Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a leading new chemicals and materials creation with a broad array of applications including batteries, catalysts for clean technology, ceramics, composites, additives and more. The Lab’s unique Advanced Manufacturing capabilities go hand in hand with the creation of novel methods to create new concepts altogether.

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LLNL and Partners Leveraging Microorganisms to Separate and Purify Rare-Earth Elements

LLNL, Penn State, Columbia University, Tufts University, University of Kentucky, Purdue University and industry partner Western Rare Earths will use microbial and biomolecular engineering to develop a scalable bio-based separation and purification strategy for rare-earth elements

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Three LLNL Scientists Inducted into LLNL’s Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame

A trio of LLNL scientists have been inducted into the laboratory's Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame. Each developed technologies during or after their Lab careers that created major economic impacts or spawned new companies.

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Inaugural Industry Forum Inspires Machine Learning Community

LLNL held its first-ever Machine Learning for Industry Forum on August 10-12. Co-hosted by the Lab’s High Performance Computing Innovation Center and Data Science Institute, the virtual event brought together more than 500 participants from the Department of Energy complex, commercial companies, professional societies and academia.

Chemicals and Materials Technologies

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…
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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…

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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.

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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…

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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-…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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)…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…