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CRF Researchers answer Alan Alda’s Flame Challenge

April 10th, 2012|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , |

Last month, Alan Alda posed a challenge to scientists and researchers in Science magazine: Can you explain what a flame is in a way that 11-year-olds will understand? Entries could take any shape–prose, poetry, videos, cartoons and more! CRF researchers Guilhem Lazare, Judit Zador, and Jens Prager got together to answer the challenge with their own unique blend of creativity and science. April 2 was the deadline for entries; according to Alda and the Center [...]

Research and Innovation in U.S. Wind Won’t Die with Expiration of Federal Production Tax Credit

April 3rd, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , |

While one might be tempted by headlines to assume that wind-energy-related activity in the U.S. will come to a screeching halt at the end of the year, with the seemingly almost certain expiration of the federal production tax credit, that temptation would lead you astray. At least, that was the suggestion that grew out of a recent conversation between Renewable Energy Magazine and Josh Paquette of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. [...]

Sandia Researchers Find Energy Storage “Solutions” in MetILs

March 14th, 2012|Categories: Energy Storage Systems, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , |

A flow battery is a rechargeable energy storage device that pumps a solution of charged metals dissolved in an electrolyte through a membrane to convert chemical energy into electricity. Flow batteries can be rapidly "recharged" by replacing the electrolyte liquid while simultaneously recovering the spent material for external recharging. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have discovered a new family of metal-based liquid salt electrolytes, for use in just such flow batteries. The electrochemically [...]

CNST and Sandia Researchers Publish a Detailed Review of Electrical Contacts in One- and Two-Dimensional Nanomaterials

March 14th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , |

Researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (A. Alec Talin) and Sandia National Laboratories (François Léonard) have published a detailed review of recent experimental and theoretical work highlighting the unusual physics and material science of electrical contacts to nanostructures. In the Nature Nanotechnology review article, the researchers explain that existing models of electrical contacts in bulk semiconductor devices are inapplicable at the nanoscale, and argue that in order for nanosystems to progress [...]

Customer Interface Document for the Molten Salt Test Loop at the NSTTF

March 12th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events, Partnership, Publications|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The molten salt test loop (MSTL) system’s customer interface document contains an MSTL overview and details how a customer’s experiment would interface with the system. The document also describes on site collaboration expectations and defines roles and responsibilities for all parties performing an MSTL experiment. The document is available to anyone interested in using MSTL to test components in flowing molten nitrate salt.  For further information, please contact David Gill (6123, 844-1524).

Water Not So “Squishy” Under Pressure

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Modeling, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Water Security|Tags: , , , |

When squeezed to pressures and temperatures like those inside giant planets, water molecules are less squeezable than anticipated, defying a set of decades-old equations used to describe watery behavior over a range of conditions. Studying how molecules behave in such environments will help scientists better understand the formation and composition of ice giants like Uranus and Neptune, as well as those being spotted in swarms by planet hunters. The new work, which appears [...]

Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute Class of 2012 Kicks Off with 20 Students from the Gulf Cooperation Council

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Energy Assurance, Global Climate & Energy, Infrastructure Assurance, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events|Tags: , |

Khalifa University has hosted the opening of the Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII) 2012 Fellows. The four-module, sixteen-week course includes 20 students from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. GNEII national stakeholders represent Khalifa University, Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA), Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), and Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The course will be carried out in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) [...]

Experimental Smart Outlet Brings Flexibility, Resiliency to Grid Architecture

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Assurance, Energy Efficiency, Energy Surety, Grid Integration, Microgrid, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, SMART Grid|Tags: , , , |

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. Decentralizing power generation and controls would allow the grid to evolve into a more collaborative and responsive collection of microgrids, which [...]

Molecular Simulations Guide Nanowire Research

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Capabilities, Modeling, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , |

Simulation plays a critical role in design—even in very, very, very, small structures. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are performing simulations at microscopic levels (with help from CEI’s EnSight software) in order to predict the performance of nanowires. Nanowire performance is affected by deformities in the wires. Researcher Jonathan Zimmerman and others at Sandia perform simulations to predict those deformities, when the wires will fail and by which physical mechanisms, and how nanowire [...]

Sandia Participates in the ARPA-E 2012 Energy Innovation Summit

February 29th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Assurance, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage Systems, Energy Surety, Global Climate & Energy, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, Transportation Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , |

Sandia has more than a dozen scientists and managers attending and participating in the ARPA-E summit's sessions and events. A recent highlight was the on-stage discussion between Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and Bill Gates, who is now involved in several energy innovation ventures, on how America can meet and prosper from 21st century global energy challenges. During their 45-minute conversation, they touched on many energy innovation topics (e.g., grid-scale energy storage, integrating renewable [...]

