FACILITIES, CENTERS AND INSTITUTES
Forging the Path to Success
LLNL’s specialized resources and equipment drive premier science and technology (S&T) across a range of disciplines. Capabilities are what make our facilities, centers and institutes unique.
The Laboratory’s facilities house the most energetic laser in the world, powerful supercomputers and other tools to support a depth and breadth of research activities. See how LLNL answers vital research questions and accelerates scientific discovery through targeted and strategic partnerships.
Our Facilities, Centers and Institutes
Many facilities, centers and institutes are accessible to external collaborators to link complementary resources and expertise, while others are solely reserved for Laboratory staff.
Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory
The Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (AML) facilitates partnerships between LLNL, industry and academia to address manufacturing challenges across a range of commercial and government projects.
Sophisticated manufacturing equipment, unparalleled modeling and simulation capabilities using high-performance computing, unique materials, lasers and optics are all also part of the AML capability base. Our collaborators can utilize these specialized resources to accelerate market-driven innovation and reduce production costs and time while contributing outside expertise towards mission-relevant projects at the Laboratory.
- Innovative design
- High-quality feedstocks and nanomaterials
- Advanced processes and post-processing techniques
- Novel technologies and products
- Qualification and certification
Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology
The Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology (CMNT) supports programs at LLNL with unique hardware and process solutions including MEMS sensors, ultrawide bandgap semiconductor devices, quantum computing, human implantable devices, CBRN threat detection, optical coatings, laser technologies and advanced packaging.
Our sophisticated engineering toolkit facilitates material research and fieldable devices at extreme length scales. Our facility includes a clean room, characterization and biosafety labs and tools for device fabrication (meso, micro and nano scale). We offer characterization to support research areas including: microelectromechanical systems, photonics, lasers, quantum computing and bio-implantables.
- Plasma and wet etching
- Thin-film deposition
- Micro and nanolithography (ebeam and photo)
- Metrology (imaging and characterization)
Contained Firing Facility
The Contained Firing Facility (CFF) at Site 300 is the DOE Complex’s largest indoor firing facility, handling large-scale, non-nuclear experiments with full containment of hazardous materials. Hydrodynamic experiments within CFF offer insights into the behavior of nuclear weapon components and effectiveness of new explosives formulations, enabling certification of the nuclear stockpile in the absence of underground testing. Test materials are detonated to create intense shock waves in which materials act as a liquid for fractions of a second. Unique diagnostics such as LLNL’s flash x-ray record and compare experimental results with computational data to support nuclear weapons and explosives research and development.
- Hydrodynamic testing
- Explosives testing
- Ability to field large, complicated experiments with multiple diagnostics
- Flash x-ray facility
- High-speed photography
- Time-of-arrival diagnostics
- Multiple channels of digitized data collection
- Laser velocimetry
- PDV, multiplexed PDV, BLR
- Low-energy mobile radiography (450 kEV, 9mEV)
- Wide-angle flash radiography
- Pin-dome measurements
Electron Beam Ion Trap Facility
In the 1980s, scientists at LLNL and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab invented the electron beam ion trap (EBIT) — a device that produces and traps highly charged ions. Today, LLNL’s EBIT-I and SuperEBIT devices are used to produce all astrophysically relevant ions between He+ and Ni28+, as well as highly charged lanthanides and actinides. The facility is home to a suite of x-ray and UV diagnostics, including high-resolution crystal and quantum calorimeter spectrometers used to measure photon emission with energies from below 100 eV to above 100 keV. The EBITs are also used to measure atomic structure; for research in laboratory and x-ray astrophysics and solar and planetary physics; and for diagnostic development.
- Laboratory astrophysics
- X-ray astrophysics
- Atomic physics
- Solar physics
- Planetary physics
- X-ray observatory and sounding rocket support
- Quantum calorimetry
- Plasma science
- Fusion science
- Nuclear physics
- Diagnostic development and calibration
Forensic Science Center
The Forensic Science Center (FSC) is home to nationally recognized scientists and capabilities to prepare for, characterize and respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats. Our scientists analyze real-world samples, conduct research and development and provide radiological assistance every day, around the clock. Our findings and analysis support intelligence communities, law enforcement, homeland security and health professionals. As one of two U.S. labs internationally certified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to handle chemical-warfare agents in environmental samples, the FSC is critical to global efforts to eradicate chemical weapons.
