Andrew M. Hawryluk
Forming Aspheric Optics by Controlled Deposition
U.S. Patent 5,745,286
April 28, 1998
Controlled deposition of a material onto a spherical surface of an optical element to form an aspheric surface of desired shape. A reflecting surface can then be formed on the aspheric surface by evaporative or sputtering techniques. Aspheric optical elements are suitable for deep ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths. The reflecting surface may, for example, be a thin (about 100-nanometer) layer of aluminum, or in some cases the deposited modifying layer may function as the reflecting surface.

Gary D. Power
Ground Plane Insulating Coating for Proximity Focused Devices
U.S. Patent 5,780,961
July 14, 1998
The ground plane of a microchannel plate is coated with a thin layer of aluminum oxide that does not cover its pores, so its performance is not affected. The thin dielectric coating greatly improves the spatial resolution of proximity-focused image intensifiers. The phosphor screen can be run at 9,000 volts, compared with 3 kilovolts without the coating.

Stephen E. Sampayan, George J. Caporaso, and Hugh C. Kirbie
Enhanced Dielectric-Wall Linear Accelerator
U.S. Patent 5,811,944
September 22, 1998
A dielectric-wall linear accelerator comprising a stack of paired fast and slow Blumlein modules. The stack is shaped as a hollowed round cylinder through whose core charged particles are accelerated. To withstand acceleration gradients that can reach 20 megavolts per meter, a novel insulator structure is used to construct a dielectric sleeve that fits tightly into the core. The insulator comprises flat annular rings of fused silica, with thicknesses on the order of 1 millimeter, arranged with their planes perpendicular to the core axis. At least one metal is deposited and diffused into each of two sides of the fused-silica, flat-annular rings. The rings are fused together into one hollow cylinder by applying enough heat and pressure to weld, braze, or solder the metal-to-metal interfaces. Exothermic multilayer foils can also be sandwiched in the stack under pressure and then ignited to flash bond the fused-silica, flat-annular rings together.

George J. Caporaso, Stephen E. Sampayan, and Hugh C. Kirbie
Dielectric-Wall Linear Accelerator with a High Voltage Fast Rise Time Switch That Includes a Pair of Electrodes between which Are Laminated Alternating Layers of Isolated Conductors and Insulators
U.S. Patent 5,821,705
October 13, 1998
A high-voltage, fast rise-time switch that includes a pair of electrodes in between which are laminated alternating layers of isolated conductors and insulators. A high voltage is placed between the electrodes sufficient to stress the voltage breakdown of the insulator on command. A light trigger, such as a laser, is focused along at least one line along the edge surface of the laminated alternating layers of isolated conductors and insulators extending between the electrodes. The laser is energized to initiate a surface breakdown by a fluence of photons, thus causing the electrical switch to close very promptly.

Paul G. Carey, Patrick M. Smith, John Havens, and Phil Jones
Plastic Substrates for Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display Incapable of Withstanding Processing Temperature of over 200°ree;C and Method of Fabrication
U.S. Patent 5,856,858
January 5, 1999
Bright-polarizer-free, active-matrix liquid-crystal displays are formed on plastic substrates. The primary components of the display are a pixel circuit fabricated on one plastic substrate, an intervening liquid-crystal material, and a counter electrode on a second plastic substrate. The pixel circuit contains one or more thin-film transistors (TFTs) and either a transparent or reflective pixel electrode manufactured at sufficiently low temperatures to avoid damage to the plastic substrate. Fabrication of the TFTs can be carried out at temperatures less than 100°ree;C.

Robert S. Glass
Urea Biosensor for Hemodialysis Monitoring
U.S. Patent 5,858,186
January 12, 1999
An electrochemical sensor capable of detecting and quantifying urea in fluids resulting from hemodialysis procedures. The sensor is based upon measurement of the pH change produced in an aqueous environment by the products of the enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of urea. The sensor may be fabricated using methods amenable to mass fabrication, resulting in low-cost sensors and thus providing the potential for disposable use. The sensor could be used in treatment centers for determining the hemodialysis endpoint and in home tests to determine whether dialysis is necessary.

Alex V. Hamza, Mehdi Balooch, and Mehran Moalem
Process for Forming Silicon Carbide Films and Microcomponents
U.S. Patent 5,861,346
January 19, 1999
Silicon carbide films and microcomponents grown on silicon substrates at surface temperatures between 900 and 1,700 kelvins via carbon-60 precursors in a hydrogen-free environment. Selective crystalline silicon growth can be achieved on patterned silicon-silicon oxide samples. Patterned silicon carbide films are produced by making use of the high-reaction probability of carbon-60 with silicon at surface temperatures greater than 900 kelvins and the negligible-reaction probability for carbon-60 on silicon dioxide at surface temperatures less than 1,250 kelvins.

Richard F. Post
Fail Safe Controllable Output Improved Version of the Electromechanical Battery
U.S. Patent 5,861,690
January 19, 1999
Mechanical means are provided to control the voltages induced in the windings of a generator/motor. In one embodiment, a lever is used to withdraw or insert the entire stator windings from the cavity where the rotating field exists. In another, voltage control and/or switching off the output is achievable with a variable-coupling generator/motor. A stator is made up of two concentric layers of windings, with a larger number of turns on the inner layer. The windings connect in series. One or both windings can be rotated with respect to the other. The design for the stator assembly of electromechanical batteries provides knife-switch contacts that are in electrical contact with the stator windings.


Ronald Natali recently traveled to DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to represent the Laboratory's Hazardous Materials Packaging and Transportation Safety (HMPTS) Assurance Office at the Hammer Award ceremonies. These awards are given annually by Vice President Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government to federal and contractor employees who have contributed significantly to making government more efficient and cost-effective. The HMPTS Assurance Office won as part of a group of DOE contractors, the Suppliers Quality Information Group (SQIG), that shares supplier assessment information to save money by eliminating the need for each contractor to evaluate the same suppliers.
HMPTS is responsible for making sure all packaging and containers purchased by the Laboratory for transporting hazardous materials and waste meet applicable regulatory requirements. The office, like all SQIG contractors, contributes to and shares in SQIG's database of supplier evaluation information gathered from assessment visits. In fiscal year 1998, 36 percent of the HMPTS supplier assessments were done through the SQIG database, resulting in a significant cost saving for the Livermore program and ultimately DOE. SQIG participants are also working to standardize the assessment process, work beneficial to both DOE and vendors.
Laboratory scientist Grant Logan has received the Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award for his nearly 25 years of contributions in both magnetic and inertial fusion energy. The award is presented each year to individuals who have shown "outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion."
Logan, who has been a Livermore employee since 1975, is deputy director of DOE's Heavy-Ion Fusion Virtual National Laboratory and coordinator of inertial fusion energy technology for DOE's Fusion Energy Virtual Laboratory for Technology-both based at Lawrence Livermore. The citation on Logan's award states, "Your outstanding leadership qualities, your innovative contributions to both magnetic and inertial fusion energy programs, as well as to fusion power and fusion applications in general, have provided researchers a rich array of options to explore."

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