Lab Report

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The Lab Report is a weekly compendium of media reports on science and technology achievements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Though the Laboratory reviews items for overall accuracy, the reporting organizations are responsible for the content in the links below.

March 27, 2015


Ted Ognibene (left), a chemist who co-developed the technique that accommodates liquid samples for accelerator mass spectrometry and biomedical scientist Mike Malfatti examine the biological AMS instrument. Photo by George Kitrinos

A tailored approach

UC Davis researches have partnered with Lawrence Livermore to use a innovative biomedical technique called Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) to see how cancer patients respond or don’t respond to chemo drugs.

Based on their findings they’re able to tailor treatment to cancer patients.

Biological AMS is a technique in which carbon-14 is used as a tag to study with extreme precision and sensitivity complex biological processes, such as cancer, molecular damage, drug and toxin behavior, nutrition and other areas.

One of the recent LLNL biomedical studies will try to develop a test to predict how people will respond to chemotherapeutic drugs. Another research project seeks to create an assay that is so sensitive that it can detect one cancer cell among one million healthy cells. If this work is successful, it could be possible to evaluate the metastasis potential of different primary human cancer cells.


M. Leslie Carman and Natalia Zaitseva, who was inducted in the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, recently attended the induction ceremony.

Crystal clear

LLNL physicist Natalia Zaitseva, who developed a way to rapidly grow large crystals used in the Lab’s National Ignition Facility, has been inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame.

One of 12 Alameda County women inducted this year, Zaitseva was recognized for her work in science, technology and engineering.

While working on her Ph.D. at Moscow State University, Zaitseva developed a method for growing extremely large crystals faster than had ever been achieved before.

She joins 10 other current or past LLNL employees to be selected for the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame.



From left : Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers — Ibo Matthews, Wayne King and Gabe Guss — examine a 3D-printed part using the selective laser melting process.

Layers and layers of metal

General Electric and Lawrence Livermore recently received funding to develop open-source algorithms that will improve additive manufacturing of metal parts.

The award is from America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute that’s focused on helping the U.S. grow capabilities and strength in 3D printing. America Makes is funding the GE Global Research and Lawrence Livermore project to develop additive manufacturing (AM) technologies that allow more public and private sector organizations to enter the field.

The project intends to develop and demonstrate software algorithms that will allow selective laser melting (SLM) to produce metal parts that are high quality and durable. SLM is a metal powder-based, AM process where a 3D part is produced, layer by layer, using a focused, high-energy laser beam to fuse the metal powder particles together.


The Lab’s Vic Castillo will demonstrate how computer simulations can be used for anything from models to robots.

Science on screen

Science on Screen continues this weekend at the State Theatre in Modesto.

The third and final installment in the Science on series is this Saturday, March 28, at the State Theatre in Modesto, featuring Lawrence Livermore research scientist Vic Castillo, who will present “Computer Simulation: Having Fun with Models and Robots.”

The Science on Screen series, geared for middle and high school students, creatively pairs cutting-edge science presented by leading Lab researchers with a popular feature film on a similar subject matter, providing the perfect combination of enlightenment and entertainment.

Castillo will demonstrate how computer simulations are being used by LLNL on the world's fastest computers to help us understand, predict and communicate. Projects Castillo has worked on include simulation of turbulent fluids, hypersonic flows, neural networks, enterprise dynamics and additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing).

This is a free science education program. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis; there is no pre-registration. Science on Screen is presented through a partnership of The State Theatre and the LLNL Science Education Program.


To drive the diode arrays, LLNL needed to develop a completely new type of pulsed-power system, which supplies the arrays with electrical power by drawing energy from the grid and converting it to extremely high-current, precisely shaped electrical pulses. Photo by Damien Jemison

An array of peak power

Lawrence Livermore has installed and commissioned the highest peak power laser diode arrays in the world, representing total peak power of 3.2 megawatts.

The diode arrays are a key component of the High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS), which is currently under construction at LLNL. When completed, the HAPLS laser system will be installed in the European Union’s Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Beamlines facility, under construction in the Czech Republic.

HAPLS is designed to generate peak powers greater than one petawatt (1 quadrillion watts, or 1015) at a repetition rate of 10 Hertz, with each pulse lasting 30 femtoseconds (30 quadrillionths of a second). This very high repetition rate will be a major advancement over current petawatt system technologies, which rely on flashlamps as the primary pump source and can fire a maximum of once per second. In HAPLS, the diode arrays fire 10 times per second, delivering kilojoule laser pulses to the final power amplifier. HAPLS is being built and commissioned at LLNL and then installed and integrated into the ELI Beamlines facility starting in 2017.