- Chemical attribution
- Operational sample analysis
- Identifying chemical exposure biomarkers
- Medical countermeasure development
- Novel human identification approaches
- Chemical warfare agent remediation, decontamination
- Explosives analysis
- Nuclear forensic analysis and attribution
- At-risk state training for chemical security practices
- Advanced detection and identification methods
High Explosives Applications Facility
The High Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF) integrates the operations of synthesis, formulation and testing of explosive materials in a single, synergistic facility. Expertise in high explosives is vital to national security in areas such as nuclear deterrence and homeland security. At HEAF, LLNL’s computational models and codes couple with experimental capabilities to develop new energetic molecules, support experimental designs and study material behavior and performance. HEAF is designated as an NNSA Center of Excellence for High Explosives, providing foundational capabilities including additive manufacturing.
- Small-scale explosive synthesis and formulation
- Experimental diagnostics
- Diamond-anvil-cell experiments
- Stockpile stewardship
- Conventional weapon development
- Explosives’ properties and performance
- Safety development and testing
- Next-gen high-speed diagnostics
- Environmental impact issues
- Nondestructive characterization
- Additively manufactured explosives development, testing
- Shock testing with two large gas guns
Jupiter Laser Facility
The Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) delivers leading-edge science and supports the high energy density science research community with access to high-energy and high-power laser platforms. We provide extensive experimental flexibility in single-shot configurations while allowing direct user operation of experiments and diagnostic tools. Users can also leverage JLF’s capabilities to test and develop novel experimental techniques. Our capabilities exceed those typically available at universities, providing an ideal training environment for students and early career investigators. JLF is part of the Department of Energy’s LaserNetUS consortium, which fosters researcher access to U.S.-based high-intensity lasers.
- Laser–matter interactions
- Plasma science
- High-energy physics
- Condensed matter chemistry
- Warm dense matter
- High-pressure materials
- Laser–matter interactions under extreme conditions
- High energy density science
Livermore Computing Complex
World-class supercomputers, a robust software ecosystem and 24/7 operations make Livermore Computing Complex (LCC) one of the world’s dominant high-performance computing (HPC) centers. LCC is key to the Laboratory’s stockpile stewardship mission, helping to ensure the safety, reliability and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons. Our Multiprogrammatic and Institutional Computing program operates advanced HPC systems for unclassified science and runs the Grand Challenge Program that pushes scientific and computational limits.
- TOSS: Speeding up commodity cluster computing
- Cerebras AI integrated in Lassen
- SambaNova AI accelerator integrated with Corona System
- Flux: Next generation resource management framework
- HPC + cloud: Standardized HPC resource management interface
- BUILD strategic initiative for rapid integration of HPC software systems
- Parallel software development tools
- PRUNERS: Tools to address non-deterministic software bugs
- LC Linux ecosystem: cluster management tools
- High performance storage system
- Scalable checkpoint restart
The Manufacturing Complex measures 114,000 square feet of manufacturing capabilities, which include precision machining, metal and polymer additive manufacturing, sheet metal, welding, heat treat and inspection, to name a few. Located inside the complex is Main Bay, a 32,000-square-foot high bay space that provides mid- to large-scale machining, heat treatment and inspection expertise. These capabilities are integral in supporting Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration national security and stockpile stewardship missions.
- Dimensional inspection laboratory for metrology equipment
- Laser processing
- Computerized numerical controlled (CNC) milling
- Metal finishing and plating
- Optics fabrication
- Precision machining and micro machining
- Sheetmetal fabrication and welding
- Special materials machining of toxic and low-level radioactive materials
- Target fabrication including ultra-precision machining capabilities
- Water jet cutting
National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center
The National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC) helps emergency managers plan and respond to incidents involving the accidental or intentional release of hazardous radiological, chemical, biological or nuclear material into the atmosphere. Our experts and users leverage sophisticated modeling tools to predict how a release will evolve, where the plume will travel and what human exposure levels may occur, providing guidance to protect the public and environment. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, NARAC can respond to events anywhere in the world. We serve thousands of users at U.S. agencies and international organizations, including emergency response teams and operations centers.
