The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is home to the world’s largest laser system, the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The NIF with its 192 beam lines and over 40,000 optics has been an engine of innovation for lasers and optics technologies for the last couple of decades. The Lasers and Optics intellectual property portfolio is the culmination of the many groundbreaking developments in high energy, high peak power and ultrashort pulse laser system design and operation, including technologies related to Laser Diodes, Fiber & Disk Lasers, Compact Telescopes, High Damage Threshold Gratings, High Power Optical Components and their Fabrication and Coating Techniques. The thrust of the research and development at the NIF has been to realize novel approaches for laser systems, optical components and their applications that are more compact and higher efficiency while reliably delivering ever higher energy and peak power capabilities required in the furtherance of LLNL’s missions in Stockpile Stewardship and High Energy Density Science.

Portfolio News and Webcast

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NASA funds LLNL to demonstrate 'replicator' 3D printer to produce cartilage in space

NASA's funding will enable LLNL and Kentucky-based space life sciences company, Space Tango to mature prototypes of the “replicator” technology — a ultrafast 3D printer co-developed by LLNL and the University of California, Berkeley — for bioprinting in microgravity on the International Space Station.

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New laser-based volumetric additive manufacturing method can 3D print glass in seconds

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have demonstrated the ability to 3D-print microscopic objects in silica glass, part of an effort to produce delicate, layer-less optics that can be built in seconds

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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.

Lasers and Optics Technologies

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…
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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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 –…
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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…
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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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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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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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 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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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.

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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…

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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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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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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…

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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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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-…

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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'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…

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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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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…

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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.

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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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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.