative measure of residue conservation in local structure context. It is used to identify residues on a protein that are conserved with respect to a set of structurally related proteins.

Understanding proteins, their structures, and how they may be similar is necessary for many applications from basic science to developing vaccines for COVID-19. Most computational models that predict protein structure similarity consider certain features at the expense of others. To get a holistic picture of protein structures, LLNL scientists developed the Local-Global Alignment (LGA) model. The model works by predicting protein structures by considering both local and global structures without compromising either feature. To do this, LGA can use data corresponding to clusters and/or fragments of proteins. The data can be inputted manually or for ease of use, uploaded from the Protein Data Bank (PDB).

Automating protein classification via structural similarity has been a technique employeed by researchers for a while. The current methods generally only assess structure similarity using a single metric (e.g., Z-score) and only evaluate similar conformations of secondary structure elements. In order to accurately access structure similarity, LLNL scientists created a method called STRucture ALigment-based Clustering of Proteins (STRALCP). STRALCP is a structure alignment-based approach invented for the purpose of automated protein structure classification.

Understanding how proteins interact with membrane surfaces is important for drug discovery studies in which a drug may target a membrane protein. One of the main proteins of interest for COVID-19 antibodies is the ACE2 protein that binds to the neutral amino acid transporter B0AT1. B0AT1 sits in the membrane and understanding how movement or perturbation of that membrane might after the binding sites available on the ACE2 protein is important in creating effective antibodies to prevent viral infection. To study the dynamics associated with membranes, LLNL scientists created MemSurfer. MemSurfer is an efficient and versatile tool to compute and analyze membrane surfaces found in a wide variety of large-scale molecular simulations.

Communicating complex scientific information is a critical activity in responding to today’s COVID-19 pandemic. Many sources exist now to present trustworthy and timely information in ways that decisionmakers and the general public can understand. One way to communicate scientific information is to show the technical data in visual forms that users can easily relate to and interact with. LLNL’s VisIT software has long been a leading tool for enabling scientists to visually show complicated scientific data. VisIt is an open source, interactive, scalable, visualization, animation and analysis tool.

One of the biggest challenges in many fields of studies, such as COVID-19, is to analyze a complex mix of experimental and simulation data, which relies primarily on the intuition of trained experts. Many advanced analysis techniques are often difficult to integrate, leading to a confusing patchwork of analysis snippets too cumbersome for data exploration. To simplify data analysis, LLNL scientists developed a web-based software system that consists a combination of techniques from statistics, machine learning, topology, and visualization.

Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most common imaging modalities used in industrial, healthcare, and security settings. During a CT scan, a narrow beam of x-rays is used to produce signals that are processed by a computer to generate cross-sectional images of a part of the human body, such as the lungs of a suspected COVID-19 patient or a patient in recovery needing long-term rehabilitation. With multiple tomographic images, they can be digitally stacked together to form a 3D image. However, when the number of image projection is small, streak artifacts can pollute the reconstructed image. Correcting the images takes more time to process and may not improve the image presented to the healthcare provider for diagnosis.

Cardiotoxicity is one of the major toxicity concerns when developing new drugs. However, these cardiotoxicity tests aren’t done until a drug has gone through years of development. LLNL scientists have developed a software suite called Cardioid that simulates the electrical current running through the heart tissue, triggering cells to contract like cascading dominoes and causing the heart to beat. These simulations, which generate copious amounts of virtual data, can be used to train a patented machine learning system. Once trained, actual clinical results could be used as a ground truth to develop a more accurate ML system that can determine how the heart is functioning. Cardioid along with the patented ML system have the potential to make drugs safer, save time, money and lives.

Protective equipment has always been central to keeping our military, first responders and medical personnel safe. The COVID-19 pandemic is a sobering reminder of the importance of such equipment and the need for improvements. A team lead by LLNL has developed a smart, breathable fabric designed to be incorporated into a garment in small patches to protect the wearer against biological and chemical warfare agents. Material of this type could also be used in clinical and medical settings.

Analyzing the performance and efficiency of complex facilities with modern instrumented components – and the performance of regional networks of such facilities - is a daunting task. Increasingly, facilities collect data from manually input systems as well as diverse Internet of Things sensors and monitoring tools for specialty equipment, storage systems, computing networks, and power/cooling infrastructure. Analyzing the disparate collected data can be intractable. Similar to data from complex hospital facilities, LLNL’s high performance computing center data comprises different formats, granularities, and semantics. Handwritten data processing scripts no longer suffice to transform the data into a digestible form.

Complex problems, such as COVID-19, are being studying computational, prior to be tested experimentally. These complex computational problems require HPC resources, of which must be understood and allocated properly. This requires the user to waste valuable computational time just setting up a job on the HPC system. In order to allow computational scientists to focus on the science, LLNL scientists created Maestro. Maestro is an open-source HPC software tool that automates execution of software by defining required multi-step workflows on HPC resources. The core design of Maestro focuses on encouraging clear workflow communication and documentation, while making consistent execution easier to allow users to focus on science.

To understand complex problems using machine learning it is generally necessary to have large amounts of data. In order to generate these large amounts of data, researchers utilize simulation. Simulations are best run on High-Performance Computers (HPCs) which require various complex processes. To simplify running machine learning based workflows on HPCs, LLNL scientists developed Merlin. The goal of Merlin is to make it easy to build, run, and process the kinds of large scale HPC workflows needed for cognitive simulation. At its heart, Merlin is a distributed task queuing system, designed to allow complex HPC workflows to scale to large numbers of simulations.

LLNL has a successful history of developing instruments for detecting and characterizing airborne pathogens. Often, aerosol characterizing instruments require highly focused particle beams with little or no transmission losses. In addition, they need to interface to the sampling environment with a very high sampling rate so that more aerosol particles can be collected and sensitivity can be improved. The pressure-flow reducing nozzle was originally part of LLNL’s R&D100 award winning Biological Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (BAMS) system. The patented design can be used with other aerosol analysis instruments to perform high-flow, atmosphere-pressure sampling.

U.S. Patent No. 7,361,891, “Pressure Flow Reducer for Aerosol Focusing Devices” (LLNL internal case # IL11478)

In 2005, LLNL researchers won a R&D 100 award for developing advanced technologies to rapidly detect the airborne release of biological threat agents. The Biological Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (BAMS) system is an instrument about the size of three podiums that can analyze individual aerosol particles in real time and at high rates to almost instantly identify the presence and concentration of harmful biological particles in air samples. BAMS was designed for operation in office buildings or at ports of entry such as airports or train stations to monitor for potential epidemic diseases. Biomedical applications could include rapid detection of respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis and coronaviruses.

LLNL scientists have designed a rapid PCR technology that incorporates the use of microfluidic thermal heat exchanger systems and is comprised of a porous internal medium, with two outlet channels, two tanks, and one or more exchanger wells for sample receiving. The wells and their corresponding inlet channels are coupled to two tanks that contain fluid with cold and hot temperatures. A controller is used to dictate the position of the fluid pump’s valves, which directs fluid flow between tanks. The fluid passes though the system’s porous medium, heating or cooling the samples being housed in the wells. When the fluid passes through the matrix, it provides extremely fast heat conduction that enables rapid thermal transfer between the fluid, matrix, and sampler holder.

LLNL has developed a new technology that provides a method for near-instantaneous heating of aqueous samples in microfluidic devices. The technology relates to a heating method that employs microwave energy absorption from a coincident low power Co-planar waveguide or microwave microstrip transmission line embedded in a microfluidic channel to instantaneously heat samples. The method heat samples in a focused area within a microfluidic channel on miniaturized chips. Aqueous solution microwave heating allows extremely fast heat transfer for both heating and cooling. This method/device provides a major advantage over current heating methods such as joule-heating from trace resistors which are time-consuming and provide an associated whole device heat build-up.

Researchers at LLNL have developed an instantaneous sample heating method to efficiently deposit thermal energy into a continuous stream or segmented microdroplets on a MOEMS device using an optimally low energy, commercially available CO2 laser. The device uses an ideal wavelength (absorption in the far infra-red (FIR) region (λ=10.6 μm)) to instantaneously heat fluidic partitions. The wavelength is absorbed by water molecules and waste little energy because, unlike typical PCR heating elements, the device itself is not heated by the laser. Instead the aqueous solution directly absorbs the heat. This technology is a major improvement over current microfluidic channel heating methods.

Researchers at LLNL have designed a new technology that allows the integration of a large bench-top thermal cycling instrument onto a miniaturized instrument. This instrument is powered and controlled by portable thumb-drive systems such as an USB. USB thumb-drives are commonly used to transfer data from the instrument onto a PC, however, in this new technology the thumb drive becomes the instrument itself! LLNL researcher’s technology includes thermocycling configured for low power and efficiency, miniaturization of components and controllers, fabrication on a solid-state thumb drive, and integration with USB data and supplied power. This system uses bus power for thermal cycling and bus data lines for data transmission and programming, which allows for portable power.

LLNL researchers have developed a high-volume, low-cost diagnostic test that is easy to use and provides results in under an hour. The testing platform will provide emergency responders and other medical professionals with the ability to screen individuals using oral and nasal samples, and obtain results in approximately 30 minutes. This point-of-care testing approach will enable rapid triage of a high volume of patients, without needing to send a sample to a laboratory for testing and then waiting for results. The easy-to-use, compact testing kit consists of a single, disposable tube, which is used throughout the process to collect samples from patients and obtain a positive or negative test result.

This technology describes a method for performing immediate in-line sample heating to promote the required chemical reactions for amplification, activation, or detection, depending on the thermodynamics of the particular assay involved. The basis of this technology is a method that employ microwave energy absorption to instantaneously heat fluidic partitions without heating the device itself or any oil, or entrapped air. With this invention little energy is wasted heating the device and instead is absorbed heating the aqueous solution within the microfluidic device’s chambers, channels, or reservoirs. This will allow the most efficient, fastest, and best method for energizing chemical reactions in microfluidics devices.

LLNL researchers have developed a new method for faster, more accurate, and precise thermal control for DNA amplification. This technology uses sensor-controlled nodes to monitor and cycle materials through a microfluidic heat exchanging system. Thermal energy travels from a power module through thermal electric elements to sample wells. Sensors coupled to each sample well monitor and respond to predetermined temperature thresholds allowing for the simultaneous directional transfer of thermal energy and therefore better thermal cycling controls. When using LLNL’s solid-state distributed node-based rapid thermal cycler, researchers can be assured that sample DNA is being amplified under optimal conditions.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a field of study which aims to program computers to process and analyze large amount of natural language data. In order to accurately and effectively utilize datasets in NLP systems, labeled datasets are a must. In cases like pathology reports, the sub-parts of the report are not programmatically labeled. To solve the unlabeled dataset problem, LLNL researchers have developed a software that implements an active learning framework for NLP systems called AL-NLP. It is intended to be applied on scenarios where a limited amount of labeled data is available to train a machine learning-based NLP classification system, but a large set of unlabeled documents exist such as is the case with pathology reports.

Conventional dimension reduction methods aim to maximally preserve the global and/or local geometric structure of a dataset. However, in practice one is often more interested in determining how one or multiple user-selected response function(s) can be explained by the data. To intuitively connect the responses to the data, LLNL scientists developed function preserving projections (FPP), a scalable linear projection technique for discovering interpretable relationships in high-dimensional data. FPP constructs 2D linear embeddings optimized to reveal interpretable yet potentially non-linear patterns of the response functions.

Clinical images have a wealth of data that are currently untapped by physicians and machine learning (ML) methods alike. Most ML methods require more data than is available to sufficiently train them. In order to obtain all data contained in a clinical image, it is imperative to be able to utilize multimodal, or various types of, data such as tags or identifications, especially where spatial relationships are key to identification of a clinical diagnosis. To this end, LLNL scientists have developed a method for embedding representations into an image for more efficient processing. Elements within an image are identified, and their spatial arrangement is encoded in a graph. Any machine learning technique can then be applied to the multimodal graph, as representations of the images.

Some COVID-19 diagnoses are utilizing computed tomography (CT)-scans for triage. CT-scans produce immediate results with high sensitivity. The digital images produced by a CT-scan require physicians to identify objects within the image to determine the presence of disease. Object identification can be done using machine learning (ML) techniques such as deep learning (DL) to improve speed and accuracy of disease identification in CT images. Current techniques require images to be the same size and resolution in order to properly train DL algorithms. LLNL scientists have developed a technique which automatically samples across various views and backgrounds to pre-select possible objects of interest.

Drug discovery could be significantly sped up by the integration of in silico methods. To this end, LLNL scientists along with other ATOM Consortium members created the ATOM Modeling PipeLine (AMPL). AMPL is an open-source, modular, extensible, end-to-end software pipeline for building and sharing models. It extends the functionality of DeepChem and supports an array of machine learning and molecular featurization tools. AMPL has been benchmarked on a large collection of pharmaceutical datasets covering a wide range of parameters and has been shown to generate machine learning models that can predict key safety and pharmacokinetic-relevant parameters.

