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Self-assembly overcomes superparamagnetism

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

The development of ultra-high magnetic storage devices has been hampered by superparamagnetism, a nanoscale phenomenon that causes data loss. A new type of magnetic media and fabrication process invented at Oak Ridge National Laboratory overcomes this problem.

ORNL's LandScan population dataset licensed to EVC

July 29, 2011 5:27 am | News | Comments

UT-Battelle has entered into an exclusive distributorship license with East View Cartographic (EVC) for a population distribution database. The LandScan High Resolution Global Population DataSet, developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has already seen success in a number of research, educational, humanitarian, and corporate applications.

New spin on friction-stir

July 26, 2011 5:03 am | News | Comments

Researchers Zhili Feng, Alan Frederic, and Stan David in Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Materials S&T Division have made significant progress toward a new metal processing technique, called friction-stir extrusion, that could represent a major advance in converting recyclable materials to useful products.


US ITER awards contract to General Atomics for superconducting magnets

July 20, 2011 5:15 am | News | Comments

The US ITER Project Office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory competitively awarded a multi-year contract to General Atomics to produce superconducting magnets for the central solenoid of ITER, an experimental fusion facility that aims to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for the commercial power grid.

Hydrogen: The key to growing high-quality graphene?

July 19, 2011 4:16 am | by Ron Walli | News | Comments

A new approach to growing graphene greatly reduces problems that have plagued researchers in the past, clearing a path to the crystalline form of graphite's use in sophisticated electronic devices of tomorrow.

It takes three to tango

July 13, 2011 5:47 am | News | Comments

The nucleus of an atom, like most everything else, is more complicated than we first thought. Just how much more complicated is the subject of a Petascale Early Science project led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's David Dean. According to findings outlined in Physical Review Letters , researchers who want to understand how and why a nucleus hangs together as it does and disintegrates when and how it does have a very tough job ahead of them.

Increased production of sulfur compound tied to climate change

June 24, 2011 11:53 am | News | Comments

An organic compound that smells like cabbage and has been called the "smell of the sea" could be more sensitive to global climate change than commonly believed. In a recent report, a Livermore researcher, along with colleagues from Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, found through computer modeling that dimethyl sulfide (DMS) will increase significantly in certain parts of the ocean and decrease in others if the world continues with a business-as-usual fossil fuel dependency.

Neutrons, simulations reveal details of bioenergy barrier

June 16, 2011 6:21 am | News | Comments

A first of its kind combination of experiment and simulation at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing a close-up look at the molecule that complicates next-generation biofuels.


Package tracking system takes social media to new heights

June 14, 2011 4:17 am | by Ron Walli | News | Comments

What has made the Internet such a success could help change the way high-dollar and hazardous packages are tracked, according to Randy Walker of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Explaining the dynamics behind the best thermoelectric materials

June 7, 2011 4:27 am | by Bill Cabage | News | Comments

Neutron analysis of the atomic dynamics behind thermal conductivity is helping scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory gain a deeper understanding of how thermoelectric materials work. The analysis could spur the development of a broader range of products with the capability to transform heat to electricity.

Curious case of germanium-72

June 2, 2011 9:29 am | by Leo Williams | News | Comments

Physicists from Oak Ridge National Laborator, the Univ. of Tennessee, and Germany's GSI in Darmstadt recently used ORNL's Jaguar supercomputer to explore the pair bonding of neutrons in one uncommon isotope—germanium-72. In doing so they discovered that changes in temperature and rotation take the nucleus through at least two physical phases.

Characterizing the renegade protein in Huntington's Disease

May 19, 2011 5:15 am | by Agatha Bardoel | News | Comments

An ORNL-Univ. of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine collaboration has for the first time successfully characterized the earliest structural formation of the disease type of the protein "huntingtin" that creates such havoc in Huntington's Disease.

Silver ionic liquids are powerful solvents for oil industry

May 16, 2011 10:57 am | by Agatha Bardoel | News | Comments

The separation of olefins and paraffin, two hydrocarbon compounds in petroleum waste streams, is a heavy expense for the petrochemical industry.  Oak Ridge National Lab research using powerful spectrometry methods reveal that silver complex-based ionic liquids have considerable promise as economical alternatives to existing solvents.


