Each year R&D Magazine selects the 100 most technologically significant products and processes submitted for consideration and honors them with an R&D 100 award. The R&D 100 judges look for products or processes that promise to change people's lives, such as by significantly improving the environment, health care, or security. Since the competition began in 1963, the Laboratory has won 50 R&D 100 awards. In 1994, the Laboratory received six R&D 100 awards. Three of them--multilayer dielectric diffraction gratings, methods for rapidly growing high-quality crystals, and several varieties of apatite crystals doped with ytterbium-- contribute to advances in laser technology (and in turn to research in inertial confinement fusion, which promises someday to be a major source of energy for civil uses). We have advanced the limits of high-precision metrology by developing an amplifier for use with sensors that measure surface irregularities; and to increase the speed of fiber-optic communication, we have developed a method of achieving submicrometer accuracies of component alignment at 10 to 20 times less cost than that of current methods. Finally, our chromosome-specific DNA probes for identifying chromosomes of the laboratory mouse are 60 times faster than the standard banding method. The Laboratory's six 1994 awards demonstrate once again that research derived from defense concerns can contribute civil applications that advance U.S. economic competitiveness and promise improved human well being.
The X-Ray Laser Program, which evolved from a laser system that could protect against Soviet missiles, achieved many great technical and physics accomplishments. We are finding that much of the technology developed by the program can be used to advance research in weapons diagnostics, plasma physics, biotechnology, medicine, and industrial materials. The program's legacy includes: development of advanced electro-optic diagnostic devices; a better understanding of x-ray laser physics; an array of sophisticated computational tools for modeling plasma physics; a laboratory x-ray laser for biological imaging; the development of advanced materials, such as aerogel and SEAgel; new measurement techniques for characterizing materials; and a unique, world-class research facility, called the electron-beam ion trap (EBIT), for performing atomic physics experiments.
and LLNL Disclaimers