When analyzing a dataset, one must not only understand the relationship between the data points, but also the underlying structure of the set. The underlying structure of a dataset is generally estimated from the data on hand, leading to assumptions and less accurate predictions. In order to improve structure learning, LLNL scientists have developed an open source software suite called MTL. Multi-task learning (MTL) aims to improve generalization performance by learning multiple related tasks simultaneously. This software suite can handle any type of data and consists of multitask learning methods and a framework for easy experimentation with machine learning methods, leading to more accurate assumptions and predictions.

Graphic of NMR

There are prominent technical challenges arising from spinning a battery on the order of kilohertz as required by magic angle spinning in order to obtain spectral resolution that are addressed and enable operando solid-state NMR. The operando NMR measurement allows for continuous monitoring of the battery components and of potential metastable states that may exist during charge cycling. Outside of monitoring the changes of battery components in an operando measurement, this technology enables the user to perform other advanced solid-state NMR experiments while applying an electrical bias thus enabling characteristic information of the materials to be acquired.

Rare Earth Oxide Aerogels

The innovators have modified a epoxide-assisted sol-gel method to produce chlorine-free, monolithic REO aerogels in just a matter of hours. This method was demonstrated for the lanthanide series. An important factor in realizing the sol-gel transition with the nitrate precursor was the addition of a key ingredient and moderate heat.. These alcogels can then be dried and calcined to produce chlorine-free, low-density, high surface area REO aerogels covering the lanthanide elements. Nitrogen porosimetry showed pore sizes in mesopore range (<50 nm) and surface areas up to 150 m2/g for the uncalcined samples. Electron microscopy and XRD analysis show that the aerogels are crystalline after calcination, retaining particle sizes less than 20 nm at temperatures up to 1373K.

MimicGAN data set example

MimicGAN represents a new generation of methods that can “self-correct” for unseen corruptions in the data out in the field. This is particularly useful for systems that need to be deployed autonomously without needing constant intervention such as Automated Driver Assistance Systems. MimicGAN achieves this by treating every test sample as “corrupt” by default. The goal is to determine (a) the clean image and (b) the corruption both of which are unknown to the system at test time. MimicGAN solves this by making alternating guesses between what the clean sample should look like and what corruption might make it look like the observed corrupted sample. If there is no corruption at all, MimicGAN simply learns the corruption to be an identity transform – i.e., no corruption.

NERVe System Design
The team’s prototype is intended to be safe, simple and easy to build, while still achieving the minimally required functionality necessary to treat patients with COVID-19. The ventilator has two functional air flow circuits: an inhalation and an exhalation circuit (Figure 1). The pressure in each circuit—Peak Inspiratory Pressure (PIP) and Positive End-Expiratory Pressure (PEEP)—are controlled by two high-accuracy back pressure regulators. Thus, the device operates in pressure-controlled CMV (continuous mandatory ventilation) mode, which appears to be the most commonly used configuration for late-stage COVID-19 patients who require manual ventilation.
Simulaed jet formation model

Livermore Lab researchers have developed a tunable shaped charge which comprises a cylindrical liner commonly a metal such as copper or molybdenum but almost any solid material can be used and a surround layer of explosive in which the detonation front is constrained to propagate at an angle with respect to the charge axis.  The key to the concept is the ability to deposit a surrounding explosive layer in which the direction detonation propagation can be controlled.

Area vs Concentration Graph

LLNL scientists developed novel hydrogels, which are biodegradable soft materials synthesized by a water-soluble polymer. Incorporating silver imparts antimicrobial activity to the material at low concentration compared to currently used silver nanoparticles. Our hydrogels are composed of silver ions instead of silver nanoparticles, which eliminates the toxicity concerns of modern silver hydrogels. The hydrogels may be applied directly as a topical treatment for burns and wounds or may be added to a bandage or wound dressing.

Livermore Lab researchers have developed two new methods for improving the efficiency of laser drilling. The first method is based on multi-pulse laser technology. Two synchronized free-running laser pulses from a tandem-head Nd:YAG laser and a gated CW laser are capable of drilling through 1/8-in-thick stainless-steel targets at a standoff distance of 1 m without gas-assist. The combination of a high-energy laser pulse for melting with a properly tailored high-intensity laser pulse for liquid expulsion results in the efficient drilling of metal targets. The improvement in drilling is due to the recoil pressure generated by rapid evaporation of the molten material by the second laser pulse.
Livermore researchers have developed a method for implementing closed-loop control in extrusion printing processes by means of novel sensing, machine learning, and optimal control algorithms for the optimization of printing parameters and controllability. The system includes a suite of sensors, including cameras, voltage and current meters, scales, etc., that provide in-situ process monitoring and an online optimizer for determining ideal process parameters throughout a given print. Computer vision and machine learning are used in the process to monitor and derive quantitative values describing filament quality, e.g. eccentricity, continuity of a filament, color as it relates to mixing quality, among other possible metrics.

This LLNL-developed invention is multiplexed and utilizes the Luminex bead-based liquid array, which contains 100 different unique beads. Oligonucleotide probes with sequences complementary to the target sequences are covalently coupled to these unique beads. These capture beads are mixed with viral samples obtained from the patient via cheek swabbing or a throat wash and subjected to PCR in a conventional thermocycler. The amplified target sequence is then hybridized to complementary capture oligonucleotide probes via forward biotinylated primers. If this bead-probe-amplicon unit contains the target nucleic acid, it will be bound by the reporter molecule and fluorescence will be detected by a flow cytometer. This multiplexed assay would thus be able to detect and identify respiratory…

The LLNL invention has two assay chambers wherein each chamber is comprised of another two chamber modules. This allows the device to process up to two assays per chamber module, or four total assays per biological sample. These two duplex assays are each fed by parallel interrogation ports while the device still maintains a small physical profile. Each port has its own LED for excitation, allowing the second assay to have particularly improved excitation. The excitation of both assay chambers is achieved by a much simplified and straightforward optical system, which lowers the size, complexity, and cost of the device while increasing reliability and performance.


LLNL researchers have developed a portable device which analyzes one or multiple types of body fluids or gases to test for one or more medical conditions. A bodily fluid (such as blood, perspiration, saliva, breath, or urine) is put into a condenser surface and is then separated into both a primarily gas fluid component and a second one that is primarily liquid. These two samples from the same fluid or gas source are subjected to analysis by, in various combinations, five different instruments: a condenser, functionalized nanostructures, an optional volatilizer, a differential mobility spectrometer, and an optional biomarker analyzer. Each instrument provides a unique analysis of a physical or chemical element of the tested bodily fluid.

LLNL scientists have developed a technology which fulfills this need. The LLNL technology itself is comprised of two elements which are to be embedded in a user's personal electronic device (e.g. cell phone, tablet device, pager, etc.). The first is a proximity monitor which transmits location and temporal data such as the distance between the user and a contagious individual and the duration of proximity. The second is a personal exposure notification which comes after the user has been positively diagnosed with a contagious disease by a healthcare provider. Information of their contagiousness is downloaded to a server and the user's device would then transmit exposure warnings to other individuals who have encountered the user and are deemed by the proximity monitor to be at high…


LLNL scientists have created a standalone pathogen identifier that can be placed in public settings, such as in stores or on street corners. Not unlike an ATM in physical size, this kiosk will accept biological samples from an individual for multiplexed analysis. The sample collection process will be sufficiently simple such that anyone could begin the diagnostic process after making the appropriate payment via cash, credit, or debit cards. After the customer signs the appropriate disclaimers concerning diagnosis and liability, a sterile swab or collection tool or vial, viral transport media, instructions on collecting a sample, gloves, and antiseptic wipes would be dispensed to them. The customer then would select what pathogens they want to be screened for before the assay begins.…


LLNL scientists have developed a method to synthesize long DNA sequences of varying length starting from short oligos. Synthetic oligos are generated using bioinformatics tools by overlapping multiple small segments, such as 4-mers or 6-mers, derived from both strands of the source DNA strand. DNA polymerases fill the gaps between these short n-mers to create the new, longer DNA strand. This process can be repeated multiple times using same or different length n-mers until the DNA strand of user specific length is synthesized within the microwell where this reaction takes place. An alternative version of this method, which separates the groups of different length n-mers spatially into distinct wells prior to the polymerase reaction occurring, is to separate them temporally. By…

LLNL scientists have developed a high-confidence, real-time multiplexed reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) rule-out assay for foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV). It utilizes RT-PCR to amplify both DNA and RNA viruses in a single assay to detect FMDV as well as rule out other viruses that cause symptoms in livestock indistinguishable from those caused by FMDV, such as Bovine Herpes Virus-1 (BHV-1, 2), Bovine Papular Stomatitis Virus (BPSV), Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVD), Bluetongue Virus (BTV), Swine Vesicular Disease Virus (SVD) and Vesicular Exanthema of Swine Virus (VESV). This multiplexed assay contains individual Luminex-based assays for each of those seven diseases. Each assay involves probe sequences that are complementary to the target pathogen nucleic acid. The target…


LLNL researchers have invented a system for identifying all known and unknown pathogenic or non-pathogenic organisms in a sample. This invention takes a complex sample and generates droplets from it. The droplets consist of sub-nanoliter volume reactors which contain the organism sized particles. A lysis device lyses the organisms and releases the nucleic acids. An amplifier then magnifies the quantity of available nucleic acids. Then, a fractionator liberates the nucleic acids from the droplets. Finally, a parallel analyzer identifies all the known and unknown pathogen or non-pathogenic organisms in the complex sample. This device functions with DNA or RNA samples.


LLNL scientists have developed a rapid parallel genetic profiling technology that can be used to detect an array of pathogens from a small, complex sample. Detectable pathogens by the LLNL technology include viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and other microbes. The device works by first splitting a given sample into millions of emulsified, encapsulated microdroplets each of which are then split once more and run through a parallel analysis consisting of both a genomic and a proteomic assay. The droplets within the assays are first run through a PCR process which amplifies even the smallest quantities of DNA or RNA for analysis. Finally, the droplets, now with sufficient quantities of DNA or RNA for analysis after PCR, are dissolved and run on an agarose gel via electrophoresis. Analysis of…

LNLL scientists have invented a method for multiplexed detection of PCR amplified products which can be completed in a single step. Highly validated species-specific primer sets are used to simultaneously amplify multiple diagnostic regions unique to each individual pathogen. Resolution of the mix of amplified products is achieved by PCR product hybridization to corresponding probe sequences, attached to unique sets of fluorescent beads in liquid. The hybridized beads are processed through a flow cytometer, which detects presence and quantity of each PCR product. The assay is optimized to allow for maximum sensitivity in a multiplexed format. A background PCR product is formed via background multiplex PCR amplification reaction using a control DNA sequence. Comparing the fluorescence…

LLNL scientists have developed a method to ensure the accuracy of that tomographic image by applying adaptive optics (AO) to OCT in a single instrument (AO-OCT). AO stabilizes the image being captured by the OCT device by utilizing a Hartmann-Shack wavefront sensor and a deformable mirror, a type of mirror designed to compensate for detected waveform abnormalities (such as ones caused by a twitching eye) to produce a constant waveform image resulting in a sharp instead of a blurry image. The lateral resolution of the image is further improved by means of a second deformable mirror. Together, the sensors and mirrors stabilize and sharpen the image using the same light source as the OCT, where the sensors "instruct" the mirrors to deform to reflect the best image, thus enabling in vivo…

LLNL researchers have developed a method to quickly and accurately identify the family of a virus infecting a vertebrate via PCR. Universal primer sets consisting of short nucleic acid strands of 7 to 30 base pairs in length were created to amplify target sequences of viral DNA or RNA. These primers can amplify certain identifying sequences of all viral genomes sequenced to date as well as numerous virus subgroupings. The PCR products are separated on a gel by gradient electrophoresis to identify the virus. Altogether, these primers can identify all 28 known virus families that affect vertebrates. Each strain or species of virus produces its own unique electrophoretic banding signature, allowing for easy and quick virus identification. Primer libraries will be updated as new virus…

LLNL researchers have discovered unique DNA signatures that can be used to identify, with high specificity, three such organisms with bio-weapon potential, including Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis (both Category A agents), and Brucella species (Category B agent). The DNA sequence information of a desired region of an organism unique to that organism is recorded, a DNA primer is used to amplify the target fragment using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and then a hybridization probe is used to increase the specificity of the detection process by marking the target. Combined, this process uniquely identifies a DNA signature of an organism.


