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The Lead

Water-cooled Perfection

August 20, 2014 4:47 pm | Award Winners

Hewlett-Packard and National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s HP Apollo supercomputing platform approaches HPC from an entirely new perspective as the system is cooled directly with warm water. This is done through a “dry-disconnect” cooling concept that has been implemented with the simple but efficient use of heat pipes. Unlike cooling fans, which are designed for maximum load, the heat pipes can be optimized by administrators.

Chaos that Brings Order

August 20, 2014 4:29 pm | Award Winners

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s DUCCS is ultra-efficient...

New Playing Field for Localization Microscopy

August 20, 2014 3:58 pm | Award Winners

Prior to the introduction of the ELYRA P.1 with 3D PALM by Carl Zeiss...

Indentation Tool for Biomedicine

August 20, 2014 3:40 pm | Award Winners

Hysitron Inc. developed a nano- to microscale biomechanical test...

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Pocket Microscope

August 20, 2014 3:28 pm | Award Winners

Most microscopes are expensive, built with high-quality metals, optics and electronics to perform with high accuracy. However, not all useful microscopes need to be built this way, and Stanford Univ. has taken this premise to the extreme with a microscope that is made with parts that cost less than $1. A frugal, origami-based solution, the Foldscope can be assembled from 2-D media in less than 10 min, yet can provide more than 2,000X magnification, which is submicrometer resolution.

Lifting Limits on Thermal AFM

August 20, 2014 3:18 pm | Award Winners

With the introduction of the VertiSense Scanning Thermal Microscopy Module, Applied NanoStructures Inc. has brought a new level of flexibility to thermal imaging using an atomic force microscope (AFM). The probe module’s sensor design provides, for the first time, absolute and nanoscale temperature measurement during the application of scanning thermal microscopy (SThM), which captures both topographical and thermal images.

Beating the Diffraction Limit

August 20, 2014 3:05 pm | Award Winners

Super-resolution microscopy has emerged as a leading subcellular imaging technique over the past decade, bringing tagged nanoscopic biological elements into full view for researchers. Leica Microsystems has been a development leader in this segment of microscopy, and one of its newest products, the TCS SP8 STED 3X, brings a new element to imaging capabilities.

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Nanoscale Measuring, Without Harm

August 20, 2014 2:42 pm | Award Winners

Engineers at Hitachi Ltd.’s Yokohama Research Laboratory have achieved a spatial resolution of 3 nm and imaging repeatability of 0.5 nm in the new Plasmon‐Excitation Optical Scanning Probe Microscope (Optical SPM), which allows users to obtain difficult nondestructive measurements of nanoscale devices.

Rapid Non-contact 3-D Measurements

August 20, 2014 2:26 pm | KEYENCE Corporation | Award Winners

Contact-type measurement systems are often used to acquire accurate 3-D measurements. However, multiple adjustments, such as probe and sample placements, must be set prior to the measurement function and the user is left with a single data line for future evaluation. Keyence Corp. conceived its VR-3000 Series One-shot 3D Measurement Macroscope as a way to reduce this time investment: It achieves height information data capture in just 5 sec on parts up to 10 mm and has a measurement repeatability of 0.5 μm. This is a first in non-contact 3-D inspection and measurement.

Flattening Yields Faster CT

August 20, 2014 2:14 pm | Award Winners

In 2012, more than 85 million computed tomography (CT) scans were performed in the U.S. Of these, 16% were thoracic scans. Up to now, this has been done manually and sequentially in what is a tedious, lengthy and error-prone process. Engineers at Siemens Corporate Technology and Siemens Healthcare, Computed Tomography have launched a new solution to save radiologists time and increase diagnostic confidence for thoracic bone assessment.

Corn Fears No Drought

August 20, 2014 1:57 pm | Award Winners

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, many states across the U.S. currently display drought conditions ranging from severe to exceptional, including regions in the Western Great Plains. In 2013, corn farmers in these areas were able to plant deeper roots and produce strong yields with Monsanto’s Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids.

Cleaning Up Catastrophic Messes

August 20, 2014 1:50 pm | Award Winners

Hitachi Research Laboratory and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd joined together to develop the Hitachi Cs-Sr simultaneous adsorbent to treat radionuclide-contaminated water being stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. This adsorbent is the first of its kind that can simultaneously adsorb radioactive cesium (Cs) and radioactive strontium (Sr) dissolved in water at a high adsorption rate of 99% or better, satisfying the standards for drinking water established by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (radiation dose of 10 Bq/L or less) using half the quantity of conventional adsorbents.

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Clean Water for All

August 20, 2014 12:09 pm | Award Winners

Clean Filtration Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, has developed the TEQUATIC PLUS fine particle filter. The filter is a disruptive technology that unlike conventional filters can clean itself. Constant fouling and plugging are things of the past, replaced by high uptime and low maintenance.

Particulate Filter Relies on RF

August 19, 2014 4:54 pm | Award Winners

Jointly developed by Filter Sensing Technologies Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the RF-DPF Diesel Particulate Filter Sensor is a radio frequency (RF)-based sensor and control system used to measure the amount, type and distribution of contaminants on ceramic diesel particulate filters (DPFs).

