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June 2001

The Laboratory
in the News

Commentary by
Lee Younker

Turning Carbon
Directly into

Research in State
and Beyond

This Nitrogen
Molecule Really
Packs Heat

Goes to Work





The Laboratory
in the News

Coating protects, improves telescopes
Livermore scientists Jesse Wolfe and Norman Thomas have patented an ultrathin silver coating for mirrors that is far more durable than any previously used. It improves the long-term performance of telescopes and lasers by slowing the deterioration of the mirror coatings vital to these instruments.
Wolfe, Thomas, and their support team recently coated on
a 56-centimeter-diameter mirror at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Within the next few months, the mirror coating is also scheduled for installation on several of the world’s major telescopes, including Kitt Peak in Tucson, Arizona, and possibly the South African Large Telescope and the California Extremely Large Telescope.
Thomas explains, “These large telescopes typically involve five or six reflections from coated mirrors, which affect the collection efficiency. Our coating will give each mirror a consistent 97-percent reflectivity. Previous coatings provided about 90-percent reflectivity. Combine the effect from several mirrors, and we may have up to 35-percent increased collection efficiency for many years from each of these large telescopes.”
The improved coating is also being installed to protect the thousands of mirrors to be used in the National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) flashlamps, according to Wolfe. Research on the more durable coating was initiated for the NIF project.
In June, mirrors with the new silver coating will travel to the International Space Station for long-term testing in the rigorous conditions of outer space.
Contact: Norman Thomas (925) 422-0486 (

Teller Education Center founded for K–12 teachers
The University of California at Davis, in collaboration with the UC Office of the President, UC Merced, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has established the Edward Teller Education Center adjacent to the UC Davis Department of Applied Science at Livermore.
Funded by the Office of the President and the Laboratory, the center will provide opportunities for the professional development of kindergarten-through-twelvth-grade (K–12) teachers working in participating school districts within the Tri-Valley area surrounding the Laboratory and the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys in central California. In addition, local community colleges and school districts, state universities,
and industry will support and participate in center activities. The center will provide learning opportunities to support professional development throughout a teacher’s career. It may also offer advanced-placement science classes for students who otherwise would not have access to them.
The new 338-square-meter building includes a wet laboratory classroom, a computer technology classroom, high-speed computer network connections, and overhead projection systems to demonstrate the latest teaching tools and instruction methods. The facility is scheduled to open September 1, 2001.
The center is named for Edward Teller, co-founder of Lawrence Livermore, the founding chair of the Department of Applied Science at UC Davis, and a life-long promoter of excellence in science education.
“The center is a fantastic resource to help teachers from various disciplines develop their teaching skills and acquire content knowledge,” says Richard Farnsworth, interim director of the center and manager of K–12 education and outreach for Livermore’s Science and Technology Education Program.
Contact: Richard Farnsworth (925) 422-5059 (

Prototype EUVL chip-making machine unveiled
In early April at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, industry and government officials celebrated the completion of the first full-scale prototype machine for making computer chips using extreme ultraviolet lithography. EUVL technology is a breakthrough that will lead to microprocessors that are tens of times faster than today’s most powerful chips and create memory chips with similar increases in storage capacity.
“The completion of the prototype machine marks a major milestone for the program, since we have proven that EUV lithography works,” says Chuck Gwyn, program manager of the Extreme Ultraviolet Limited Liability Company (EUV LLC), the consortium of Intel, Motorola, Advanced Micro Devices, Micron Technology, Infineon, and IBM.
Through an agreement that spans 1997 through early 2002, EUV LLC is funding the EUVL development research by the Virtual National Laboratory (VNL), a collaboration of three Department of Energy national laboratories—Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley, and Sandia. The VNL–EUV LLC collaboration produced the prototype EUVL machine, called the Engineering Test Stand.
At the April celebration, John Gordon, administrator of the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, asserted, “The EUVL partnership demonstrates that fundamental science and innovative ideas can be applied toward solutions in both the commercial and public sectors. These kinds of challenges are exactly the kind of work our national laboratories does best.”
Contact: Gordon Yano (925) 423-3117 (

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UCRL-52000-01-6 | July 23, 2001