National Ignition Facility
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is the world’s largest and highest-energy laser system. NIF can deliver more than 2 million joules of ultraviolet energy and 500 trillion watts of peak power to a target the size of a pencil eraser, generating temperatures of more than 180 million degrees Fahrenheit and pressures of more than 100 billion Earth atmospheres. These extreme conditions cause hydrogen atoms in the target to fuse and release energy in a controlled thermonuclear reaction. Our unique energy and power enable cutting-edge research to help keep the U.S. stockpile safe and secure, explore new frontiers of science and lay the groundwork for a clean, sustainable source of energy.
Optical Fabrication and Processing
LLNL is a pioneer in developing advanced optics finishing, coating, damage mitigation and recycling technologies to provide laser damage-resistant optics for high-energy laser systems, such as the National Ignition Facility. The Laboratory’s patented Advanced Mitigation Process protects the optics by removing impurities and absorbing microfractures. The Materials for Laser Systems group develops and qualifies new materials and new materials processing and characterization techniques. In addition, LLNL develops next-generation diffractive optics, advanced laser crystals, fiber lasers, polymer materials, additively manufactured optics and transparent ceramics.
- Optical materials processing
- Laser-matter interactions and optical damage
- Advanced optical technologies
- Inorganic coatings and thin films
- Target fabrication
- Cryogenic hydrogen
- Fiber lasers
- Polymer materials
- Additively manufactured optics
- Optical characterization
- Materials processing using lasers
- Systems engineering
The Polymer Enclave (PE) accelerates the design-to-deployment of additively manufactured weapon components critical to modernizing the U.S. nuclear stockpile.
Fostering a collaborative environment by bringing together material scientists and engineers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Kansas City National Security Campus and other nuclear security enterprise partners, the polymer enclave houses state-of-the-art additive manufacturing machines and resources for staff to work side-by-side at every stage of the weapon component design and product realization process — enabling the rapid development of new materials and technologies.
- Advanced materials and manufacturing
- Additive manufacturing
- Non-destructive evaluation
- Structural materials
Select Agent Center
LLNL scientists support the Select Agent Center’s (SAC’s) research aims by advancing our understanding of infectious diseases that are caused by biothreat, endemic and pandemic pathogens — which facilitates improved detection capabilities and development of novel therapeutics and vaccines. The Center’s Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3/ABSL-3) labs are the only BSL-3 containment facilities in the U.S. Department of Energy national lab complex. These facilities, along with LLNL’s research teams, continue to play a key role in the Laboratory’s response to COVID-19.
- COVID-19 research, including therapeutic antibodies
- Virus transmission between animals and humans
- Bacteriophage interactions with host bacterial species
- Phage-based therapeutics and countermeasures
- Rapid detection and identification of biothreat agents
- Broad-spectrum inhibitors of New World Alphaviruses
- Innate immunity in pathogen-host interactions
- Mechanistic interactions between viral pathogens and the central nervous system
- Nanoparticle-based therapeutics
In the foothills 15 miles southeast of the main LLNL site, Livermore’s Experimental Test Site, known as Site 300, houses specialized facilities where, in support of national programs, our researchers can safely fabricate and test high explosives components and prototype assemblies in both destructive and non-destructive tests. We conduct hydrodynamic testing using high explosives to assess the performance of nonnuclear weapon components, with the aid of advanced diagnostics such as high-speed optics and x-ray radiography. The knowledge and data from these hydrodynamic tests are essential for LLNL to continue to refine the computational models used to simulate nuclear weapon performance.