Calcium Loop for Carbon Capture

August 19, 2014 4:11 pm | Award Winners

Industrial Technology Research Institute’s HECLOT: High efficiency calcium looping technology is a carbon capture technology for fossil power plants and other industrial emission reductions. It loops calcium oxide and calcium carbonate (CaO/CaCO3) in a regenerative cycle to remove carbon dioxide in the post-combustion fumes of boilers. With integrated hydration, the technology has much higher CO2 capture efficiency and, potentially, much lower cost than other technologies.

A Safire in the Rough

August 19, 2014 3:51 pm | Award Winners

A multi-phase flow meter, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Safire provides noninvasive, real-time and accurate estimates of oil production for every well. Jointly developed with Chevron ETC and GE Measurement & Control, Safire achieves measurement rates as high as 100 readings/sec, including computation time.

Hold the Mercury

August 19, 2014 3:22 pm | Award Winners

Novinda Corp.’s Amended Silicates HgX (AS-HgX) is a non-carbon mercury capture reagent that removes mercury from coal-fired power emissions, enabling utilities to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s strict Mercury and Air Toxic Standards.

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A Better Battery Choice

August 19, 2014 2:31 pm | Award Winners

As consumers we are ever more connected these days through tablets, smartphones, smart watches, and smart glasses, while the abundance of apps has made our lives more convenient and interesting. However, the battery in these electronics barely lasts a day. SolidEnergy SystemsSolid Polymer Ionic Liquid (SPiL) rechargeable lithium battery could potentially be the biggest breakthrough in battery technology since Sony introduced the first Li-ion battery in 1991.

No Overcharging Here

August 19, 2014 2:14 pm | Award Winners

Thorough testing by A123 Systems LLC has shown that ANL-RS2 Advanced Redox Shuttle Additive is a highly reliable and high-performance electrolyte additive for EV battery cells using LiFePO4 as the cathode material. When dissolved in the electrolyte of a LiFePO4-based lithium-ion battery cell, the ANL-RS2 Redox Shuttle Additive remains inert until the potential of the cell increases from 3.6 to 3.9 V during an overcharging event.

A New DDF Engine Conversion Kit

August 19, 2014 1:57 pm | Award Winners

PTT Public Co. Ltd.’s PTT DIESEL CNG is a new concept for DDF engine conversions which improves the gas engine characteristics by increasing the diesel replacement ratio to 50%, increasing engine efficiency 30% and reducing methane emission 30% compared with conventional technologies.

An Electric Charge

August 19, 2014 1:39 pm | Award Winners

Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc.’s High-Performance Silicon Carbide-based Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Charger is a Level 2 isolated on-board vehicular battery charger that utilizes silicon carbide (SiC) power devices for application in electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

A Magnetic Solution to Power Flow

August 19, 2014 1:09 pm | Award Winners

The control of power flow in power systems is a major concern for utilities and system operators. But full power flow control has been prohibitively expensive, requiring large numbers of complicated and costly devices. As a result, power systems almost always operate sub-optimally at billions of dollars per year. A simple, magnetic-field-based valve-like device for power flow control, the Continuously Variable Series Reactor (CVSR), developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, SPX Transformer Solutions Inc. and the Univ. of Tennessee, has introduced substantial improvements.

A Leap in Power Generation

August 19, 2014 12:37 pm | Award Winners

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reactor System (STARS) addresses a major criticism of solar energy, which, like wind power, can’t provide continuous output. Because of its design, STARS doesn’t require power plants to cease operations when the sun sets or clouds cover the sky.

Faster Semiconductor Inspections

August 19, 2014 11:40 am | Award Winners

Industrial Technology Research Institute developed the ICTA In-Line Compact Thermal Analyzer. ICTA technology is a shipping inspection technique used for LED manufacture, mainly in solving the thermal-induced stress in semiconductor devices, improving package design, identifying material properties or estimating facilities lifespan.

Enhanced Oscilloscopes

August 19, 2014 11:39 am | Agilent Technologies Inc. | Award Winners

Agilent Technologies recently introduced the N2820A Series High-Sensitivity, High Dynamic Range Oscilloscope Current Probe. Though labeled as a current probe, the N2820A is actually a highly sensitive oscilloscope voltage probe. By measuring voltages as small as 5 uV, across a current sense resistor, the probe can determine the current flowing through the resistor.

An Industry First

August 19, 2014 11:37 am | Award Winners

Texas Instrument’s LDC1000 is the industry’s first inductance-to-digital converter (LDC), providing electronics system designers with a new platform for developing breakthrough solutions to difficult system problems. The LDC1000 design team combined unique circuit and architecture topologies to create the product.

Nano Charge

August 19, 2014 11:36 am | Award Winners

Texas Instruments' bq25570 is a new, highly integrated energy-harvesting nanopower management solution that meets the needs of ultra-low power applications. Energy harvester design is tricky; it’s important that power management electronics consume the lowest amount of power to maximize efficiency.

Cooling for Space Applications

August 19, 2014 11:34 am | Award Winners

NASA Glenn Research Center and Thermacore Inc. have developed Therma-Base. Therma-Base is a heat pump design that offers several advantages in addition to its basic passive heat transfer capability: simple and reliable operation; highly effective thermal conductivity; no moving parts; and quiet, vibration-free operation.

Sanitation in the Third World

August 19, 2014 11:31 am | Award Winners

Lack of safe sanitation facilities causes 2,000 deaths/day worldwide, mostly among children. American Standard set out to help save these lives with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge to develop and test a low-cost, pre-fabricated toilet system for use in developing countries.

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