LLNL scientists have developed a battery-powered device which is low-cost and multi-chambered for the extraction and amplification of nucleic acids from environmental, clinical, and laboratory samples via loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). This platform identifies pathogenic bacteria and assists in determining the optimal treatment plan. A multi-chamber amplification cartridge in the device includes necessary reagents, a sample collection and transfer unit, and a heating unit which also contains a timer to track reaction start and stop times. The device also has a fluorescence detection component as well which is used with isothermal amplification techniques utilizing colorimetric detection to identify the target pathogen. The heating unit contained within the device…

LLNL scientists have invented a method that is able to identify SE specific sequences that can be utilized as diagnostics markers. The method, called suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), is a PCR-based technique that identifies restriction fragments that are present in the target strain but not other strains. A set of restriction enzymes specific to the target species isolates their associated restriction fragments which are then amplified via PCR. These PCR amplicons are then validated for specificity by testing with primer pairs from several types of phages for the target pathogen and its close relatives. In this validation test, only the specific target pathogen would pair with its known phage primers, isolating it with high specificity even among its close relatives.

Livermore Lab's SBC grating optics benefit from the combination of the following key technologies:

  • LLNL proprietary optical coating designs utilizing >100 thin film layers – enables ultra-low-loss, ppm transmission levels through the coating, high diffraction efficiency, and large bandwidth.
  • LLNL proprietary dispersive surface relief structure design – perfectly impedance matched to the thin film stack for optimum optical performance.
  • Ability to fabricate dispersive surface relief structure and advanced optical thin film coating on superior thermally conductive materials such as silicon and silicon carbide.
  • LLNL proprietary processing techniques permitting the fabrication of optimum optical design.…

The LiDO code combines finite element analysis, design sensitivity analysis and nonlinear programming in a High-Performance Computing (HPC) environment that enables the solution of large-scale structural optimization problems in a computationally efficient manner. Currently, the code uses topology optimization strategies in which a given material is optimally distributed throughout the domain. Originally the code parameterized the material's characteristic function field as piece-wise uniform over the finite elements, however this proved problematic when implementing LiDO's Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) strategies. LiDO has since implemented higher-level parameterizations for the material's characteristic function field. One such parameterization uses the level-set function of an…

Using native bacterial regulatory systems, LLNL researchers have developed whole-cell biosensors that can be used in aqueous samples for sensitive and selective in situ detection of the uranyl oxycation (UO22+), the most toxic and stable form of U in oxygenated environments. Specifically, two functionally independent, native U-responsive regulatory systems, UzcRS and UrpRS, were integrated within an AND gate circuit in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, creating a synthetic U sensing pathway. By leveraging the distinct, but imperfect, selectivity profiles of both two component systems (TCS)s this pathway enabled high U selectivity. No cross-reactivity was observed with most common environmental metals (e.g, Fe, As, Cu, Ca, Mg, Cd, Cr, Al) or the U decay–chain product. The…

Livermore Lab researchers have developed a method that combines additive manufacturing (AM) with an infill step to render a final component which is energetic. In this case, AM is first used to print a part of the system, and this material can either be inert or energetic on its own. A second material is subsequently added to the structure via a second technique such as casting, melt infiltration, a second AM step/process, or other deposition techniques. The result is a final energetic part with some desired safety and/or performance properties.


Recent advancements in additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing, allow precise placement of materials in three dimensions. LLNL researchers have invented mechanical logic gates based on flexures that can be integrated into the microstructure of a micro-architected material through 3D printing. The logic gates can be combined into circuits allowing complex logic operations to be performed within the structure of the material itself without electrical input.

LLNL's Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing has recently demonstrated the ability to control the microarchitecture of materials with feature sizes down to 10 microns. With these techniques, it may be possible to design mechanical logic circuits into the microstructure of a material creating so-…

LLNL's 3D X-ray imager combines two different hardware pieces. The first is an x-ray optic with a depth-of-field that is small compared to the object under investigation. Reflective Wolter type x-ray optics are one such design. These hollow optics have a relatively large collection efficiency and can be designed with a large field of view. The depth of focus, which is the distance over which a feature can be resolved along the imaging direction, is relatively small for these optics, typically small compared to the field of view. These optics have been used extensively in x-ray astronomy and in some cases for x-ray microscopy. The short depth of field distance is often considered a drawback to the design. However, when combined with a three-dimensional x-ray detector, it is possible to…

LLNL researchers have invented a method for scaling the average power of high-energy solid-state lasers to high values of average output power while maintaining high efficiency. This method combines the gas-cooled-slab amplifier architecture with a pattern of amplifier pumping and extraction that is new to high-energy pulsed lasers, in which pumping is continuous and in which only a small fraction of the energy stored in the amplifier is extracted on any one pulse. Efficient operation is achieved by propagating many pulses through the amplifier during each period equal to the fluorescence decay time of the gain medium, so that the preponderance of the energy cycled through the upper laser level decays through extraction by the amplified pulses rather than through fluorescence decay…


Livermore researchers have developed a chip slapper consisting of a substrate with a conductive bridge layer and a flyer layer on one side of the substrate. The other side of the substrate consists of conductive pads. The bridge side of the substrate is electrically connected to the pad side of the substrate through a conductive pathway. The design and shape of the conductive bridge is manufactured using a masked physical vapor deposition process. The flyer layer is applied using a lamination technique.

Livermore researchers have developed two novel TiCl4 based non-alkoxide sol-gel approaches for the synthesis of SiO2/TiO2 nanocomposite aerogels. Composite SiO2-TiO2 aerogels were obtained by epoxide-assisted gelation (EAG route) of TiCl4/DMF solution in the presence SiO2 aerogel particles. Additionally, the same TiCl4/DMF solution was employed to prepare SiO2@TiO2 aerogels by a facile one-step thermo-induced deposition (TID) of TiO2 on silica wet gels supports. After controlled drying in supercritical CO2, high surface area silica-titania aerogels were obtained as fine powders (EAG route) or as crack-free monoliths (TID route).


LLNL pioneered the use of tomographic reconstruction to determine the power density of electron beams using profiles of the beam taken at a number of angles. LLNL’s earlier diagnostic consisted of a fixed number of radially oriented sensor slits and required the beam to be circled over them at a fixed known diameter to collect data. The new sensor design incorporates annular slits instead, and it removes limitations on the number of angles at which electron beam profiles can be taken. The new annular slit scanning method can profile a beam while only needing a span of only 180 deg. to acquire a full spectrum of data; this enables the sensor surface to be fabricated from a monolithic piece of refractory metal, which improves dimensional accuracy. The radial nature of the scan…

The LLNL method is based on freeze‐casting of aerosolized and pressurized metal salt solutions and subsequent thermal processing. This method generates both porous particles with sizes down to one micron and macroscopic monoliths with nanometer scale ligaments/struts. The material's density can be controlled during the freeze‐dried stage. Compared to conventional approaches, this method offers high yield, purity, and uniformity.

LLNL has developed a system and method that accomplishes volumetric fabrication by applying computed tomography (CT) techniques in reverse, fabricating structures by exposing a photopolymer resin volume from multiple angles, updating the light field at each angle. The necessary light fields are spatially and/or temporally multiplexed, such that their summed energy dose in a target resin volume crosslinks the resin into a user-defined geometry. These light-fields may be static or dynamic and may be generated by a spatial light modulator (SLM) that controls either the phase or the amplitude of a light field (or both) to provide the necessary intensity distribution.

LLNL researchers have developed a new method of using silver nanowires for fabrication of ultralight conductive silver aerogel monoliths with predicable densities and excellent properties. Silver nanowire building blocks were prepared by polyol synthesis and purified by selective precipitation. Silver aerogels were produced by freeze-casting nanowire aqueous suspensions followed by thermal sintering to weld the nanowire junctions. As-prepared silver aerogels have unique anisotropic microporous structures with density precisely controlled by the nanowire concentration down to 4.8 mg/cm3 and electrical conductivity up to 51,000 S/m. Mechanical studies show AgNW aerogels exhibit "elastic stiffening" behavior with Young's modulus up to 16,800 Pa.

LLNL researchers have developed a broadband heterodyne detection system that incorporates several significant improvements that move the state of the art toward quantum noise limited performance. The design comprises of an optical element that increases the intensity of the incoming light on the detector by a factor exceeding 50x. It is based on the properties of surface plasmons in interaction with optical diffraction structures or gratings. LLNL’s approach does not rely on a resonance phenomenon making it suitable for applications such as infrared cameras as well as spectrometers.

LLNL uses the additive manufacturing technique known as Electrophoretic Deposition to shape the source particle material into a finished magnet geometry. The source particle material is dispersed in a liquid so that the particles can move freely. Electric fields in the shape of the finished product then draw the particles to the desired location to form a “green body”, much like an unfired ceramic clay body. The green body is then sintered in an appropriate atmosphere to form a durable finished magnetic shape. That shape can then be magnetized to complete the process. The advantage in this method is two-fold from a design point of view. First there is a great deal of spatial geometric design flexibility, and second multiple materials can be used at different locations or as…


LLNL researchers have designed and tested performance characteristics for a multichannel pyrometer that works in the NIR from 1200 to 2000 nm. A single datapoint without averaging can be acquired in 14 microseconds (sampling rate of 70,000/s). In conjunction with a diamond anvil cell, the system still works down to about 830K.



This invention has a central longitudinal axis and is a stretchable polymer body in a longitudinal direction. Within the polymer is a circuit line extending in the longitudinal direction with an offset component that is at an angle to the longitudinal direction, forming a serpentine shaped circuit, allowing the…

Adhesive Actuated Insertion Shank


This invention is superior to silicon based neural probes, as it reduces localized damage induced by post-insertion movements. It is also more useful than purely polymer based probes, which are unable to penetrate neural tissue and therefore require an initial incision in the form of additional surgery, which may result in more glial damage.

Additionally, this stiffening shank apparatus may be easily and efficiently fabricated in large…


This invention is a high-density polymer-based integrated electrode apparatus that comprises a central electrode body and multiple arms extending from the electrode body. The central electrode body with multiple arms is comprised of a silicone material with metal features in the silicone material, which comprises electronic circuits.

An advantage of this design is increased density of electrodes to meet increased resolution for devices, such as artificial vision and hearing implants.


This technology relates to a modular system for deep brain stimulation (DBS) and electrocorticography (ECoG). The system has an implantable neuromodulator for generating electrical stimulation signals adapted to be applied to a desired region of a brain via an attached electrode array. An aggregator module is used for collecting and aggregating electrical signals and transmitting the electrical signals to the neuromodulator. A control module that communicates with the aggregator module is used for controlling generation of the…


Cardiac toxicity is one of the major causes of drug candidate failure in clinical studies and is responsible for the failure in regulatory approval of drugs as well as the retraction of numerous drugs from the market. Critical to the success of early stage drug discovery is the ability to obtain high-quality and high-throughput data in a cost-effective manner. Predicting cardiotoxicity requires the ability to create cardiac tissues that mimic in vivo physiology at multiple scales, as well as the ability to record two key cardiac functions: tissue electrophysiology and contractility.

Described is an iCHIP (in-vitro Chip-…

DEPOSITING BULK OR MICRO-SCALE ELECTRONICS (IL12387, US Patent 9,485,873 and US patent Application US2017/0013713)

This invention provides thicker electrodes on microelectronic devices using thermo-compression bonding. A thin-film electrical conducting layer forms electrical conduits and bulk depositing provides an electrode layer on the thin-film electrical conducting layer. An insulating polymer layer encapsulates a thin-film of electrically conducting layer and the electrode layer. Some of the insulating layer is removed to expose the electrode layer.

This technology is advantageous for long-term…

MULTI-ELECTRODE NEURAL PROTHESIS SYSTEM (IL12575, US Patent Application US2016/0030753)

This invention entails a hermetically sealed electronics package of a multi-electrode neural prosthesis system, where the sealed enclosure communicates with external components via feedthroughs. The feedthrough density is increased, however, via signal demultiplexing prior to feedthrough submission.

This invention improves performance of long-term wireless, implantable devices by increasing signal density via demultiplexing. Additionally, this reduces the overall electronics package size, which is especially important in neural implants. The demultiplexing also reduces wireless data/power…

LLNL researchers have developed a method in which a sleeveless photonic crystal optical fiber cane can be fabricated. A set of glass canes and capillaries, doped or un-doped, are stacked into a hexagonal pre-form. A piece of outer tube which is much shorter than the pre-form, but longer than the "hot zone" of a draw tower furnace, is placed around the pre-form on either end, and crimped to the preform near the outer edge. A photonic crystal fiber pre-form now exists in which the two ends of the pre-form have outer tubes holding the shape of the photonic crystal stack, while the central region of the preform is sleeveless, and takes the shape of the photonic crystal stack which need not be hexagonal and may be arbitrary.

