Paul R. Coronado and John F. Poco
Flexible Aerogel Composite for Mechanical Stability and Process of Fabrication
U.S. Patent 6,087,407
July 11, 2000
A flexible aerogel and process of fabrication. An aerogel solution is mixed with fibers in a mold and allowed to gel. The gel is then processed by supercritical extraction or by air drying to produce a flexible aerogel formed to the shape of the mold. The flexible aerogel has excellent thermal and acoustic properties and can be used in numerous applications, such as for energy absorption and insulation (temperature and acoustic), to meet the contours of aircraft shapes, and in limited spaces-because an inch of aerogel is four to five times better as an insulator than an inch of fiberglass. The flexible aerogel may be inorganic (silica) or organic (carbon) and can contain glass or carbon fibers.
William D. Daily, Clifford Schenkel, and Abelardo L. Ramirez
Electrical Resistance Tomography from Measurements inside a Steel-Cased Borehole
U.S. Patent 6,088,655
July 11, 2000
Electrical resistance tomography (ERT) produced from measurements taken inside a steel-cased borehole. A tomographic inversion of those measurements was then made to image, remotely from the borehole, the electrical resistivity distribution in the formation. The ERT method involves combining electrical resistance measurements made inside a steel-cased borehole, to determine the electrical resistivity in the formation adjacent to the borehole, with the inversion of electrical resistance measurements made from a borehole not cased with electrically conducting material, to determine the electrical resistivity distribution remotely from a borehole. It has been demonstrated that by using these combined techniques, highly accurate current-injection and voltage measurements made at appropriate points within the casing can be tomographically inverted to yield useful information outside the borehole casing.
M. Leslie Carman and Robert T. Taylor
Laboratory Method Used for Bioremediation
U.S. Patent 6,090,287
July 18, 2000
An improved method for in situ microbial filter bioremediation that increases the operational life of an in situ microbial filter emplaced into an aquifer. A method for generating a microbial filter of sufficient catalytic density and thickness so that it needs to be replenished less frequently has improved bacteria attachment and detachment characteristics. It is endogenously more stable under in situ conditions. A system for in situ field water remediation.
Jeffrey S. Haas, Fredrick R. Kelly, John F. Bushman, Michael H. Wiefel, and Wayne A. Jensen
Hand-Portable Thin-Layer Chromatography System
U.S. Patent 6,096,205
August 1, 2000
A hand-portable, field-deployable thin-layer chromatography (TLC) system and a hand-portable, battery-operated unit for illuminating, developing, and acquiring data from the TLC plates. The TLC system contains many miniaturized features that permit a large number of samples to be processed efficiently. It includes a solvent tank, a holder for TLC plates, and a variety of tool chambers for storing TLC plates, solvent, and pipettes. After processing in the TLC system, a TLC plate is positioned in a collapsible illumination box. The box and a charged-coupled device (CCD) camera are optically aligned for optimal pixel resolution of CCD images from the TLC plate. The TLC system also includes an improved development chamber for chemical development of the TLC plates, which prevents solvent overflow.
John F. Cooper, G. Bryan Balazs, Peter Hsu, Patricia R. Lewis, and Martyn G. Adamson
Integrated System for the Destruction of Organics by Hydrolysis and Oxidation with Peroxydisulfate
U.S. Patent 6,096,283
August 1, 2000
An integrated system for destruction of organic waste comprises a hydrolysis step at moderate temperature and pressure, followed by direct chemical oxidation using peroxydisulfate. This system can be used to quantitatively destroy volatile or water-insoluble halogenated organic solvents, contaminated soils and sludges, and the organic component of mixed waste. The hydrolysis step results in a substantially single phase of less volatile, more water-soluble hydrolysis products, thus enabling the oxidation step to proceed rapidly and with minimal loss of organic substrate in the offgas.
Tri D. Tran and Kimio Kinoshita
Surface Modifications for Carbon Lithium Intercalation Anodes
U.S. Patent 6,096,454
August 1, 2000
A prefabricated carbon anode containing predetermined amounts of passivating film components is assembled into a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The modified carbon anode enhances the reduction of the irreversible capacity loss during the first discharge of a cathode-loaded cell. The passivating film components, such as Li2O and Li2CO3, of a predetermined amount effective for optimal passivation of carbon, are incorporated into carbon anode materials to produce dry anodes that are essentially free of battery electrolyte prior to battery assembly.
