Lawrence Livermore captured three regional awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. John Reynolds and Joe Satcher in the Engineering Directorate and Catherine Elizondo in the Industrial Partnerships Office earned an Outstanding Commercialization Success Award for a portable thin-layer chromatography (TLC) kit. Called microTLC™, this kit can detect and identify explosives, illicit drugs, and environmentally sensitive materials and determine each compound’s purity. MicroTLC also received a 2014 R&D 100 Award. (See S&TR, October/November 2014, Fast and Easy Identification of Explosives and Suspected Drugs.)
An Outstanding Commercialization Success Award also went to Laboratory scientists for their work on a solution-based crystal-growth technology for producing large-scale, high-optical-quality stilbene crystals. Stilbene crystals have superior properties for detecting fast neutrons—a critical capability for detecting special nuclear materials such as plutonium—but the process for manufacturing these crystals has limited their availability. The Laboratory’s scalable technology, which was licensed to Inrad Optics, offers an economic approach for producing this important material. The Livermore team included Natalia Zaitseva, Steve Payne, Nerine Cherepy, and Leslie Carman in the Engineering Directorate as well as Elizondo.
Finally, the Ultrascale Visualization Climate Data Analysis Tools (UV-CDAT), a novel system that climate researchers can use to solve their most complex data-analysis and visualization challenges, was recognized with an Outstanding Partnership Award. UV-CDAT integrates more than 70 disparate scientific software packages and libraries for large-scale climate research. The UV-CDAT development team was led by Livermore scientist Dean Williams in the Computation Directorate and included researchers from Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, and Oak Ridge national laboratories; NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory; New York University; University of Utah; Kitware, Inc.; and Tech-X Corporation.
Tadashi Ogitsu, Woon Ih Choi, and Brandon Wood in the Engineering Directorate and colleagues at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas received the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) 2014 Hydrogen Production R&D Award. The collaborators were honored for their research in producing hydrogen photoelectrochemically—that is, by splitting water molecules using sunlight as the only source of energy. The team’s models characterize photoelectrode surfaces for solar-to-hydrogen fuel conversion. The models have been crucial in developing corrosion mitigation strategies for high-efficiency devices based on semiconductor materials, which offer a viable pathway to meet DOE’s goal of renewable hydrogen production.