The photonic crystal pre-form is then lowered into a…

LLNL has developed a new method for securely processing protected data on HPC systems with minimal impact on the existing HPC operations and execution environment. It can be used with no alterations to traditional HPC operations and can be managed locally. It is fully compatible with traditional (unencrypted) processing and can run other jobs, unencrypted or not, on the cluster simultaneously. The method has been prototyped and is continuing to be developed at LLNL.

The OneID solution combines custom-developed code with proven commercial software to provide three core components; (1) back-end processes and administrative utilities to reconcile identity data received from multiple partners within an organization into a single unique identifier; (2) an interface that dynamically displays authentication options to the user based on the assurance level required; and (3) an Attribute Exchange Service for consumption by enterprise applications. The management of the identity remains with the source system, thus improving the accuracy and timeliness of modifications.

Livermore researchers have developed a method of fabricating functional polymer-based particles by crosslinking UV-curable polymer drops in mid-air and collecting crosslinked particles in a solid container, a liquid suspension, or an air flow. Particles could contain different phases in the form or layered structures that contain one to multiple cores, or structures that are blended with dissolved or emulsified smaller domains. Particles can be spherical, oval-shaped or irregularly shaped with a size range of 1 μm - 10 mm.

Monolithic Telescopes are a novel implementation of a solid catadioptric design form, instantiated in a monolithic block of fused silica.

LLNL has developed specific technical approaches and methods to obtain proteomic information from various human tissue types (hair, skin, teeth, bone). These processes have been developed to maximize proteomic information recovery using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry methods. LLNL has also developed software tools and processes to mine genetic databases and human genetic sequence data for specific mutations related to human identity that can be observed in the proteome. Finally, LLNL has established several advanced methods including biochemical processes that allow significant proteomic data to be obtained from short segments of single hairs as well as biochemical processes that enable both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) as well as proteomic information to be obtained from a…

Researchers at LLNL have developed a novel method to express and purify significant quantities of AMPs. AMP is fused to the N-terminus of a self-assembling protein called encapsulin from Thermotoga maritima, which forms protein cages with 60 monomer units. N-terminal fusion of the peptide to encapsulin results in encapsulation of the peptide within the protein cage, which prevents cytotoxicity of the peptide to the host and protects the peptide from host proteolysis, ultimately enabling high cellular production levels. In order to isolate the peptide from the protein cage, specific protease cleavage sites (e.g., TEV protease sites) are engineered into the encapsulin cage. Upon treatment with the appropriate protease, the peptide is released and can be isolated for a designated purpose…

Customized for industrial uses, the ALE3D4I code allows a user to not only switch between the Lagrangian and Eulerian techniques but also combine the two so that the mesh “relaxes” at the leading edge of the object. The amount of relaxation is determined by the user, who can “weight” the simulation so that more zones are forced into a specific area of interest, for greater accuracy at that spot. Supporting mesh relaxation broadens the scope of applications in comparison to codes that are restricted to Lagrangian- or Eulerian-only approaches. For some applications, ALE3D4I can deliver accuracy similar to that of other simulation techniques but with as few as one-tenth the number of mesh elements.

Beyond its foundation as a hydrodynamics and structural code, ALE3D4I has multi-…

LLNL has developed a reference electrode that is a great improvement on the widely used silver or platinum wire QRE commonly used in electrochemistry in ionic liquids. This new reference electrode, based on a silver-sulfide coated silver wire, exhibits greatly improved stability over a QRE. The stability of our RE approaches that of the Ag/Ag+ RE, but unlike the Ag/Ag+ RE, the RE reported here is not sensitive to light and can be made and used without a glovebox. Additionally, to the best of our knowledge, the long-term stability of our RE is far superior to any RE reported in the ionic liquid literature.

LLNL's Ag/Ag2S reference electrode can be used in non-aqueous electrochemistry work to provide a stable reference potential throughout multi-day measurements with minimal…

Paradis 1
ParaDiS, or Parallel Dislocation Simulator, is a simulation tool that performs direct numerical simulation of dislocation ensembles, the carriers of plasticity, to predict the strength in crystalline materials from the fundamental physics of defect motion, evolution, and interaction.

The LLNL charged particle deposition technology enables fabrication of material via the charged particle induced dissociation of precursor molecules. For the case electron beam induced fabrication of boron carbide, gaseous boron precursor is delivered to a substrate in a vacuum chamber. Surface adsorbed molecules are dissociated by a beam of electrons. Non-volatile fragments remain on the substrate leading to formation of a boron containing deposit.

The vacuum chamber and beam of charged particles are provided by a scanning electron/ion microscope or a large area flood irradiation system. The scanning electron microscope can provide a focused nanoscale beam of electrons or ions which is used to control the deposit feature size down to tens of nanometers. The beam can be…

LLNL has developed a liquid-free method that increases the overall mechanical resistance of self-supported, carbon nanotube assemblies through nanoscale reinforcement by gas-phase deposition of a thermally cross-linkable polymer. Polymer-reinforcement increases the strength of CNT yarns after crosslinking. For example, a minimal amount (<200 nm) of poly-glycidyl metacrylate (PGMA) deposited on the yarn, is enough to increase its Young's modulus to values ≥20 GPa.

Free-standing sheets of preferentially aligned CNTs are manufactured by pulling from the edge of CNT arrays (or forests) produced by chemical vapor deposition. Yarns are produced by either inserting twist into pulled CNT sheets or by direct spinning (twisting while pulling) from forests (fig. 1A-B). Inter-nanotube…

LLNL has a patented process to produce colloidal silica directly from geothermal fluids. Livermore’s process uses membranes to produce a mono-dispense slurry of colloidal silica particles for which there are several applications. LLNL has demonstrated that colloidal silica solutions that result from extraction of silica from geothermal fluids undergo a transition to a solid gel over a range of time periods that are controllable by varying the silica content and pH of the fluid. This allows control in the subsurface over where the silica transforms to a gel and thus the ability to target gel emplacement to block the "fast path" as needed.

Over long periods of time, the gel will re-structure and dehydrate to form microcrystalline silica, mineralogically identical to natural…


LLNL has solved the challenges of depth-resolved parallel TPL by using a temporal focusing technique in addition to the spatial focusing technique used in serial writing systems. We temporally focus the beam (through optical set-up design) so that a sharp Z-plane can be resolved while projecting 2D “light sheets” that cause localized photo-polymerization. This enables printing of complex 3D structures in a parallel fashion. To minimize the errors arising from discretization of 3D structures, LLNL has also developed techniques to “bend” the 2D light sheet into a 3D surface for printing of curved features.

The inventive elements of the LLNL apparatus are the arrangement of the laser light, the digital mask, and the axis of the collimating optics and the relative size of the…


The LLNL method for optimizing as built optical designs uses insights from perturbed optical system theory and reformulates perturbation of optical performance in terms of double Zernikes, which can be calculated analytically rather than by tracing thousands of rays. A new theory of compensation is enabled by the use of double Zernikes which allows the performance degradation of a perturbed and compensated optical system to be calculated with a matrix multiplication using paraxial quantities rather than by iteration involving tracing large sets of rays. Almost no additional ray-tracing beyond that used in nominal design is required.


LLNL has developed an optically clear iodine-doped resist that increases the mean atomic number of the part. AM parts fabricated with this resist appear radio-opaque due to an increase in the X-ray attenuation by a factor of 10 to 20 times. Optical clarity is required so that the photons can penetrate the liquid to initiate polymerization and radio opacity is required to enable 3D computed tomographic imaging for final inspection via X-rays. The refractive index of these resists is matched to that of the immersion medium of oil-immersion objective lenses. As a result, these resists may also be used with high numerical aperture immersion objectives during dip-in two-photon lithography – a submicron additive manufacturing technique for printing tall millimeter-scale structures.

There are three main components to the RaFTS system: 1) the radiation detector, which can be of any type and from any manufacturer; 2) the RaFTS electronics, which produce the electronic pulses that are injected into the electronics of the radiation detector through a (to be) standardized port interface; and 3) the exercise scenario, which defines the synthetic radiation field and time-varying radioactivity concentrations/signal rates throughout the exercise area. The result is the detector system responds as if real sources are present and located at specific locations or are dispersed over specific areas in the training exercise. As a function of the distance between the detector and those simulated source locations, the RaFTS’s signal injection rate adjusts according to realistic…


By combining 3D printing and dealloying., researchers at LLNL have developed a method for fabricating metal foams with engineered hierarchical architectures consisting of pores at least 3 distinct length scales. LLNL’s method uses direct ink writing (DIW), a 3D printing technique for additive manufacturing to fabricate hierarchical nanoporous metal foams with deterministically controlled 3D multiscale porosities. Arbitrary shapes can be printed according to the application requirements. Moreover, the structure of three levels of porosity can be tuned independently which enables application specific multiscale architectures. In this method, DIW is used to extrude a gelbased metals mixture from a small nozzle into 3D periodic porous structures. The "ink" materials used for DIW are…

LLNL's method of equivalent time sampling incorporates an embedded system that generates the pulses used to trigger the external circuit and the data acquisition (DAQ). This removes the external reference clock, allowing the overall system clock rate to change based on the ability of the embedded system. The time delays needed to create the time stepping for equivalent time sampling is done by using 3 COTS digital delay chips wired in series. Each chip can perform 10ps steps over a 10 ns of sweep time resulting in a total sweep time over 30 ns and a cycle-to-cycle jitter of 6 ps. The delay chips are programmed through the embedded system's general purpose IO.

Each unit contains one embedded system and one delay generator board. The module can operate in two different modes as…

LLNL researchers have developed an alternative route to protective breathable membranes called Second Skin technology, which has transformative potential for protective garments. These membranes are expected to be particularly effective in mitigating physiological burden.

For additional information see article in Advanced Materials “Ultrabreathable and Protective Membranes with Sub-5 nm Carbon Nanotube Pores”

Toy model demonstration of a Napier Deltic Engine. Thermo-structural analysis in Diablo with piston pressure. Simrev software-twin is seven python modules; pistons, crank-arms, gears, etc.; and a main program. Total 600 lines of code.

Simrev is a python library imported into a user-generated program. As the program grows in capability and complexity, the engineered product matures. The "software twin" handles all changes to product configuration and is the portal to running supercomputing analysis and managing workflow for engineering simulation codes. Assemblies become program modules; parts, materials, boundary conditions, and contact interfaces become user defined classes or library-provided objects; and simrev and handles mesh export, input translation, and batch job submission. Simrev has been used to develop models that run in LLNL-developed analysis codes ALE3D, ParaDyn, NIKE3D, and Diablo.

Simrev contains patent-pending technology where the version-control state of the software-twin can be mapped one…

LLNL researchers have developed a process and direct ink writing (DIW) inks for fabricating structured carbon aerogels. This approach gives control over channel size and geometries of organic and carbon aerogels. The 3D printed Resorcinol-Formaldehyde (RF) ink structures are activated to yield high surface area carbon aerogels.

As diode pumped solid state lasers (DPSSL) become more common there is a need to drive these pump diode arrays in a compact, efficient and cost-effective manner. The LLNL system for controlling high current laser diode arrays is an integrated system for meeting the needs of driving laser diode arrays in a DPSSL. The system is comprised of technologies required to control the DPSSL that includes individual laser diode drivers, a method of communicating with those drivers, and a method of controlling the pulse shape of each diode driver. LLNL has demonstrated how these subsystems are put together in a system that also includes methods of mounting, cooling and controlling high average power diode arrays used for the purpose of pumping DPSSLs.

LLNL Polyelectrolyte Enabled Liftoff (PEEL), is used to fabricate freestanding polymer films as thin as 10 nm that are capable of bearing loads ranging from milligrams to grams and deformations of up to forty percent (40%). PEEL employs robust, water-based, and self-optimizing surface chemistry to fabricate ultrathin films greater than 100 cm2 in area. The process is easily scalable in size and manufacturing quantity and applicable to a variety of polymeric materials.

The flexibility of PEEL is the key to its usefulness to industrial processes. It is scalable up to roll-to-roll level for high manufacturing volumes. It can use any kind of chemistry to generate membranes. Another significant benefit is that the film removal is water-based—it doesn’t need hazardous organic…

The novel LLNL technique uses electric fields to drive and control assembly. In the literature such methods have heretofore only formed disordered ensembles. This innovative method increases local nanocrystal concentration, initiating nucleation and growth into ordered superlattices. Nanocrystals remain solvated and mobile throughout the process, allowing fast fabrication of ordered superlattices. Nanocrystals covered by this approach include, but are not limited to, metal nanocrystals, semiconducting nanocrystals (quantum dots), and insulating nanocrystals, or a combination of those. Solvents used in this approach include, but are not limited to, hexane(s), toluene, and chloroform. This process can be easily scaled to cubic meter solution volume and square meter surface area.

