IN this issue, S&TR salutes the men and women at Lawrence Livermore who have been recognized by R&D Magazine for developing 6 of the 100 most technologically significant new products and processes of the past year. The magazine, a publication for scientists and engineers, has been holding the R&D 100 Awards competition since 1963 to recognize important technological advancements that promise to improve people's lives.
The most recent competition saw outstanding entries from many of the most prestigious companies, research organizations, and universities in the world. All entries were judged by the magazine's editors and by some 70 outside experts chosen from among professional consultants, university faculty, and industrial researchers who are experts in the areas they judged.
The Laboratory's awards for 1999 are elegant solutions to complex technical problems that span an unusually broad range of fields: laser machining, communications, accelerators, chip manufacturing, cancer therapy, and law enforcement. In-depth descriptions of the winning technologies begin here.
Our achievement is part of a remarkable performance by Department of Energy research facilities that together won 40 of this year's awards. Of that total, sixteen were won by the three DOE national security laboratories-Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia. Over the past three years, Lawrence Livermore scientists, engineers, and technicians have brought home 20 R&D 100 awards. Since 1978, our researchers have captured 81 such awards.
As in past years, most of Livermore's awards are spinoffs of national security-related technology or research. For example, Labratory experts applied their experience in nuclear science, radiation transport, and Monte Carlo mathematical techniques used in weapons research to develop PEREGRINE, a system for more accurate radiation dose calculations for cancer patients. In a similar manner, the Livermore team that developed the Optical Modulator-Switch, an important advance for the communications industry, had initially conceived the device for use on nuclear weapons.
I am pleased that this year's winners come from four Livermore directorates-Laser Programs, Physics, Defense and Nuclear Technologies, and Engineering. I am also pleased that our teams collaborated with colleagues from outside the Laboratory, including Bechtel Nevada, Limited Liability Corporation for Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, U.S. Enrichment Corporation, AlliedSignal Federal Manufacturing & Technology, and the University of Maryland.
The award-winning technologies are as follows:
  • Optical Modulator-Switch, which provides simple and inexpensive solutions to the high cost of modulating data onto a laser beam and switching signals from one data channel to another.
  • Gamma Watermarking, a revolutionary method of identifying material objects, from dinosaur bones to art, using minuscule amounts of gamma-emitting radioisotopes to achieve legal incontrovertibility equivalent to DNA fingerprinting.
  • Diode-Pumped Solid-State Green Laser for Industrial Material Processing, a new laser technology that provides a cost-effective, high-powered replacement to lamp-pumped, solid-state lasers for a host of tasks in laser isotope separation and precision laser machining.
  • Atomic Precision Multilayer Deposition System, a faster, cheaper, and more precise method for depositing multilayer thin films to specific atomic thicknesses over large flat or curved surfaces, an important development for extreme ultraviolet lithography.
  • Solid-State Power Source for Advanced Accelerators and Industrial Applications, a technology that greatly increases the strength of electron beams that are used to produce bursts of x rays for examining the effects of aging on the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile.
  • PEREGRINETM, a hardware and software system that determines accurate, three-dimensional dose calculations for radiation therapy patients by using fundamental physics principles.
    My congratulations to all of the 52 Lawrence Livermore researchers who worked on the award-winning projects. Scientific and technological creativity is clearly flourishing at Lawrence Livermore and throughout the DOE family.

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