Assessment of deep level defects in m-plane GaN grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition

February 22nd, 2012|Categories: Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , |

Through the publication titled, “Assessment of deep level defects in m-plane GaN grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition”published in the Applied Physics Letters, EFRC scientists examine how spontaneous polarization and strain-induced piezoelectric polarization generate strong internal electric fields in gallium nitride (GaN). Abstract: We report on deep level defect incorporation in n-type m-plane (10 0) GaN grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on built m-plane GaN substrates. Deep levels were observed at 2.85 eV [...]

New Liquid Salt Electrolytes Could Lead to Cost-Effective Flow Batteries

February 22nd, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Storage Systems, Grid Integration, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sandia researchers have developed a new family of liquid salt electrolytes, known as metal-based ionic liquids (MetILs), that could lead to batteries able to cost-effectively store three times more energy than today’s batteries. The research, published in Dalton Transactions, might lead to devices that can help economically and reliably incorporate large-scale intermittent renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, into the nation’s electric grid. The grid was designed for steady power sources, making [...]

Sandia Tool Determines Value of Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems

February 6th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , |

Consistent appraisals of homes and businesses outfitted with photovoltaic (PV) 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. Sandia scientists, in partnership with Jamie Johnson of Solar Power Electric™, have developed PV ValueTM, an electronic form to standardize appraisals. Funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and [...]

Voltage Increases Up to 25 Percent Observed in Closely Packed Nanowires

January 27th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events|Tags: , , |

Unexpected voltage increases of up to 25 percent in two barely separated nanowires have been observed at Sandia National Laboratories. Designers of next-generation devices using nanowires to deliver electric currents—including telephones, handheld computers, batteries and certain solar arrays—may need to make allowances for such surprise boosts. "People have been working on nanowires for 20 years," says Sandia lead researcher Mike Lilly. "At first, you study such wires individually or all together, but eventually [...]

New Material to Remove Radioactive Gas from Spent Nuclear Fuel

January 27th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events|Tags: , , |

Research by a team of Sandia chemists could impact worldwide efforts to produce clean, safe nuclear energy and reduce radioactive waste. The Sandia researchers have used metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to capture and remove volatile radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel. "This is one of the first attempts to use a MOF for iodine capture," said chemist Tina Nenoff of Sandia's Surface and Interface Sciences Department. The discovery could be applied to nuclear fuel [...]

Sandia Researchers, UK Partners Publish Groundbreaking Work on Criegee Intermediates in Science Magazine

January 13th, 2012|Categories: CRF, Energy, News, News & Events, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , |

In a breakthrough paper published in the January 13, 2012, issue of Science magazine, researchers from Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, the University of Manchester, and Bristol University report direct measurements of reactions of a gas-phase Criegee intermediate using photoionization mass spectrometry. (Click here to see a short video of Sandia combustion chemists discussing the research.) Criegee intermediates—carbonyl oxides—are implicated in autoignition chemistry and are pivotal atmospheric reactants, but only indirect knowledge of their reaction [...]

Introduction of Prof. David Kelley and UC Merced to SSLS

January 11th, 2012|Categories: Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Partnership, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , , , |

It is our pleasure to announce the addition of Professor David Kelley as a Senior Investigator in the Solid-State Lighting Science EFRC. He is a Professor and Founding Member of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at the University of California at Merced. Professor Kelley and his research group are world leaders in synthesis and properties II-VI quantum dots (QDs). He will be collaborating with Jim Martin and Lauren Rohwer in our Quantum Dots and [...]

Introduction of Prof. Jim Speck and UCSB to SSLS

January 11th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Partnership, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , , |

We are pleased to announce the addition of Professor Jim Speck of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) as a member of the Solid-State Lighting Science EFRC. Jim has developed a collaboration with SSLS scientist Andy Armstrong using deep level optical spectroscopy to investigate defects in the m-plane GaN. Jim is a professor in the Materials Science department at UCSB, and serves as thrust leader in their Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM) [...]

Genetic Algorithm for Innovative Device Designs in High-Efficiency III-V Nitride Light-Emitting Diodes

January 5th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , |

EFRC scientists from Fred Schubert’s research group at RPI and at Sandia Labs have published a new paper titled “Genetic Algorithm for Innovative Device Designs in High-Efficiency III-V Nitride Light-Emitting Diodes” in the journal Applied Physics Express.  The work is a starting point of applying artificial evolution to practical semiconductor devices, open new perspectives for complex semiconductor device optimization, and enable breakthroughs in high-performance LED design. According to the Applied Physics Express website, this publication [...]