LLNL has developed a new active memory data reorganization engine. In the simplest case, data can be reorganized within the memory system to present a new view of the data. The new view may be a subset or a rearrangement of the original data. As an example, an array of structures might be more efficiently accessed by a CPU as a structure of arrays. Active memory can assemble an alternative representation within the memory package so that bytes sent to the main CPU are in a cache-friendly layout.

LLNL has developed several MLD grating technologies that extend the state of the art in overall laser optical power handling capability. LLNL MLD grating optics are the convolution of the following key technologies:

  1. Optical coating designs utilizing >100 thin film layers - enables ultra-low-loss, ppm transmission levels through the coating, high diffraction efficiency, and large bandwidth.
  2. Dispersive surface relief structure design - perfectly impedance matched to the thin film stack for optimum optical performance.
  3. Ability to fabricate dispersive surface relief structure and advanced optical thin film coating on superior thermally conductive materials such as silicon and silicon carbide.
  4. Processing techniques permitting the…
k9 training aids
This technology uses AM printing methods applied to explosives materials. But unlike producing explosives parts, the explosive component is added at a low concentration of around 4 to 6 wt. %. This allows for the final form, to be labeled as a non-hazardous material. A suitable matrix (substrate) is selected that ultimately will be non-volatile (reducing improper training on contaminants) and meet the application of the user. The mixture is printed in to the shape needed cured if necessary (depending upon the matrix). If the target aid is an improvised explosive (mixture of an oxidizer and fuel), each component will be printed in separate layers with non-loaded layer in between. This will prevent mixing of the two components causing reaction. The aid is now ready for distribution to the…
LLNL researchers have developed a system that relies on machine learning to monitor microfluidic devices. The system includes (at least) a microfluidic device, sensor(s), and a local network computer. The system could also include a camera that takes real-time images of channel(s) within an operating microfluidic device. A subset of these images can be used to train/teach a machine learning algorithm to interpret the status of the microfluidic process. Machine learning describes a class of algorithms in which a computer "learns by example" in order to derive meaning from (possibly) complicated or imprecise data. These algorithms can act as the "brain" that controls a robot/machine by "deciding" tasks based upon its perception of environmental cues.

LLNL researchers have demonstrated a novel single-shot recording technology for transient optical signals in a time regime of picoseconds to nanoseconds for which currently there is a significant instrumentation gap.

The optical switching capability of optical semiconductors can be exploited in a pump-probe style architecture, where an auxiliary pump beam is crossed through the signal to sample a diagonal ‘slice’ of space-time, analogous to a rolling shutter. The slice is then imaged onto an ordinary camera, where the recorded spatial trace is a direct representation of the time content of the signal. The pump samples the signal by optically exciting carriers that modify the refractive index in a conventional semiconductor. The integrating response of the rapidly excited, but…

LLNL researchers have developed a method for fabricating active or passive optical glass components, non-optical glass components, and/or glass sensors with custom material composition profiles in 1-, 2-, or 3-dimensions. In this method, DIW additive manufacturing technique is used to print filaments of a rheologically-tuned ink--containing a glass forming species--into a loosely bound, amorphous, low density form (LDF), analogous to a green body in ceramics. DIW inks of different compositions may be blended inline at the print nozzle to achieve the desired material composition at the desired location within the LDF. Once the LDF (e.g. monolith, film, or freeform) has been completely formed, the part is dried to remove residual organics and heat treated to form a transparent glass. The…

LLNL researchers have developed a new method of separating copper nanowires from copper nanoparticles in a two-phase liquid system, within one step, within a few minutes and with excellent separation results.

LLNL's new method of separation is based on the unique observation that copper nanowires can cross the interface between water and a wide range of hydrophobic organic solvent (e.g. chloroform, hexane, toluene), while copper nanoparticles cannot.

Livermore Laboratory researchers have developed a methodology for degradation of TBP using an inexpensive, readily available, and environmentally friendly salt, potassium iodide (KI), in a similarly inexpensive, abundant, and green solvent dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) to efficiently convert TBP to the potassium salts of dibutylphosphate (DBP) and monobutylphosphate (MBP) The reaction is carried out at a lower temperature than has been reported for any other chemical method, reducing the cost of operation associated with elevated temperatures.

LLNL researchers have conceived and performed studies relevant to the development of AM powders synthesized from asteroidal or meteoritical sources and the use of the powder as the feed source for additive manufacturing systems deployed in space. The method includes the steps of locating an asteroid or meteorite, making contact with the asteroid or meteorite, harvesting material from the asteroid or meteorite, and processing material from the asteroid or meteorite to produce high quality powder capable of being used for defect-free AM processing. This powder can then be used for additive manufacturing feed stock in space, and completing the parts or products by the additive manufacturing in space.


Lawrence Livermore researchers are the first to successfully develop a practical fiber-optic amplifier that generates significant optical gain from 1,390 nanometers (nm) to 1,460 nm with relatively good efficiency. This discovery enables the potential for installed optical fibers to operate in an untapped spectral region known as the E-band, in addition to the C- and L-bands where they currently operate -- effectively doubling a single optical fiber's information-carrying potential.

LLNL’s new amplifier design is based on a novel Neodymium-doped microstructured optical fiber that is tailored to preferentially enhance optical signal gain in the E-band while effectively suppressing competing gain in other spectral bands. The new amplifier design is built around the same…

LLNL researchers have developed a high-speed, tightly-packed array of micro-mirrors capable of rapidly (>40 kHz) directing light over large angles (>10°) in two axes-tip and tilt-with continuous closed-loop motion control.

LLNL's TTP micro-mirror array design contains a number of unique features that enable its high performance. These features are generated from the application of precise constraint in the design of the flexures linking the mirror components together. Three flexural structures are utilized in the design, i) mirror guide flexures, ii) decoupling transmission flexures, and iii) actuator guide flexures.

All of these flexures are designed to only allow the desired degrees of freedom (DOF). The structure does not have any extra degrees of freedom, so…

Lawrence Livermore researchers have developed a novel waveguide with resonant leakage elements that frustrate guidance at well-defined and selectable wavelengths. Based on this waveguide, the LLNL team has fabricated a Large Mode Area Neodymium doped fiber with suppression of the four-level transition around 1060 nm, and demonstrated lasing on the three-level transition at 930 nm with good efficiency.

LLNL's invention relates to optical waveguides in dielectric materials, specifically optical fibers (and amplifiers), which are typically longitudinally invariant. The critical waveguide properties are the modes they support, the coupling between these modes, and their propagation constants (or effective indices, neff). In particular, LLNL's invention provides means…

The core innovation of LLNL's enzyme-embedded, multi-component polymer-based bioreactors perform one or more additional functions of the bioreactor:

  • efficient distribution of reactants and removal of products
  • exposure of enzymes to high concentrations of gas-phase reactants
  • separation of products and reactants
  • formation of high surface area structures for exposing enzyme to reactants
  • supply of electrons in hybrid enzyme-electrochemical reactions
  • consolidation of enzymes with co-enzymes in nanoscale subdomains for chained reactions

Enzymes are embedded throughout the depth of the material instead of on the surface or in surface-accessible pores.

LLNL's enzyme-embedded polymer…

LLNL’s IUC system protects electronic systems from tampering and protects the electronic system’s components from unauthorized use. This is directly aimed at solving known issues in cybersecurity and electronic device counterfeiting.

LLNL’s IUC system can be programmed to enable a variety of responses at a component level and at the device level if verification of the authenticity of any components fails. The system can also be set up so for centralized management – keeping the initial set-up of the device and its controls during operations separate and managed outside of the device’s end user purview. For devices that may not require centralized controls, the IUC can be enabled to allow verified human operators to securely enable or disable the IUC system – an added…


LLNL computational scientists have developed a new technology that solves critical problems for combustion engineers and designers. LLNL’s Zero-Order Reaction Kinetics (Zero-RK) is a software package for simulating chemically reacting systems. Zero-RK’s algorithms dramatically reduce the time to results for many commercial applications, providing in some cases a three-orders-of-magnitude reduction in simulation time. Zero-RK’s feature set, including simulation of zero- and quasi-dimensional reactor systems, reaction sensitivity analyses, and coupling to CFD packages, allows users to simulate a wide variety of systems and devices. These systems include internal combustion engines for automotive and heavy-duty platforms, gas turbines, rocket engines, and industrial burners.

Autonomous systems operate in the air, on land, and even underwater. Sensing and avoiding objects is a critical necessity for autonomous vehicles when navigating their environment. Detecting objects in a vehicle's path and rapidly computing changes to the vehicle's trajectory requires object detection, path optimization, and vehicle guidance. Current solutions to this problem using optics can be limited to daylight applications, require significant system resources, and suffer in low-light or foul weather environments.

LLNL researchers have developed a novel method of 3D printing regular microstructured architectures and subsequent complex macrostructures from additively manufactured bio-based composite thermoset shape memory polymer composite materials. This technology for 3D additively manufactured parts utilizes up to a 4 axis control DIW system for fabricating bio­ based thermally cured epoxy based SMP carbon nano-fiber composite parts.

Beyond the proposed printed micro-structure, LLNL inventors have also developed a manufacturing process which allows for not only multi-functional materials to be printed within a single part (printing materials that exhibit shape memory at different temperatures in specific areas of the part), but also the ability to reform macro-structures after a…

LLNL’s Polyelectrolyte Enabled Liftoff (PEEL) process makes changes to the substrate preparation, the holder and liftoff technique, and suggests modifications to the material itself to enable the preparation of large ultrathin free-standing films.

PEEL enables ultrathin films by chemically modifying the deposition substrate and decreasing the interfacial energy so that even thin films with small strain energies will delaminate.

PEEL employs robust, water-based, and self-optimizing surface chemistry to fabricate ultrathin films up to 100 cm2 or more in area.

LLNL’s PEEL technology is used to fabricate free-standing polymer films as thin as 10 nm that are capable of bearing loads ranging from milligrams to grams and deformations of up to 40%.

LLNL researchers have developed the hardware and chemistry to allow additive manufacturing of short carbon fibers in a thermoset polymer matrix which have a high degree of structural alignment over conventional cast or pressed short/chopped carbon fiber polymer composites.

The invention is based on the shear dispersal, alignment and concentration of fiber fraction within a resin system to yield a direct Ink Writable (DIW) system that can be utilized to 3D print complex architectures of highly aligned CF/epoxy resin composite with feature resolutions as low as 250um.

The short carbon fibers can be produced in a range of polymer matrices including bisphenol F epoxy resins and cyanate esters. The apparatus, systems, and methods provide additive manufacturing of a fiber…


LLNL’s invention for non-destructive evaluation of water ingress in photovoltaic modules uses a non-invasive optical detection technique based on hyperspectral near infrared imaging technology with frequencies tuned to water absorption band. In this way a quantitative 2D image of the water content in a given device can be obtained remotely and repeatedly over time. A key challenge is presented by adapting the technique to modules with complex structure made of multiple layers with various material properties, composition and roughness.

“NUFT (Nonisothermal, Unsaturated Flow and Transport) is a 3D multi-phase non-isothermal flow and transport model for both saturated and unsaturated simulations. It has been extensively applied to groundwater cleanup (especially thermal alternatives), deep geologic processes, including high level nuclear waste repositories and subsurface sequestration of carbon dioxide.”

Conventional membranes tend to be two dimensional and with relatively large thickness, which limit the achievable permeability. The ultimate goal in membrane technologies is to combine high permeability and high selectivity. LLNL has developed a transformational 3D nm-thick membrane structure using ALD (atomic layer deposition) template approach. Our membrane structure has two independent bicontinuous pore systems separated by a nm-thick membrane. It dramatically increases the number of exchange sites and shortens the exchange pathway.

Covalent cross-linking of graphene sheets is achieved by using carbon nanoparticles as cross-linker for randomly oriented single layered graphene oxide nanoplatelets. The use of a covalently integrated carbon binder makes these graphene aerogel foams mechanically very robust, and allows one to achieve high bulk electrical conductivities even at low densities.

LLNL’s Forensic Science Center (FSC) is currently the only facility in the United States that is accredited to accept samples and analyze them for the possible presence of chemical weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention. FSC scientists are global experts in chemical, nuclear, and biological counterterrorism and their work leads to innovative tools and therapies with biosecurity and public health applications. Working with LLNL computational biologists, and utilizing LLNL’s supercomputing infrastructure, FSC chemists recently identified a class of novel, neutral, cyclic oximes with increased blood brain barrier permeability serving as optimal antidotes against nerve agent poisoning. Cyclic oximes from this class show drastically increased permeability over HI-6 for the…

LLNL’s Optically-based Interstory Drift Meter System provides a means to accurately measure the dynamic interstory drift of a vibrating building (or other structure) during earthquake shaking. This technology addresses many of the shortcomings associated with traditional strong motion accelerometer based building monitoring.