- Hydrodynamic testing
- Assembly and disassembly of explosive devices
- Thermal testing of explosives
- Explosives waste storage and treatment
- High explosives machining and inspection
- Environmental testing of explosive components and systems
- X-ray radiography
- Open-air (non-nuclear) explosives experiments
- Containment and diagnostics at the Contained Firing Facility
- Iso-static pressing of explosives
- Explosives storage
- Explosives formulation and casting
Skyfall is a cyber–physical hardware-in-the-loop test bed that connects real equipment with high-performance computers (HPC) to enable co-simulation of complex systems at scale, such as a power grid or natural gas pipeline, to analyze the impacts of natural hazards and cyber-attacks and to increase resiliency. The facility is configured as a full-power substation that behaves as if connected to an actual power system. Using LLNL’s HPC capabilities, Skyfall processes complex models and analyzes many scenarios, providing a realistic view of how attacks propagate, the physical effects of attacks, indicators of compromise and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts.
Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry
The unique instrumentation at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS) enables scientists to conduct ultra-sensitive isotope ratio and ion beam measurements that address a broad spectrum of challenges. For example, users analyze the isotopic signatures of interdicted material for insight on its origins or implant ions into material and measure microstructural changes to analyze radiation tolerance. Biomedical researchers analyze isotopes to accelerate development of therapeutics. Geoscientists measure cosmogenic nuclides in rocks and sediment to understand climate change and study carbon-cycle dynamics to maximize long-term carbon sequestration in soil.
- Forensic science
- Materials science including radiation tolerance
- Carbon-cycle science
- Earth systems science
- Geoscience including historical water movement
- Nuclear science
- Biomedical tracer studies and drug development
- Biodefense and toxicology
- National User Resource for BioAMS
Center for Applied Scientific Computing
The Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) is Lawrence Livermore’s bridge to the computer science, computational physics, applied mathematics and data science research communities. Collaborating with academic, industry and government partners, we conduct world-class scientific R&D on problems critical to national security. We apply the power of high-performance computing and the efficiency of modern computational methods to stockpile stewardship, cyber and energy security, intelligence applications and more.
Center for Bioengineering
From discovery to design, the Center for Bioengineering (CBE) applies its tools and principles to complex biological systems. Our mission challenge is to enable transformational solutions to counter biological threats and increase national resilience.
Because we know that early biological threat analysis and assessment provide the best bio-engineered materials to provide national security, we have a long history of delivering bioengineering enabled solutions, from the 1980s’ high-speed Cell Sorter to the rapid antibody design in the face of COVID-19.
- Sensors and devices
- Human organ models
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning for precision medicine
- Biomaterials and biomanufacturing
Center for Design and Optimization
The Center for Design and Optimization (CDO) optimizes complex systems governed by the nonlinear, dynamic, multi-physics or multi-resolution phenomena afforded by advanced manufacturing technologies. Our primary effort is developing the Livermore design optimization (LiDO) code used by engineers and designers to optimize multifunctional systems such as thermomechanical structures, multiscale structures, heat exchangers and battery electrodes. LiDO uses LLNL’s high-performance computing libraries to solve problems with up to one billion design variables.
- Simulations to optimize macroscopic structures
- Metamaterial design
- Performance optimization leveraging metamaterials
- Improved energy, fluid, chemical transport design
Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing
The Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing (CEMM) is committed to innovating additive manufacturing techniques to create structural and functional materials with novel capabilities. CEMM spans multiple laboratories, leveraging knowledge from across disciplines to penetrate all areas related to additive manufacturing: tools and process development, materials synthesis and processing, architecture design and optimization plus characterization of product properties. The center also serves as an incubator, training future additive manufacturing talents.
- Modeling and simulation of architected materials
- Additive manufacturing for polymers, ceramics and metals
- Onsite materials characterization
- Extrusion-based additive manufacturing
- Light-based additive manufacturing
- Energy-based additive manufacturing
- Field-based additive manufacturing
Center for Global Security Research
The Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) was founded in 1992 to serve as a bridge between the technical and policy communities. Laboratory staff integrate significant technical expertise with a deep understanding of policy’s impact on national security issues.
In an ever-evolving security environment, CGSR advances national and international discussion of effective deterrence, assurance and strategic ability. Multidisciplinary and nonpartisan workshops, research and publications explore the sources and characteristics of strategic competition.
