It turns out you can be too thin—especially if you're a nanoscale battery. A team of researchers built a series of nanowire batteries to demonstrate that the thickness of the electrolyte layer can dramatically affect the performance of the battery, effectively setting a lower limit to the size of the tiny power sources.
High-gain nuclear fusion could be achieved in a preheated cylindrical container immersed in strong magnetic fields, according to a series of computer simulations performed at Sandia National Laboratories. The simulations show the release of output energy that was many times greater than the energy fed into the container's liner.
Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed nearly 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology fullcircle, showing how geothermal drillers might use the original PDC technology, incorporating decades of subsequent improvements by the oil and gas industry.
In a challenge to current astrophysical models, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Rostock in Germany have found that current calibrations of planetary interiors overstate water's compressibility by as much as 30%.
In mid-December 2011, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory received a call from the Air Force Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC). At the time, laboratory scientists were working with JSpOC to upgrade their command and control software. But this call was about something very different.
Sandia National Laboratories has developed an experimental smart outlet that autonomously measures, monitors, and controls electrical loads with no connection to a centralized computer or system. The goal of the smart outlet and similar innovations is to make the power grid more distributed and intelligent, capable of reconfiguring itself as conditions change.
Sandia National Laboratories researchers, using off-the-shelf equipment in a chemistry laboratory, have been working on ways to improve amputees' control over prosthetics with direct help from their own nervous systems.
Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed a new family of liquid salt electrolytes, known as MetILs, that could lead to batteries able to cost-effectively store three times more energy than today's batteries. The research might lead to devices that can help economically and reliably incorporate large-scale intermittent renewable energy source into the nation's electric grid.
Sandia National Laboratories' decontamination foam, developed more than a decade ago and used to decontaminate federal office buildings and mailrooms during the 2001 anthrax attacks, is now being used to decontaminate illegal methamphetamine laboratories. The foam renders all types of typical chemical and biological agents harmless.
Consistent appraisals of homes and businesses outfitted with photovoltaic installations are a real challenge for the nation’s real estate industry, but a new tool developed by Sandia National Laboratories and Solar Power Electric and licensed by Sandia addresses that issue.
Take two Sandia National Laboratories engineers who are hunters, get them talking about the sport and it shouldn't be surprising when the conversation leads to a patented design for a self-guided bullet that could help war fighters. A Sandia team has invented a dart-like, self-guided bullet for small-caliber, smooth-bore firearms that could hit laser-designated targets at distances of about 2,000 m.
By using a novel technique to better understand mineral growth and dissolution, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving predictions of mineral reactions and laying the groundwork for applications ranging from keeping oil pipes clear to sequestering radium.
Sometimes total electrical isolation is a good thing—and that's the idea behind a power-over-fiber communications cable being developed by engineers at Sandia National Laboratories. The Sandia team is developing a hybrid cable design that uses fiber to send and regulate optical power to the communications electronics integral to the cable. A patent is pending on the design.
Addressing the complexity of Domain Name System Security (DNSSEC), Sandia National Laboratories computer scientist Casey Deccio has developed a new visualization tool known as DNSViz. DNSSEC is a standard security feature at high-level government offices, but it is extremely complex and Deccio’s tool helps simplify implementation.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new way of revealing the presence of specific chemicals—whether toxins, disease markers, pathogens or explosives. The system visually signals the presence of a target chemical by emitting a fluorescent glow.
Researchers from North Carolina State University, Sandia National Laboratories, and the University of California, San Diego have developed new technology that uses microneedles to allow doctors to detect real-time chemical changes in the body—and to continuously do so for an extended period of time.
A transportation fuels expert from Sandia National Laboratories says policy makers should consider such practical issues as the number of gas stations selling ethanol and how long it takes to get new transportation technologies to market as they introduce aggressive federal and state energy policies.
Unexpected voltage increases of up to 25% in two barely separated nanowires have been observed at Sandia National Laboratories. Designers of next-generation devices using nanowires to deliver electric currents may need to make allowances for such surprise boosts.
Following on the news that the Japanese K computer topped other high-performance computers at the SC11 conference, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s IBM Blue Gene/Q prototype has topped the Graph500, an increasingly competitive ranking that stresses supercomputer performance on “big data” scaling problems rather than purely arithmetic computations.
With a muffled "pop," a flash of blue light, and a few ripples through 14,000 gallons of deionized water, Sandia National Laboratories' Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR) recently conducted its 10,000th operation.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are widely accepted as a more efficient and reliable option than tungsten incandescent bulbs. But recent research at Sandia National Laboratories shows that humans are as comfortable with white light generated by diode lasers, which are more efficient than LEDs at higher amperages.
Multiscale complexity is common across all combustion applications—internal combustion engines, rockets, and industrial boilers—and can range from tens of meters to billionths of meters. New techniques being employed at supercomputers covers this huge scale range using fewer computer hours, and could benefit efficiency levels in the combustion industry.
A dearth of public information, complicated marine environments, and even the corrosive effects of bubbles are among the challenges for companies trying to produce energy from river currents, tides, and waves, but Sandia National Laboratories is working on solutions. Sandia is helping companies on the frontier of the coming marine hydrokinetics industry navigate these and other concerns with support from the Department of Energy.
Two remarkable pulsed-power machines used to test the nation's defenses against atomic weapons have surpassed milestones at Sandia National Laboratories: 4,000 firings, called 'shots,' on the Saturn accelerator and 9,000 shots on the HERMES III accelerator.
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have designed and built a mobile research facility to trace and identify the origin of greenhouse gases. In addition to pinpointing the chemicals' location, the unique mobile facility can help researchers learn whether the gases are biogenic (coming from plant sources) or anthropogenic (coming from man-made sources).