ORNL solar cell technology cranks up efficiency

April 29, 2011 7:38 am | News | Comments

With the creation of a 3D nanocone-based solar cell platform, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jun Xu has boosted the light-to-power conversion efficiency of photovoltaics by nearly 80%.

Nanotechnologists: Taking lessons from nature

April 29, 2011 4:47 am | by David Salisbury | News | Comments

In the workaday world, engineers and scientists go to great lengths to make the devices we use as perfect as possible. When we flip on a light switch or turn the key on the car, we expect the lights to come on and the engine to start every time, with only rare exceptions. They have done so by using a top-down design process combined with the application of large amounts of energy to increase reliability by suppressing natural variability. However, this brute-force approach will not work in the nanoscale world that scientists are beginning to probe in the search for new electrical and mechanical devices.

Conducting ferroelectrics: The key to new electronic memory?

April 26, 2011 4:29 am | News | Comments

Novel properties of ferroelectric materials discovered at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are moving scientists one step closer to realizing a new paradigm of electronic memory storage. A new study revealed that contrary to previous assumptions, domain walls in ferroelectric materials act as dynamic conductors instead of static ones.

Nature sets standard for nanoscience revolution

April 19, 2011 5:12 am | News | Comments

By striving for control and perfection in everything from computer chips to commercial jets, scientists and engineers actually exclude a fundamental force that allows nature to outperform even their best efforts. Although it may appear to defy logic, imperfections, and the seemingly randomness among even the lowly bacteria help keep nature a couple of steps ahead, according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers.

TextOre license puts ORNL's Piranha in its tank

April 5, 2011 5:23 am | News | Comments

TextOre's licensing of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Piranha is enabling the Virginia-based company to introduce a powerful search and mining tool capable of processing large amounts of text data from the Internet.

Thermoelectric materials: recycling energy

March 31, 2011 5:50 am | News | Comments

Thermoelectric materials are a hot new technology that is now being studied intensively by researchers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Frontier Research Centers. An Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher is using neutron scattering and computer simulation to investigate the microscopic structure and dynamics of thermoelectric materials so that researchers can make them more efficient for new, energy-saving applications.

Key plant traits yield more sugar for biofuels

March 29, 2011 5:24 am | News | Comments

New clues about plant structure are helping researchers from the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center narrow down a large collection of poplar tree candidates and identify winners for future use in biofuel production.

Japan earthquake, tsunami spell need for preparedness

March 29, 2011 4:23 am | News | Comments

Perhaps lost in the recent debates related to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is that natural disasters and not nuclear energy should be the focus, says Oak Ridge National Laboratory's John Sorensen, an emergency preparedness expert.

Scientists use neutrons to study properties of piezoelectric ceramics

March 25, 2011 5:42 am | News | Comments

Stress, fatigue, and heavy loads aren't always negative elements of work—in fact, they are what attracted Jennifer Forrester to the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Neutron analysis yields insight into bacteria for solar energy

March 23, 2011 7:23 am | News | Comments

Structural studies of some of nature's most efficient light-harvesting systems are lighting the way for new generations of biologically inspired solar cell devices. Researchers from Washington Univ. in St. Louis and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory used small-angle neutron scattering to analyze the structure of chlorosomes in green photosynthetic bacteria.

Jaguar helps researchers unravel the magnetic fields of supernovas

March 7, 2011 4:04 am | News | Comments

A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory is getting closer to explaining the origins of CCSN explosions with the help of Jaguar, a Cray XT5 supercomputer.

Computational scientists use supercomputers to explore ice sheet dynamics

February 28, 2011 4:59 am | News | Comments

Recently, Rhode Island-sized chunks of ice have separated from Greenland and Antarctica, garnering worldwide attention. And, although ice sheet models are already used, the models are not easily adapted for use in global climate models. To help with this issue, the Scalable, Efficient, and Accurate Community Ice Sheet Model project began on Jaguar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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