Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Sorting, Amplification, Detection, and Identification of Nucleic Acid Subsequences in a Complex Mixture
Neil R. Beer, Benjamin J. Hindson, Billy W. Colson, Jr., Joseph P. Fitch
U.S. Patent 8,338,166 B2
December 25, 2012
This apparatus can identify all the known and unknown pathogenic or nonpathogenic organisms in a sample. A droplet generator creates droplets from the sample. These droplets constitute subnanoliter volume reactors containing the organism-size particles. A lysis device releases the organisms’ nucleic acids. An amplifier amplifies the nucleic acids, and a fractionator releases the nucleic acids from the droplets. A parallel analyzer then identifies all of the known and unknown pathogenic or nonpathogenic organisms.

Thermal Oxidation of Single Crystal Aluminum Antimonide and Materials Having the Same
John William Sherohman, Jick Hong Yee, Arthur William Coombs, III, Kuang Jen J. Wu
U.S. Patent 8,338,916 B2
December 25, 2012
In one method for forming a nonconductive crystalline oxide layer on an aluminum antimonide (AlSb) crystal, the crystal is heat-treated in a partial vacuum. The vacuum temperature is conducive for air-adsorbed molecules to desorb, surface-molecule groups to decompose, and elemental antimony to evaporate from the crystal’s surface. When the crystal is exposed to oxygen, a crystalline oxide layer forms on its surface. In another method, an AlSb crystal is heat-treated in a nonoxidizing atmosphere at a temperature conducive for decomposing an amorphous oxidized surface layer and evaporating elemental antimony from the crystal’s surface. Stable oxides of aluminum and antimony are then formed from residual surface oxygen, which results in a crystalline oxide layer on the crystal’s surface.

Sensor-Guided Threat Countermeasure System
Brent C. Stuart, Lloyd A. Hackel, Mark R. Hermann, James P. Armstrong
U.S. Patent 8,339,580 B2
December 25, 2012
This countermeasure system can protect a target from an incoming sensor-guided threat. It includes a laser system for producing a broadband beam and a means for directing the broadband beam from the target to the threat. The incoming sensor-guided threat is then blinded or confused.

Dual Waveband Compact Catadioptric Imaging Spectrometer
Michael P. Chrisp
U.S. Patent 8,339,600 B2
December 25, 2012
A catadioptric dual-waveband spectrometer images visible through shortwave infrared light and the midwave infrared spectral regions. The instrument disperses visible through shortwave infrared light with a zinc selenide grating and midwave infrared light with a sapphire prism. The grating and prism are at the cold-stop position, enabling the pupil to be split between them. The spectra for both wavebands are focused onto the relevant sections of a single, dual-waveband detector. Spatial keystone distortion is controlled to less than one-tenth of a pixel over the full wavelength range, facilitating the matching of the spectra in the midwave infrared and shorter wavelength regions.

Micro-Optical-Mechanical System Photoacoustic Spectrometer
Jack Kotovsky, William J. Benett, Angela C. Tooker, Jennifer B. Alameda
U.S. Patent 8,342,005 B2
January 1, 2013
All-optical photoacoustic spectrometer sensing (PASS) systems include the hardware needed to determine whether any of a variety of materials (solid, liquid, and gas) is present. Some all-optical PASS systems require only two optical fibers to communicate with the optoelectronic power and readout systems outside the material environment. These methods improve the signal-to-noise ratio and enable microscale systems.

Matrix-Assisted Energy Conversion in Nanostructured
Piezoelectric Arrays Donald J. Sirbuly, Xianying Wang, Yinmin Wang
U.S. Patent 8,344,597 B2
January 1, 2013
A nanoconverter can directly generate electricity through a nanostructure embedded in a polymer layer that experiences differential thermal expansion in a stress-transfer zone. Semiconductor nanowires or nanotubes with a high surface-to-volume ratio (such as zinc oxide, silicon, and carbon) are grown either aligned or substantially vertically aligned on a substrate. The resulting nanoforest is then embedded with the polymer layer, which transfers stress to the nanostructures in the stress-transfer zone. A nanostructure voltage output occurs as a result of the piezoelectric effect acting on the nanostructure. Electrodes attached at both ends of the nanostructure generate output power at densities of about 20 nanowatts per square centimeter with heating temperatures of about 65°C. Nanoconverters arrayed in a series parallel arrangement may be constructed in planar, stacked, or rolled arrays to supply power to nano- and microdevices without use of external batteries.

