This portfolio was organized to group innovations that might not be categorized in the other portfolios. Instruments are full systems integrated to perform complex electrical or mechanical work. Sensors are devices that detect, measure, or locate a physical property. Electronics are devices that manipulate electrons or control electrical energy, and the manufacturing processes that fabricate them.

Portfolio News and Webcast

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Innovation and Partnerships Office employees capture two national awards

The Department of Energy’s Technology Transfer Working Group recently awarded two Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) employees with “Best in Class” awards during their May spring meeting in Washington, D.C.

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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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LLNL Wins Three R&D 100 Awards

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and engineers have collected three R&D 100 Awards. Often called the “Oscars of invention", the R&D 100 Awards recognize the top 100 industrial inventions worldwide.

Instruments, Sensors, and Electronics Technologies

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…
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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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.…

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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.

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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…

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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."

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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…

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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…