Robin R. Miles, Phillip Belgrader, and Shanavaz L. Nasarabadi
Microsonicator for Spore Lysis
U.S. Patent 6,100,084
August 8, 2000
A microsonicator for spore lysis. The microsonicator uses ultrasonic excitation of spores to perform spore and cell lysis. The microsonicator comprises a container with a cavity in it for retaining the sample in an ultrasonic transmission medium. The cavity is closed by a silicon membrane to which an electrode and piezoelectric material are attached, with the electrode and piezoelectric material being electrically connected to an ac signal generator. The membrane flexes and vibrates at the frequency of the ac voltage applied to the piezoelectric material.
Duncan J. Maitland, Abraham P. Lee, Daniel L. Schumann, and Luiz Da Silva
Shape-Memory-Polymer (SMP) Gripper with a Release Sensing System
U.S. Patent 6.102,917
August 15, 2000
A system for releasing a target material, such as an embolic coil, from an SMP located at the end of a catheter that uses an optical arrangement for releasing the material. The system includes a laser, laser driver, display panel, photodetector, fiber-optic coupler, fiber optics and connectors, a catheter, an SMP-based gripper, and a release sensing and feedback arrangement. The SMP-based gripper is heated by laser light through an optic fiber. The heat causes the gripper to release a target material (for example, embolic coil for therapeutic treatment of aneurysms). Various embodiments are provided for coupling the laser light into the SMP, including positioning the coils specifically, removing the fiber cladding adjacent to the coil, metal-coating the SMP, doping the SMP with a gradient-absorbing dye, tapering the fiber-optic end, coating the SMP with low-refractive-index material, and locating an insert between the optic fiber and the coil.
Abraham P. Lee, M. Allen Northrup, Dino R. Ciarlo, Peter A. Krulevitch, and William J. Benett
Release Mechanism Utilizing Shape Memory Polymer Material
U.S. Patent 6,012,933
August 15, 2000
Microfabricated therapeutic actuators are fabricated using a shape- memory polymer (SMP), a polyurethane-based material that undergoes a phase transformation at a specified temperature (Tg). At a temperature Tg, material is soft and can be easily reshaped into another configuration. As the temperature is lowered below temperature Tg, the new shape is fixed and locked in as long as the material stays below temperature Tg. When reheated to a temperature above Tg, the material returns to its original shape. Use of SMP for microtubing makes the microtubing a release actuator for the delivery of embolic coils through catheters into aneurysms, for example. The microtubing can be manufactured in various sizes, and the phase-change temperature Tg is determined for an intended temperature target and use.
Ai Quoc Pham and Robert S. Glass
Hydrocarbon Sensors and Materials Therefore
U.S. Patent 6,013,080
August 15, 2000
An electrochemical hydrocarbon sensor and materials for use in sensors. A suitable proton-conducting electrolyte and catalytic materials are applied to the detection and measurement of nonmethane hydrocarbons. The sensor comprises a proton-conducting electrolyte sandwiched between two electrodes. At least one of the electrodes is covered with a hydrocarbon decomposition catalyst. Two different modes of operation for the hydrocarbon sensors can be used: equilibrium versus non-equilibrium measurements and differential catalytic. The sensor has particular application for on-board monitoring of automobile exhaust gases to evaluate the performance of catalytic converters. In addition, the sensor can be used in monitoring any process where hydrocarbons are exhausted, for instance, in industrial power plants. The sensor is low- cost, rugged, sensitive, simple to fabricate, and miniature and does not suffer cross sensitivities.
William C. Moss
Impedance-Matched, Joined Drill Pipe for Improved Acoustic Transmission
U.S. Patent 6,018,268
August 22, 2000
An impedance-matched jointed drill pipe for improved acoustic transmission. A passive means and method that maximize the amplitude and minimize the temporal dispersion of acoustic signals that are sent through a drill string. It is used for measurements made while drilling telemetry systems. The improvement in signal transmission is accomplished by replacing the standard joints in a drill string with joints constructed of a material that is impedance-matched acoustically to the end of the drill pipe to which it is connected. Provides improvement in the technique of measuring while drilling, a technique that can be used in well logging, directional drilling, and drilling dynamics. It is also useful in gamma-ray spectroscopy while drilling post-shot boreholes.