LLNL’s discrete diode position sensitive device is a newly designed and performance validated position sensitive device based on a two dimensional array of discrete diodes that allows the location of an impinging laser beam to be very accurately tracked as the beam moves back and forth across the diode array. This allows accurate, dynamic measurements of the interstory drift between two floor levels of a shaking building. Interstory drift is a fundamental…


3D printing involves the layer-by-layer deposition of one, or more, materials. The spatial placement of the material, if carefully controlled, can influence a desired static or dynamic property. The use of 3D printing to build complex and unique energetic components is at the center of LLNL’s architected energetic materials and structures effort. LLNL has developed several different methods for using 3D printing to create articles of energetic materials applicable to high explosives, propellants, and pyrotechnics. Methods being explored include direct printing of energetic materials as well as creating unique scaffold structures for integration with energetics.

This approach harvests both mechanical and thermal energy by combining nanowires and phase change materials. These devices were fabricated on Kapton® polyamide films and used ZnO nanowires with the same growth direction to assure alignment of the piezoelectric potentials of all of the wires. The circuit was designed as long, parallel electrode arrays perpendicular to the nanowire axis. Good-alignment of the nanowires in this configuration should enable scale-up of the output. Ideally, the total output voltage is the sum of the voltage from individual wires in the vertical direction because they are connected in series. Mechanical harvesting from these devices was demonstrated using a periodic application of force, modeling the motion of the human body. Tapping the device from the top…

LLNL’s polymer/carbon composites exhibit a strong temperature dependent conductivity response. Below a critical temperature such as the glass transition temperature ( Tg) or melting temperature, Tm of the polymeric network, the composite material is electrically insulating, having measured conductivities in the range of 1E-10 S cm-1. Upon being heated through a phase transition, the conductivity abruptly increases; this transition has been shown to be fully reversible and with a low hysteresis upon thermal cycling. Due to the nature of the switching behavior (semiconductor gating) the polymeric component of the composite is not limited to single polymer type and may be a variety of polymer systems including various elastomers, thermoplastics or thermosets, furthermore the critical…

LLNL has developed a new class of nitrogenous ligands for metals and their complexes chosen for their known propensity to chelate metal ions. Further chemical modifications of this scaffold were performed to furnish a novel series of ligands that are capable of coordinating different metal ions.

LLNL has developed a method for electroplating nickel oxide/hydroxide electrode materials with very high energy- and power density onto a current collector. The method is especially suitable for coating porous current collectors with high surface areas.

LLNL has developed a new system, called the Segmentation Ensembles System, that provides a simple and general way to fuse high-level and low-level information and leads to a substantial increase in overall performance of digital image analysis. LLNL researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of the approach on applications ranging from automatic threat detection for airport security, to natural images and cancer detection in medical CT images. Furthermore, LLNL’s approach naturally leads to a big data type approach for unsupervised problems able to exploit massive amounts of unlabeled data in lieu of ground truth data, which is often difficult and expensive to acquire. LLNL has filed a patent application on the new system and is interested in continuing development focused on…

LLNL’s carbon nanotube trans-membrane channels invention is a new class of nanopores that combines the best features of all three existing types of pores while substantially mitigating a number of shortcomings exhibited by each of these types of pores.

The method involves sonication of nanotube in presence of lipids, including but not limited to DOPC or DPhPC. One advantage of this structure is the extended stability at room and/or elevated temperature.

LLNL researchers have developed an acoustofluidic device design consisting of a silicon and glass chip bonded to a piezoelectric plate. The acoustic microfluidic chip design is optimized using numerical modelling for maximal pressure standing wave amplitude, and its unique configuration with subdivided channels enables high-throughput operation and customized placement of the acoustic pressure node. Experimental verification has demonstrated high-throughput size-separation of cells and viral particles, and label-free purification of biological samples.

Refer to the following publications for additional information on the research.

Efficient coupling of acoustic modes in microfluidic channel devices, Lab Chip, 2015, 15, 3192

Spatial tuning of…

This invention suggests to reduce the noise in Q-bits and other low-noise electronic and superconducting devises devices by synthesizing special materials where several classes of fluctuators (two-level systems) are excluded (or, their number is substantially reduced) both in the volume of materials and on the boundaries and interfaces. This invention also suggests materials with low number of disorder and internal degrees of freedom, or number of internal states in the material accessible at low temperatures. This invention suggests also how practical devises (SQUIDs, resonators, Q-bits, etc) and systems can be produced out of this materials without introducing new fluctuators in the process.

LLNL has developed a brain-on-a-chip system with a removable cell-seeding funnel to simultaneously localize neurons from various brain regions in an anatomically relevant manner and over specific electrode regions of a MEA. LLNL’s novel, removable cell seeding funnel uses a combination of 3D printing and microfabrication that allows neurons from select brain regions to easily be seeded into an area approximately 2 mm across, with cell populations separated by less than 100 microns. LLNL’s MEA design is anatomically relevant, allowing cortical cells to be seeded around the periphery of the array and up to three other neuronal populations from interior regions of the brain in the central regions of the MEA.

LLNL scientists have developed a new metal additive manufacturing technique that uses diode lasers in conjunction with a programmable mask to generate 2D patterns of energy at the powder surface. The method can produce entire layers in a single laser shot, rather than producing layers spot by spot as is currently done in powder bed fusion methods.

A key element of this invention is the recognition that all life-important chemical interaction is situated in the mid-to-far infrared energy range. LLNL’s Infrared (IR) Photon-Sensitive Spectromicroscopy invention is a system designed to suppress thermal radiation background and to allow IR single photon-sensitive spectromicroscopy of small samples by using absorption, reflection, and emission/luminescence measurements.

LLNL researchers are developing a battery-powered molecular diagnostic (MDx) platform for biothreat and public health agent identification. LLNL researchers developed isothermal molecular diagnostic assays to detect and identify DNA from pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli, known to cause UTI’s and sepsis. Detection of the bacterial DNA does not require technically challenging DNA isolation and purification.

Additional technical information can be found in the Journal of Microbiological Methods published article, Detection of Bacillus anthracis from spores and cells by loop-mediated isothermal…

Antennas are a foundational component of our global communication and information systems. Cell phones, Wi-Fi networks, and satellite links couldn’t exist without them. LLNL scientists, Gerald Burke, Andrew Poggio, and Edward Miller created the Numerical Electromagnetic Code (NEC), an antenna modeling system for wire and surface antennas. As computer capability to handle heavy calculations increases, new versions of the code have been released. NEC has been the most licensed technology in LLNL’s software portfolio, and the most widely used code for analyzing antenna performance. NEC v5.0 is the latest version of LLNL’s decades-long successful NEC antenna modeling software family.

The design calculations that have been performed in exploring the potentialities of LLNL's new approaches to flywheel energy storage have been built on existing and past LLNL flywheel programs, including a program aimed at flywheel systems for the bulk storage of electricity at utility scale. To achieve the requirements of such systems, as mentioned above, LLNL has developed some key new technologies, technologies that we believe are unique to flywheel energy storage. These developments came about because the LLNL researchers came to the conclusion that with vehicular applications, as with the present program on bulk storage, the proposed new-generation flywheels must break with past tradition in critical technological areas. The first of these is the generator/motor. In all…

This technology uses microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), adaptive optics (AO), and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to produce 3-D retina images at the cellular level. AO compensates for optical aberrations by continuously sampling images, and rapidly compensating for these aberrations via a wavefront corrector. MEMS reduce the size and cost of the system without sacrificing speed or accuracy.

LLNL scientists have developed an approach for full spectrum analysis during gamma ray spectrometry using a spectral library signature created from a large amount of spectral data. The signature can be compared to unknown spectral measurements for the identification of previously unknown nuclear material.


LLNL has developed a wide band (WB) ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology to detect and image buried objects under a moving vehicle. Efficient and high performance processing algorithms reconstruct images of buried or hidden objects in two or three dimensions under a scanning array. The technology includes a mobile high-performance computing system allowing GPR array sensor data to be processed to form subsurface images which are displayed to the vehicle operator in real-time. The components of this technology, an array of radars and antennas, signal processing system, and operator interface are integrated and adaptable to utility or tactical vehicles operating on or off road.

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 nanomaterials for a variety of sustainable energy applications. CAs are specifically promising in that they possess a tunable three-dimensional hierarchical morphology with ultrafine cell size and an electrically conductive framework. They are available as macroscopic, centimeter-sized monolithic materials.

The selected industrial partner and LLNL will enter into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop the next generation of laser technologies for MEGa-ray systems and to create a next generation of MEGa-ray sources that could be marketed to both the industrial and academic communities.

The MEGa-ray system developed will be based on LLNL's proprietary, multi-GHz Compton scattering interaction geometry, calorimetric gamma-ray detectors, multi-GHz, photo-gun drive laser technology and kW-average-power, diode-pumped pulsed laser technology. The resulting integrated MEGa-ray source will be unique in the world and will target emerging business and science opportunities both in the U.S. and Europe. The successful execution of this CRADA will enable the U.S…

A select number of intracellular pathogens persist naturally in some amoebas and their cysts. LLNL has invented a technology that exploits this process to use amoeba cysts as natural containers for portable transport and long term storage. In addition, this novel encystment system incorporates sample purification and enrichment for clinical samples, taken in the hospital, lab, or any natural environment.

LLNL has developed a radiation detector that cools to operating temperatures in 1-2 hours using two separate cooling stages. The first cooling brings the instrument to operating temperature. The embedded second cooling system achieves portable detection that can be sustained for 8-12 hours.

In addition, an integrated, hermetically-sealed package has been developed complete with user interface, shock mounting, LCD display, and a USB port for communication to a PC. The display is run by an embedded processor and shows spectroscopy, isotope identification, system health and status as well as other features. The entire packaged system weighs 10.1 lbs including batteries.

The integrated GeMini system has undergone extensive field testing and is at a Technical Readiness…

The invention is a new tool for Homeland Security and Department of Defense efforts to reduce or eliminate potential personal exposure to terrorist-related biological and "dirty bomb" weapon particulates. This will assist emergency responders and aid in protecting public health. This copolymer and solvent solution is used to bind with airborne hazardous particulates, such as biological weapon agents or toxic "dirty bomb" by-products. This solution can be delivered as an aerosol, spray, or coating to lock hazardous particulates in place and prevent reaerosolization of the contaminant.

This technology is an extremely small and robust cell in which a very small volume of gas is sampled, while maintaining high sensitivity and specificity, by combining it with:

  • Highly tunable and commercially available semiconductor lasers, such as edge emitting lasers and vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (to provide various absorption lines of one specie and to capture varies elements at once), and
  • Wavelength modulation spectroscopy (to extract high harmonics which are not affected by the 1/f noise).

Furthermore, the source and detector are both fiber-coupled allowing remote detection of gases down to ppm (and potentially to ppb) in hazardous and unfavorable conditions and enabling multiplexing of different sources for the analysis…

The invention utilizes the statistical nature of radiation transport as well as modern processing techniques to implement a physics-based, sequential statistical processor. By this we mean that instead of accumulating a pulse-height spectrum as is done in many other systems, each photon is processed individually upon arrival and then discarded. As each photon arrives, a decision is refined using the energy deposited as well as the photon arrival time. Detection is declared when such a decision is statistically justified using estimated detection and false alarm probabilities. The result is a system that has the potential to provide improved detection performance with higher reliability and lower acquisition time.

The method has two major innovations over…

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.

FTE-CD removes salt by applying an exceptionally low voltage (1.5 volts) to a porous electrode capacitor, along with a low-pressure pump to move water through the electrodes. Unlike "flow between" capacitive deionization the feed stream flows directly through electrode pores.

For a full description of the technology see a scientific publication by the research team in Energy & Environmental Science…


The Discriminant Random Forest combines advantages of several methodologies and techniques to produce lower classification error rates.

The new LLNL technique works by transiently removing and trapping concrete or rock surface material, so that contaminants are confined in a manner that is easy to isolate and remove. Our studies suggest that 10 m2 of surface could be processed per hour. The technique easily scales to more surface/hr.

LLNL is developing a highly-sensitive compact Compton imaging technology with excellent energy resolution, good imaging performance and large field-of-view. This system is built of large-volume and high-resolution Si(Li) and HPGe detectors. These detectors are built in double-sided strip configurations providing excellent three-dimensional position resolution. The system can measure individual gamma-ray interactions and determine interaction sequences through gamma-ray tracking algorithms.

