Friday, February 27, 2015

Printed solar cells poised for a breakthrough

Aditya Mohite, left, and Wanyi Nie. LANL photo

Aditya Mohite and his team at the US Los Alamos National Laboratory published in Science a method of maximising grain size. By slowing the speed freshly applied perovskite dries, Mohite could grow grains up to two millimetres across, 100 times larger than normal. “This grain size is quite stunning,” says Klaus Weber, photovoltaics expert at the Australian National University.

To be truly competitive with silicon solar cells, printable perovskite solar cells would need around 25% efficiency, says Mohite, adding this should be achievable in three to five years. (Full Story)

LANL unveils detection technology collaboration project

Scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) last week unveiled a collaborative project aimed at enhancing detection capabilities of explosives.

The Los Alamos Collaboration for Explosives Detection (LACED) online website serves as a information hub for the latest technology innovation and education in the detection field. The site has been active since January. (Full Story)

A new Trinity at Los Alamos

Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories took possession of the initial hardware for the Trinity exascale supercomputer project that will run extremely complex nuclear simulations for the NNSA.

NNSA manages the Trinity joint effort as part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program. The agency said Trinity will be used by Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia and will be optimized to run the largest and most demanding nuclear weapons simulations without having to resort to physical underground testing. (Full Story)

Venture Acceleration Fund awards spur investment in Northern New Mexico

The VAF has become a very important and popular economic development resource and we expect that this year will be our most competitive to date for businesses submitting proposals,” said Kurt Steinhaus of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Community Programs Office. “We are looking forward to reviewing proposals from New Mexico entrepreneurs and doing all we can through the program to strengthen the regional economy.” (Full Story)

Also from the Daily Post

Guest Column: New Emphasis On Industry Partnerships At Los Alamos

David Pesiri, LANL photo

On all levels, Los Alamos National Laboratory is being asked to move the needle on issues of domestic and global security, advancing the scientific enterprise on energy concerns, and effective leveraging of the latest technologies and capabilities to bolster US industry and, ultimately, the US economy.

This is our charge by the public trust, a duty to both country and the world community. To create significant impact demands a new way of thinking about how the Lab engages industry in partnership to produce phenomenal outcomes. (Full Story)

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Mission to Mars

When I first met Nina Lanza, she was beaming with excitement at just having crossed over from the long trek of academia. Rather than being a post-doc or a temporary researcher, the 35-year-old is now a full-time staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She’s not signing up for the one-way trip to Mars that’s grabbed headlines lately. She’s already there.

“I still think it is like the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me,” she says when we meet at a coffee shop on the hill—outside of which there’s a television screen showing rotating images of Mars 24 hours a day. “It’s super fun.”


Los Alamos knows bombs

Instructor discusses aluminum-based explosives
and threats from homemade bombs. LANL photo          

Researchers at one of the national laboratories that oversaw development of some of the most powerful bombs ever are offering their expertise to help defeat explosive threats.

Program managers at Los Alamos National Laboratory said the Los Alamos Collaboration for Explosives Detection (LACED) portal is aimed at building collaboration between public and private partners to enhance the detection of explosives.


NASA’s Dawn captures sharper
images of Ceres

Two views of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. NASA image

Craters and mysterious bright spots are beginning to pop out in the latest images of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. These images were taken February 12 at a distance of 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet.

The gamma ray and neutron detector [aboard the Dawn Spacecraft] was built by Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and is operated by the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona.


Los Alamos offers first look at 
Trinity’s warm water cooling

At Los Alamos’s Strategic Computing Center, work is underway to accomplish the facility overhaul that is required to support the 112 next-generation Cray XC40 racks that make up Trinity, the first of the NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing program’s advanced technology systems. “Once installed, Trinity will be the first platform large and fast enough to begin to accommodate finely resolved 3D calculations for full-scale, end-to-end weapons calculations."

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Los Alamos leads collaborative effort of explosives detection innovation, education

Students attend explosives courses at Los Alamos, LANL photo

The Los Alamos National Laboratory is leading a collaboration of strategic public and private partners focused on the innovations in and education about explosives detection technologies. The Los Alamos Collaboration for Explosives Detection (LACED) site serves as a virtual gateway to world-class expertise and capabilities designed to counter all types of explosives threats, predominantly through enhanced detection capabilities. The site went public online in January and is beginning to attract attention among specialty audiences. (Full Story)

Also in PhysOrg

LANL team website maps epidemics in effort to learn ways to stop contagion’s spread

Transmission Electron Micrograph of the measles virus, from the CDC

New Mexico hasn’t had its first zombie infection yet, but if that happens, Nick Generous and others on a Los Alamos National Laboratory team will probably map it on their new Biosurveillance Gateway website.