Albert E. Brown
High Energy, Low Frequency Ultrasonic Transducer
U.S. Patent 6,109,109
August 20, 2000
A wide-bandwidth, ultrasonic transducer to generate nondispersive, extensional, pulsed acoustic pressure waves into concrete-reinforced rods and tendons. The wave propagation distance is limited to double the length of the rod. The transducer acoustic impedance is matched to the rod impedance for maximum transfer of acoustic energy. The efficiency of the transducer is approximately 60 percent, depending upon the type of active elements used in the transducer. The transducer input energy is, for example, approximately 1 megajoule. Ultrasonic reflections will occur at points along the rod where there are changes of 1 percent of a wavelength in the rod diameter. A reduction in the rod diameter will reflect a phase-reversed echo, as compared with the reflection from an incremental increase in diameter. Echo signal processing of the stored waveform permits a reconstruction of those echoes in an image of the rod. The ultrasonic transducer has use in the acoustic inspection of long (over 12 meters) architectural reinforcements and structural supporting members such as in bridges and dams.
T-Load Microchannel Array and Fabrication Method
U.S. Patent 6,110,332
August 29, 2000
A three-dimensional T-load for planar microchannel arrays for electrophoresis, for example, which enables sample injection directly onto a plane perpendicular to the ends of the microchannels' axis. This injection is accomplished by forming input wells that extend beyond the ends of the microchannel, thereby eliminating the right angle connection from the input well into the end of the microchannel. In addition, the T-load input well eases the placement of an electrode in or adjacent to the well and thus enables very efficient reproducible electrokinetic (ek) injection. The T-load input well eliminates the prior concerns about input well-microchannel alignment, since the input well can be drilled after the top and bottom microchannel plates are bonded together. The T-load input well may extend partially or entirely through the bottom microchannel plate, which enables more efficient gel and solution flushing and placement of multiple electrodes to assist in the ek sample injection.
Claude Montcalm and Paul B. Mirkarimi
High-Reflectance, Low-Stress, Mo-Si Multilayer Reflective Coatings
U.S. Patent 6,110,607
August 29, 2000
A high-reflectance, low-stress molybdenum-silicon (Mo-Si) multilayer reflective coating particularly useful for the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength region. While the multilayer reflective coating has particular application for EUV lithography, it has numerous other applications where high-reflectance and low-stress multilayer coatings are used. Multilayer coatings having high near-normal incidence reflectance (R greater than or equal to 65 percent) and low residual stress (less than or equal to 100 megapascals) have been produced using thermal and nonthermal approaches. The thermal approach involves heating the multilayer coating to a given temperature for a given time after deposition in order to induce structural changes in the multilayer coating that will have an overall "relaxation" effect without reducing the reflectance significantly.
Richard F. Post
Combined Passive Bearing Element- Generator Motor
U.S. Patent 6,111,332
August 29, 2000
An electric machine includes a cylindrical rotor made up of an array of permanent magnets that provide an N-pole magnetic field of even order (where N = 4, 6, 8, etc.). This array of permanent magnets has bars of identical permanent magnets made of dipole elements where the bars are assembled in a circle. A stator inserted down the axis of the dipole field is made of two sets of windings that are electrically orthogonal to each other, where one set of windings provides stabilization of the stator and the other set of windings couples to the array of permanent magnets and acts as the windings of a generator motor. The rotor and the stator are horizontally disposed, and the rotor is on the outside of said stator. The electric machine may also include two rings of ferromagnetic material. One of these rings would be located at each end of the rotor. Two levitator pole assemblies are attached to a support member that is external to the electric machine. These levitator pole assemblies interact attractively with the rings of ferromagnetic material to produce a levitating force upon the rotor.
Project leader Karl van Bibber represented the Laboratory during the presentation of the DOE Program and Project Management Award to the B Factory project at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). The project comprises two major construction efforts: a two-ring accelerator complex built by a collaboration of SLAC and Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories; and a 1,200-ton particle detector built by a consortium of nine nations. Van Bibber, along with Marshall Mugge, Lou Bertolini, and Curt Belser, led Livermore's work on the construction of the two-ring accelerator complex while Doug Wright and Richard Bionta helped develop the BaBar detector. More than 300 Laboratory scientists and engineers worked on the B Factory over the five years of its construction.
With the top category award, the Department of Energy was acknowledging the $239-million project's on-time, on-budget completion. The B Factory accelerator complex is used to collide a beam of electrons with a counterrotating beam of antielectrons to produce subatomic particles called B mesons. Scientists study the disintegration patterns of the B mesons to try to understand why the universe is dominated by matter when it was created with equal amounts of matter and antimatter.
"Building the B Factory and now doing science with it has been an exhilarating experience," said van Bibber. Added SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan, "I'm delighted that the B Factory was chosen out of a field of such strong contenders. I cannot emphasize strongly enough the wonderful cooperation that existed among the three Bay Area labs during construction. Our colleagues at Livermore and Berkeley were outstanding."