The new LLNL technology would sense active control or other signals from the grid and automatically shed or re-establish load as appropriate. This gradual reduction and reestablishment of load would give operators more time to reconfigure grid resources to respond to the transient. This increased time window for reaction should lead to lower operating costs with the current grid architecture and reduced need combustion turbines to manage the grid. LLNL envisions the development of a simulation model of the devices in a grid environment to establish the value proposition and to optimize the design while prototype devices are manufactured. Subsequently, based on selections, criteria and observations of key issues from the simulations, the devices would be tested in a physical testbed…

Dubbed the "LLNL Chemical Prism", the LLNL system has use wherever there is a need to separate components of a fluid. A few examples include:

  • Chemical detection for known and previously unknown chemicals or substances
  • Separation of biomolecules from a cellular extract
  • Fractionation of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons
  • Forensic analysis of chemical specimens
  • Sample preparation prior to detection
  • Environmental monitoring for or clean-up hazardous waste streams or illicit materials
  • Purification of water, ultrapure solvents, high-value fine chemicals, industrial products and pharmaceuticals
  • High throughput screening of novel compounds for biological activity, novel pharmaceuticals, and drug discovery…

The LLNL approach uses both the electric and magnetic components of an electromagnetic wave, which provides information about the direction of wave emanation as well as the flux of energy in the wave. This new, potentially portable technology is intended to identify and locate low-frequency electromagnetic noise sources in order to take off-line or quickly isolate and repair the interfering electrical/electronic equipment operating in buildings, factories and large commercial facilities. The technology will also have application relating to locating general EM signal sources having frequencies falling within the operational bandwidth of the receiver.

This electrostatic (E-S) generator/motor operates through the time-variation of the capacity of an electrically charged condenser to generate AC voltages and/or mechanical torque. The output of the generator is such that it can take advantage of the development of high-voltage solid-state electronic components now coming into wide use in the electrical utilities.


A ceramic HEPA filter designed to meet commercial and DOE requirements, as well as to minimize upgrade installation logistics for use in existing facilities. Current key performance requirements are described in DOE Standard 3020. The ceramic filter is designed to be nonflammable, corrosion resistant, and compatible with high temperatures and moisture. The ceramic filter will significantly increase filter life span and reduce life cycle costs, and open up new opportunities for overall process gas system and ventilation system design.

LLNL has developed a novel process of production, isolation, characterization, and functional re-constitution of membrane-associated proteins in a single step. In addition, LLNL has developed a colorimetric assay that indicates production, correct folding, and incorporation of bR into soluble nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs).

LLNL has developed an approach, for formation of NLP/membrane protein complexes by simultaneous co-expression of both apolipoprotein and target membrane protein in a cell-free protein synthesis system. This approach involves cell-free transcription/translation technology adapted to co-express both apolipoproteins and a target membrane protein. It is carried out in a single reaction chamber with cell extract, buffer, phospholipds, detergents and the…

LLNL scientists have developed a radiation detection network that uses solid state detectors (e.g. CZT) coupled to cellular telephones. Detection of gamma and/or neutron radiation is possible with high sensitivity. A network of cellular phones GPS locations and their detection data can be correlated for real-time analysis of potential nuclear threats.

LLNL's new "Catalyst" supercomputer is now available for collaborative projects with American industry. Developed by a partnership with Cray and Intel, the novel architecture behind this high performance computing (HPC) cluster is intended to serve as a proving ground for new HPC and Big Data technologies and algorithms.

Catalyst boasts nearly a terabyte of addressable memory per compute node through the addition of 128 gigabytes (GB) of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) per node and 800 GB of non-volatile memory (NVRAM) per node in the form of PCIe high-bandwidth Intel Solid State Drives (SSD). Additionally, each Lustre router node contains 3.2 terabytes (TB) of NVRAM. Improved cluster networking is achieved with dual rail Quad Data Rate (QDR-80) Intel TrueScale fabrics.…

LLNL has developed a new method of separating carbon dioxide from flue gas. LLNL's ion pump method increases the concentration of dissolved carbonate ion solution. This increases the vapor pressure of carbon dioxide gas, permitting carbon dioxide to be removed from the downstream side of the ion pump as a pure gas. The ion pumping may be obtained from reverse osmosis, electrodialysis, or the Cussler ion pump.


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 material's compression properties with very small feature sizes. The fine control that direct ink writing provides to the manufacturing process further enables specialty properties where desired in the bulk material. Advantages include:

  • Controlling directionally dependent properties,…

LLNL's high fidelity hydrocode is capable of predicting blast loads and directly coupling those loads to structures to predict a mechanical response. By combining this code and our expertise in modeling blast-structure interaction and damage, along with our access to experimental data and testing facilities, we can contribute to the design of protective equipment that can better mitigate the biological effects of blast.

LLNL has investigated two types of sensors to quantify the blast environment, which will help medical personnel diagnose the severity of injuries and triage patients. Both sensor designs are small and lightweight. One new sensor uses a tiny microelectromechanical gauge and the other is an inexpensive, disposable, and easily replaceable plastic cylinder. Each…

LLNL scientists have developed a simple neutron detection technique that can discriminate fissile material from non-fissile material. A low cost digital data acquisition unit collects data at high rates and processes large volumes of data in real-time. This technique functions in a passive mode much like a standard portal monitor. There are options for converting the technique to an active interrogation scheme.

LLNL's invention uses energy efficient diode arrays for softening metals and alloys to enable friction stir process and friction stir welding. The use of intense light from compact, light-weight, and energy-efficient diode arrays to preheat the material being processed to the softening point eliminates defects associated with insufficient weld temperature such as tunnel voids.

The diode light heating enhancement (DLHE) of FSW also enables residual weld stress in the stir zone (SZ), the thermo-mechanically affected zone (TAZ) and the heat affected zone (HAZ) is controlled and minimized. The efficient and precisely controlled heating provided to FSW and FSP by DLHE can ultimately enable engineers to better control the microstructure that evolves in the weld.

The use of…

LLNL has developed a noble gas mass spectrometry facility that houses a state-of-the-art water-gas separation manifold and mass spectrometry system designed specifically for high throughput of groundwater samples. The fully automated, computer-controlled manifold system allows analysis of the full suite of noble gases (3He/4He, He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe concentrations), along with low level tritium for reporting of derived quantities that include tritium/helium-3 groundwater age, noble gas recharge temperature, and dissolved excess air concentration. This system represents a capability for characterizing groundwater recharge conditions by dissolved gas analysis that is unmatched by any other laboratory. Construction of this facility was funded by LLNL. The facility is staffed by Ph.D.…

OTV Image

The Optical Transconductance Varistor (Opticondistor) overcomes depletion region voltage limitations by optically exciting wide bandgap materials in a compact package. A 100μ thick crystal could have the capability approaching 40kV and would replace numerous equivalent junction devices. Thus, unlike present junction transistors or diodes, this wide bandgap device can be stacked in series or parallel as separate devices or made thicker to accommodate higher voltages.

LLNL's NeMS system enables network mapping operations by using two LLNL-developed software systems: LLNL's NeMS tool and the Everest visualization system. Each software system can be also used separately for their specific applications. When the two systems are used together as an iterative analysis platform, LLNL's NeMS system provides network security managers and information technology personnel with continuing network situational awareness.

The LLNL's NeMS tool is a software-based network characterization and discovery application. The LLNL's NeMS strives to produce a comprehensive representation of IP-based computer network environments. The LLNL's NeMS supports actionable intelligence and meaningful decision making by providing a view of the actual state of a computer…

The technology that is available has the capability to inject realistic radiation detection spectra into the amplifier of a radiation detector and produce the all the observables that are available with that radiation detection instrument; count-rate, spectrum, dose rate, etc.

The system uses the capability of LLNL to generate the source output for virtually any source and determine the flux from that source at any point in the area of a training exercise. Based on the location of a participant in the exercise the appropriate count rate and spectrum is generated and injected into the amplifier of the radiation detection device at that specific location. Thus, this system can generate and use both distributed sources and point sources for any isotope or mixtures of isotopes…

The SLIDER deflector includes a waveguide, a serrated mask positioned above the waveguide cladding, and a synchronized pump beam. The pump beam illuminates the serrated mask with a short pulse and transfers its pattern to the guiding layer where it imprints a sequence of prisms. The prisms are activated via nonlinear optical effects in the semiconductor and persist for the duration of the sweep. The signal beam is coupled into the waveguide and is deflected in piecewise segments by the fine sequence of prisms. Time-of-flight through the waveguide ensures a linear mapping of time to angle. Lenses at the output of the map the deflection onto the focal plane of a high fidelity camera where the signal can be recorded in parallel with high resolution and with high dynamic range.

LLNL's Slurry Stabilization Method provides a chemical means of stabilizing a polishing compound in suspension at working concentrations without reducing the rate of material removal. The treated product remains stable for many months in storage.


This technology provides algorithms that accurately localize small-arm-fire by tracking bullets from high-powered weapons, automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), mortars, and similar projectiles. The software integrates commercially available infrared video cameras, processes raw imagery data, detects and tracks projectiles, and determines the location of the shooters within error bounds. The technique and algorithms have been shown to be resistant to optical clutter.

Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit observable ultrasensitive detection limits due to their unusually large surface-to-volume architecture. This suggests that nanosensors can provide a distinct advantage over conventional designs. This advantage is further enhanced when the nanosensor can harvest its meager power requirements from the surrounding environment. A self-powering or "batteryless" device can made small enough to serve in unique situations ranging from military to medical applications. LLNL researchers successfully fabricated two prototype platforms for batteryless chemical detectors using one-dimensional semiconductor nanowires.

The best currently available nanogenerators can capture, convert, store, and use the energy…

LLNL has identified solution-grown organic crystals having scintillation efficiency not only close to, but even exceeding that of stilbene.. LLNL's invention relates to a new class of neutron detectors based on scintillation response of organic single crystals. More specifically, the use of organic molecules grown from solution and to molecules including the basic benzene or phenyl structure.

LLNL is developing the Space-based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris (STARE). STARE is a constellation of low cost nano-satellites (less than 5Kg) in low-earth orbit dedicated to the observation of space debris in conjunction with a ground-based infrastructure for maintenance, coordination and data processing. Each nano-satellite in the constellation is capable of recording an optical image of space objects (debris or assets) at various range and relative velocities as scheduled by the ground infrastructure based on their closest approach distance (typically less than 1000m). The ground infrastructure processes the data received from multiple observations of the objects and reduces the positional uncertainty on the probability of collision to a level typically less…

LLNL's X-ray spectrometers based on STJ have been developed for high-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopy. STJ consist of two superconducting thin film electrodes separated by a thin insulating tunnel barrier. They measure X-ray energies from the increase in tunneling current after X-ray absorption in one of the electrodes excites additional charge carriers above the superconducting energy gap. STJ have an energy resolution an order of magnitude higher than conventional energy-dispersive X-ray detectors based on germanium or silicon semiconductors. The short life time of X-ray-induced excess charges allows detector operation at count rates up to 10,000 counts/per detector pixel. Effective area and total count rate capabilities have been increased by developing detector arrays.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have developed a signal enhancing microchip apparatus and method that enhances a microfluidic detector's limits by magnetically focusing the target analytes in a zone of optical convergence. In summary, samples are associated with magnetic nanoparticles or magnetic polystyrene coated beads and moved down the flow channels until they are trapped in a magnetic trap-zone. The concentrated sample is then analyzed and provides up to a thousand fold signal enhancement for optical detection. Reaction volumes required are drastically reduced which improves sensor signal to noise ratio. (Sample amounts needed are one million times smaller than volumes used in current commercial instruments).

In addition to providing an enhanced signal…

LLNL's neutron "Pillar Detector" fabrication technology uses semiconductor-based micro-structured elements as an electrical signal generation medium for the detection of neutrons. These materials in the form of semiconductor "pillars" embedded in matrix of high cross-section neutron converter materials (such as Boron) that emit charged particles upon interaction with neutrons. These charged particles in turn generate electron-hole pairs and thus detectable electrical current in the semiconductor micro-structured elements.

LLNL offers opportunities for joint software development to bridge the gap between the capabilities of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) of scientific and engineering application codes and HPC users’ needs. Successful relations will yield a greater number of commercial codes available to run on HPC platforms, software with expanded features and improved performance, and wider availability and usability of existing HPC codes.

Software vendor engagements with LLNL may address such solutions as:

  • Scaling vendor codes to run on HPC platforms
  • Expanding vendor software capabilities with additional solver libraries and tool suites
  • Increasing research discovery through algorithm development and multi-physics integration
  • Optimizing…

The invention relates to a measurement method and system for capturing both the amplitude and phase temporal profile of a transient waveform or a selected number of consecutive waveforms having bandwidths of up to about 10 THz in a single shot or in a high repetition rate mode. The invention consists of an optical preprocessor which can then output a time-scaled replica of the input signal to a conventional oscilloscope for display. An additional technical description is available.