“In the earliest stages of outbreak, there’s this critical period of time that officials can enact certain interventions to minimize and prevent the spread,” said Generous, a molecular biologist who helped develop the Biosurveillance Gateway. “So, how do you decide what to do?” (Full Story)

Scientists find key to solving 30-year-old ‘hidden order’ mystery

“Hidden order” puzzle in pure crystalline uranium, ruthenium and silicon. Rutgers image               

A new explanation for a type of order, or symmetry, in an exotic material made with uranium may lead to enhanced computer displays and data storage systems, collaborators from Rutgers, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Leiden Univ.

The team's findings are a major step toward explaining a puzzle that physicists worldwide have been struggling with for 30 years, when scientists first noticed a change in the material's electrical and magnetic properties but were unable to describe it fully. (Full Story)

NNSA, USAF complete B61-12 LEP flight tests

B61 flight test aboard F-16, NNSA image

The flight test assets consisted of hardware designed by Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, mated to the tail-kit assembly IMV section, designed by Boeing St Charles under contract with Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. This series is the first of many flight tests for the B61-12 LEP. The testing is a key building block between on-going system ground testing and the first development flight test drop scheduled in Fiscal Year 2015. (Full Story)

NM startup ready to start treating oil-field water

OrganiClear on the job, ABQ Journal image

Breakthrough water-cleansing technology from Los Alamos National Laboratory may soon be treating dirty water from the oil and gas industry at sites throughout the Mountain West.

The technology, developed by LANL in collaboration with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and the University of Texas, can make so-called produced water clean enough for agricultural use. And, unlike standard techniques, OrganiClear leaves no waste products behind. (Full Story)

Science program helps school districts

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation thanks the EspaƱola and Mesa Vista school districts for their commitment to increasing student achievement and best teaching practices. Many changes have recently occurred in education with implementation of Common Core Standards and new teacher evaluation tools. (Full Story)

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Friday, February 6, 2015

LANL develops website to help fight measles

Disease mapping on the Gateway website, from KOAT

LANL scientists have now compiled into what’s called the Biosurveillance Gateway. It’s a website designed to help public health officials in their fight against measles and other infectious diseases.

"You want credible information, this is what we're offering," said Gateway project director Alina Deshpande.

There were 102 cases of the measles reported in the U.S. in January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Full Story)

New technique may make solar panel production less expensive

Aditya Mohite, left, and Wanyi Nie report on a new technique for solar cell production.  LANL photo

Scientists have developed a more efficient method of creating the material that makes solar panels work, according to a report published this week, which researchers say could be key to creating clean global energy in the future.          

The report, published on Friday in the journal Science, details the feat by researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory who used a technique called hot-casting to grow solar cells from a mineral called perovskite. (Full Story)

Scientists call for antibody ‘bar code’ system

Antibodies illustration.         

More than 100 researchers have collaborated to craft a request that could fundamentally alter how the antibodies used in research are identified, a project potentially on the scale of the now-completed Human Genome Project.

“We propose that antibodies be defined by their sequences, just as genes are,” said Andrew Bradbury, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, “and they should be made recombinantly in cell lines.” (Full Story)

Also in R&D Magazine

A new, super-absorptive material could improve solar cells, lasers and more

Electronic band gap in complex oxide materials, from

Northwestern University’s James Rondinelli uses quantum mechanical calculations to predict and design the properties of new materials by working at the atom-level. His group’s latest achievement is the discovery of a novel way to control the electronic band gap in complex oxide materials without changing the material’s overall composition.

The research could potentially lead to better electro-optical devices, such as lasers, and new energy-generation and conversion materials. Prasanna Balachandran of Los Alamos National Laboratory is coauthor of the paper. (Full Story)

Building supercomputer capability in an unlikely place

CARC Hardware, from UNM
Students at the University of New Mexico will soon be able to access the kind of supercomputing power that researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory once used for the most complex calculations on the planet. Sure, it’s a decommissioned supercomputer housed in a one-time car dealership on the old Route 66 through Albuquerque, but it’s also the chance of a lifetime for a student with a complex research project. (Full Story)

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