Phase-Sensitive X-Ray Imager
Kevin Louis Baker
U.S. Patent 8,351,569 B2
January 8, 2013
X-ray phase-sensitive wavefront sensor techniques can measure the entire two-dimensional x-ray electric field, both the amplitude and phase, with a single measurement. Hartmann and two-dimensional shear interferometry wavefront sensors do not require a temporally coherent source and are compatible with x-ray tubes and laser-produced or X-pinch x-ray sources.

Multiplex Detection of Agricultural Pathogens
Thomas R. Slezak, Shea Gardner, Clinton Torres, Elizabeth Vitalis, Raymond J. Lenhoff
U.S. Patent 8,354,514 B2
January 15, 2013
These kits can be used to detect agricultural pathogens. Genomic sequence data from agricultural pathogens are analyzed to identify signature sequences, such as polynucleotide sequences, and determine whether a pathogen is present in a sample. Primer and probe sets are optimized for use in a polymerase-chain-reaction–based, multiplexed Luminex assay to identify pathogens that are present in a sample.

UWB Transmitter
Gregory E. Dallum, Garth C. Pratt, Peter C. Haugen, Carlos E. Romero
U.S. Patent 8,355,453 B2
January 15, 2013
An ultrawideband (UWB) dual-impulse transmitter is made of a trigger-edge-selection circuit actuated by a single-trigger input pulse. A step recovery diode– (SRD-) based pulser connects to the trigger-edge-selection circuit to generate an initial impulse output. A second SRD-based pulser connects to the trigger-edge-selection circuit in parallel with the first pulser to generate a second impulse output, which has a selected delay from the first impulse output.

Slurried Solid Media for Simultaneous Water Purification and Carbon Dioxide Removal from Gas Mixtures
Roger D. Aines, William L. Bourcier, Brian Viani
U.S. Patent 8,361,195 B2
January 29, 2013
A slurried solid media simultaneously purifies water and removes carbon dioxide from gas mixtures. The gas mixture and carbon dioxide are dissolved in water, providing a gas–carbon dioxide–water mixture. A porous solid media is added to this mixture to form a slurry, which is then heated. Steam produced in the heating process is cooled, which yields purified water and carbon dioxide.

Imaging Mass Spectrometer with Mass Tags
James S. Felton, Kuang Jen J. Wu, Mark G. Knize, Kristen S. Kulp, Joe W. Gray
U.S. Patent 8,362,415 B2
January 29, 2013
This method for analyzing biological material exposes the material to a recognition element that is coupled to a mass tag element. A mass-spectrometer ion beam directed toward the biological material interrogates at least one region of interest, producing data that can then be distributed in plots.

Sensor and Transmitter System for Communication in Pipelines
John F. Cooper, Alan K. Burnham
U.S. Patent 8,362,919 B2
January 29, 2013
This system is designed for sensing and communicating in a pipeline that contains a fluid. An acoustic signal with information about one of the fluid properties is produced in the pipeline and transmitted through it. The signal with the relevant information is received and used by a control.

Laser Heating of Aqueous Samples on a Micro-Optical-Electro-Mechanical System
Neil Reginald Beer, Ian Kennedy
U.S. Patent 8,367,976 B2
February 5, 2013
In this system for heating a sample on a microchip, the sample is positioned within a microchannel flow channel, and a laser beam is directed onto the sample to heat it. A wall section in the microchannel receives the laser beam and allows the beam to pass through without the microchannel being appreciably heated by the beam. A carrier fluid in the microchannel moves the sample such that the fluid is not appreciably heated by the laser beam.