LLNL researchers have combined Raman and infrared (IR) spectroscopy methods in a single device. The sensor is able to detect, identify, and quantify a range of unknown gases. Raman spectroscopy records the degree of light scattered while IR measures the amount of light that is absorbed. The combination of the two techniques results in complementary spectra that serve as molecular-level fingerprints of gaseous species. With this sensor, gas concentrations down to the parts-per-million, and even parts-per-billion, can successfully be detected and measured. The device can be miniaturized for easy deployment.

LLNL seeks partners interested in developing and commercializing any or all of these and additional processes for its project as fits the partner's business interest. Examples of novel processing and resultant materials are described below.

High Explosive Consolidation (HEC) is conducted in a unique facility in Georgia that permits the explosive consolidation of powders at temperatures up to 1000°C. The high pressures and rapid consolidation generated during the propagation of the explosive-generated shock wave permit new and unique materials to be formed. The materials can also have very fine, potentially nano-scale, structure. The high rates of compaction resist grain growth and structural coarsening during consolidation and thus nano-scale structures can be retained during…

LLNL's multi-well plate cover penetration system is an array cutting and tape folding tool, based on 96-well, 384-well, and 1536-well geometries, that can be robotically operated and will cut, open, and fold inward the sealing tape so that samples can be subsequently aspirated without the need for human intervention to remove the seal which is an aerosol generating and contaminating process).

LLNL is interested in developing a universal platform for the delivery and presentation of any protein antigen, including toxin, viral and bacterial proteins, with apparent concomitant adjuvant activity to enhance the host immune response.

This technology uses either of two X-ray wave-front sensor techniques, Hartmann sensing and two-dimensional shear interferometry, both of which are capable of measuring the entire two-dimensional electric field, both the amplitude and the phase, with a single measurement. Capturing both the absorption and phase coefficients of the index of refraction can help to reconstruct the image. Measurement of the phase shift could enable the use of higher energy X-rays which would result in a lower amount of absorbed radiation to the patient, thereby reducing the potential damage to tissues. These wave-front sensors do not require a temporally coherent source and are therefore compatible with X-ray tubes and with laser-produced or X-pinch X-ray sources.

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed a plastic that can detect neutrons, something previously thought impossible.

Livermore scientists demonstrated a plastic scintillator that can discriminate between neutrons and gamma rays with a polyvinyltoluene (PVT) polymer matrix loaded with a scintillating dye, 2,5-diphenyloxazole (PPO). They have found that plastic scintillators have a roughly 20 percent finer resolution for neutron-gamma ray discrimination than liquid scintillators.

LLNL’s BioBriefcase is a compact and portable instrument capable of autonomously detecting the full spectrum of bioagents, including bacteria, viruses and toxins in the air. It uses the state of art technologies to collect, process, and analyze samples to detect, and identify genetic and protein signatures of bioagents.

In collaboration with USDA, LLNL has developed and tested in vitro (or ex vivo) production of natural rubber polymer by using NLP-stabilized rubber transferase.

LLNL researchers have grown and characterized scintillator crystals of Strontium Iodide (SrI2). Scintillator energy resolution and light yield proportionality surpass NaI and are similar to LaBr3. The SrI2 scintillators doped with europium (Eu) exhibit very high light yields (> 100,000 photons/MeV), extremely good energy resolution (<3% at 662 keV) and excellent light yield proportionality.

LLNL researchers have combined a novel approach or using bioinformatics with cell-free expression to identify and characterize a class of proteins that kill Gram-positive bacteria with extremely high specificity. The class of proteins is collectively known as muramidases and possess bacterial lytic activity. Muramidases generally represent a potential class of novel antimicrobials for use against other Gram positive and, potentially, against Gram-negative infectious microorganisms. Strategies for effectively delivering these antimicrobial agents are being developed. These lytic proteins attack for the outside of the cells and circumvent mechanisms of antibiotic resistance that are found in many of the so-called drug-resistant superbugs. As such, they should be effective against these…

LLNL has developed a compact and low-power cantilever-based sensor array, which has been used to detect various vapor-phase analytes. For further information on the latest developments, see the article "Sniffing the Air with an Electronic Nose."

People in labcoats working with lab equipment

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s scientists have developed the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA), a technology enabling detection of bacteria, viruses and other organisms. This technology has shown value for applications in detection for product safety, diagnostics and bioterrorism events.

LLMDA contains probes fitted onto a one-inch by three-inch glass slide. Each probe tests for a particular sequence of DNA and small groups of probes can be used to check for specific bacteria or viruses up to the species level. The LLMDA can test for over 2,000 viruses and 900 bacteria. The newer version of the LLMDA will expand that capability to nearly 6,000 viruses and 15,000 bacteria as well as fungi and protozoa organisms. After DNA and/or RNA is extracted…

The nanosphere synthesis process works when a nanostructured substrate is heated above a critical temperature in the presence of a small amount of metal on the nanostructured surface. The metal acts as a particular type of catalyst for nanowire formation. It is periodically segregated within the nanowire in a thermodynamically well-defined process as nanowires grow. The result is periodically-spaced metal nanoparticles within an insulating nanowire. Dense arrays of nanowires can be formed in this way without lithography of any kind.

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.

Redox ion-exchange polymers ("redox-ionites") and membranes possessing cation- and anion- exchange, amphoteric, complex-forming and oxidation-reduction abilities have been developed on the basis of the biocompatible synthetic and chemically modified natural polymers. In addition, developments have been made towards methods of obtaining of water-soluble and spatially cross-linked ionites of gel, macro-porous and macro-network structure.

Additionally, the presence of a large intramolecular net allows the extraction of high molecular weight organic compounds, which may be useful for the purification of medicinal preparations, extraction of toxic and pathogenic compounds from biological liquids (hemo- and enthero-sorption).

The LLNL detector measures radiation over a large dynamic range, spanning both high hazardous levels and weak levels, including natural background radiation. In weak radiation fields, the detector also measures gamma-ray spectra. The cost of the detector is significantly less than the total cost of existing separate detectors that could perform the same measurements.

Using various excitation wavelengths, a hyperspectral microscope takes advantage of autofluorescence and polarized light scattering from cellular components to obtain composite images that highlight their presence. The light collection efficiency is maximized to achieve image acquisition times and rates suitable for in vivo applications.

The patented intracranial hematoma detection technology uses Micropower Impulse Radar (MIR). MIR uses short, high frequency electromagnetic pulses to obtain information in a non-invasive manner. Unlike ultrasound and other electromagnetic techniques, MIR can operate well through the skull, which is of great importance for intracerebral as well as epidural and subdural hematomas. The MIR hematoma detector has been studied in both laboratory model and human subject clinical experiments. The results have been reported in the Proceedings of SPIE 2005, Volume 6007.

The Forensic Science Center at LLNL has invented a portable, compact and rugged hydrogen peroxide vapor generator. The system produces a consistent concentration of hydrogen peroxide vapor. The hydrogen peroxide vapor is generated from a safe and easy to maintain source of aqueous hydrogen peroxide and produces a dynamic flow stream at discrete concentrations.

This technology comprises a method of depositing coatings of dissimilar materials on a substrate. A laser pulse hits the film of deposited material covered by a thin water layer. The laser deposition on the water-material interface generates huge pressure accelerating film to the velocities a few hundred meters per second. The film hits the substrate at an oblique angle. The high velocity of impact induces the plastic flow of materials on film-substrate interface and shear flow due to the oblique incidence results in material mixing and strong coating adhesion.

The five discrete steps involved in the deposition are as follows: (Step 1) the high-performance corrosion resistant film material is advanced with a spool assembly, and bathed with water that serves as a tamper during…

The biotech industry aims to move towards an on-chip system for sample generation, amplification and detection of both DNA and RNA based organisms. LLNL has invented a new way of isolating samples in a system.

This invention enables creation of partitioned fluid "packets" between polymeric sheets for chemical separation, DNA amplification or PCR-based DNA detection. The polymeric films containing the fluid would be sealed upon application of heat and further partitioned into individual microliter or picoliter samples. This approach would allow a continuous flow of samples through the system and minimize reaction and processing times.

LLNL’s technology does not use battery-powered tags. Rather it uses a tag technology that has the same range characteristics of battery-powered tags (approximately 10 m) but without the conventional battery.

An LLNL and UCLA team has recently demonstrated a new compound material that can directly convert thermal energy to electrical energy. Basic research is required before this newly invented material can be produced in the form of a thin film and tested at high frequency. The team is interested in partnering with a company from basic research and development through production of a manufacturing prototype.

Transparent ceramic fabrication allows the production of gadolinium- , lutetium-, and terbium-based garnets which are difficult to grow by melt techniques due to phase instabilities. Phase stabilization of the garnets is accomplished by the addition of the intersubstitutional ions, Gallium and/or Scandium.

Scientists have developed many versatile and scaleable fabrication methods. One includes using Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP) to produce feedstock which is readily converted into phase-pure transparent ceramics. The FSP nanoparticles are formed into a green body, vacuum sintered, then hot-isostatic pressed into optically transparent parts.

The transparent ceramic scintillators have been found to provide a surprisingly high light yield which results in gamma ray…

An invention at LLNL uses a mixture of solid and liquid dielectric media. This combination has properties that are an improvement over either separately. The solid phase, in the form of small pellets, inhibits fluid motion, which reduces leakage currents, while the liquid phase (dielectric oil) provides self-repair capabilities. Also, since the media is removable, the high voltage equipment can be serviced.

The HERMES bridge inspector is an ultrawideband-based nondestructive evaluation (NDE) system. The LLNL-developed system provides 3-D ground penetrating radar information. An array of micropower impulse radar (MIR) sensors is mounted under a trailer. Reflected radar data is gathered by driving the trailer over a bridge at 55 mph and 3-D image maps of the internal structure of the bridge deck are created.

GuardDog technology uses ultra-wideband (UWB) impulse sensors (also known as micropower impulse radar or MIR), optional global positioning systems (GPS), local signal processing, and user-selectable (power and bandwidth) radio frequency (RF) communication transceivers. UWB sensors emit and detect very-low-amplitude and short-voltage impulses for detecting returning radar signals. By employing a precise “range-gate,” UWB signals are used to create an omni-directional detecting shell of user-selected diameter. A network of these sensors can form a protective ad-hoc area-wide coverage, be placed strategically, or form a “fence” around selected facilities, in which all motion inside or outside the area of interest is ignored.

The VITA-D personal biodosimeter technology is designed to measure the vitamin D synthetic capacity of sunlight and/or artificial ultraviolet radiation in-situ, using the same photochemical process from which vitamin D3 is synthesized in human skin.

The innovators envision two embodiments of this technology:

  • Polymer films are doped with molecules of pro-vitamin D and are used as bio-analogue photo-registering elements. The dose measurement is based on changes in the transmission coefficient properties of the film. This can result in a disposable patch and reader technology.
  • Cholesteric liquid crystals (CLC) are doped with molecules of pro-vitamin D and the qualitative dose measurement is based on the color change, and the quantitative dose…

LLNL’s system consists of one or more flashlamp-pumped Nd:glass zig-zag amplifiers, a very low threshold stimulated-Brillouin-scattering (SBS) phase conjugator system, and a free-running single frequency Nd:YLF master oscillator.

LLNL's new EMB designs are intended to answer to all of the new requirements for bulk energy storage systems, including very low parasitic losses and high turnaround efficiency. The new systems are designed for low capital and maintenance cost, and long (decades) service lifetime. The size of the modules will be such as to make them useful in a wide variety of applications, all the way from single-use in residential settings, to use in "battery banks" at substations and/or alternate-energy generating plants.

LLNL has developed a technology that provides near-instantaneous heating of aqueous samples in microfluidic devices. The method heats samples in a focused area within a microfluidic channel on miniaturized chips. The microwave heating device is composed of a waveguide or microstrip transmission line embedded in a microfluidic channel. Aqueous solution microwave heating allows extremely fast heat transfer for both heating and cooling.

The technology is an outgrowth of the world's fastest solid-state digitizer, which was designed to measure sub-nanosecond events generated by fusion experiments on the Laboratory's Nova laser. MIR is based on the radiation of short voltage impulses that are reflected off nearby objects and detected by MIR's extremely high-speed sampling receiver. Prototype units emit one million impulses per second and then detect their echoes within ranges of 20 feet, or further with the addition of synthetic beam forming antennas. The microradar can be preset to detect stationary objects within a precisely defined range as well as any motion within that area. MIR can penetrate materials such as rubber, plastic, wood, concrete, glass, ice, and mud.

LLNL has developed novel nanoporous carbon materials for the surface-stress-induced actuator technology. The morphology of these materials has been designed to combine high surface area and mechanical strength. The process allows for the fabrication of large monolithic pieces with low densities and high structural integrity. One actuation technology relies on electrochemically- induced changes of the surface stress, another on surface-chemistry-induced changes in surface stress. The latter allows for a direct conversion of chemical energy into a mechanical response.