Data Science Institute
Data science is an essential discipline in Lawrence Livermore’s key program areas. The Data Science Institute (DSI) acts as a hub for all data science activity at the Laboratory such as areas of artificial intelligence, big-data analytics, computer vision, machine learning, predictive modeling, statistical inference, uncertainty quantification and more. We help lead, build and strengthen the data science workforce, research and outreach to advance the state-of-the-art of our nation’s data science capabilities.
Energetic Materials Center
The Energetic Materials Center (EMC) provides technical insight and direction on high explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics in support of the nuclear security enterprise and national security mission. Our scientists are among our nation’s leading experts in understanding, synthesizing, formulating, testing, assessing and modeling systems and energetics that are an integral part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, conventional munitions and homeland security. Our world-class experimental facilities, coupled with high-fidelity predictive modeling and simulation capabilities, enable our scientists to better understand energetic materials (EMs) and address a broad range of stakeholder needs.
- Characterize energetic materials (EMs) and explore EM properties
- Predict EM behavior using supercomputer modeling capabilities
- Explore EM energy release and chemical reactions
- Formulate and manufacture tailored EMs
- Provide end-to-end characterization of explosives and other threats
- Analyze EM response during an accident
- Study means to advance conventional munition performance
- Develop novel applications of explosives for industry needs
- Build on EMC innovation to meet new challenges
- Leverage LLNL experimental capabilities and facilities
Glenn T. Seaborg Institute
The Glenn T. Seaborg Institute builds educational and research partnerships in transactinium science. Our environmental research, which involves predicting the movement of radioactive isotopes and studying the behavior of actinides through experiments and field observations, helps us better understand how to foster long-term stabilization. We also explore the properties of superheavy elements and analyze nuclear and radiological materials for signature attribution and dating. The Institute engages with students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty to explore radiochemistry and nuclear science, and we invite collaboration with scientists and host summer interns.
High Energy Density Science Center
The High Energy Density Science (HEDS) Center facilitates opportunities for scientists and engineers to access world-class experimental facilities and engage in collaborative explorations of matter and energy under extreme conditions. Together with our partners, we work to increase awareness of HEDS, accelerate efforts to establish new research collaborations and develop novel, multi-institutional educational programs. Our Center offers informal learning experiences and collaborates with university faculty to develop curriculum in emerging areas of HEDS. In addition, we offer internships and postdoctoral fellowships, and we engage in outreach aimed at raising awareness of careers in HEDS.
- Dynamic material properties
- Fusion, implosion and stagnation science
- Laser target physics
- Plasma physics
- Radiation physics
- Shock physics
High Performance Computing Innovation Center
The High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC) works to attract partners in advanced computing through the use of LLNL-developed software tools and applications in both traditional and cloud-based HPC environments. LLNL offers a robust collection of open-source software projects and world-class computing capabilities that have been honed for many decades in support of national security and are now available to our partners in academia, government and industry. The HPCIC brings these resources as well as multifaceted computing expertise to our collaborations.
- High performance computing
- Data Science Institute
- Artificial Intelligence Innovation Incubator
- Open-source software
- Highly scalable scientific, algorithmic and application software codes
- Leading domain science, engineering and computational experts
Laboratory for Energy Applications for the Future
The Laboratory for Energy Applications for the Future (LEAF) develops disruptive technologies — from inception to demonstration — for the grid, transportation and the environment. Key focus areas include hydrogen, carbon conversion, batteries, capacitors and desalination. Within these focus areas, our multidisciplinary teams accelerate development of scalable, optimized structures at the intersection of porous materials, mass transport and chemical reactivity for energy storage and conversion. LEAF scientists also leverage specialized capabilities in multiscale modeling — from atomistic to continuum; design optimization and rapid prototyping; and additive manufacturing and related advanced synthesis techniques.
- Carbonate materials for carbon capture and transport
- Hydrogen production
- Hydrogen storage materials
- Capacitive deionization
- Advanced membranes
- Architected battery materials
- Supercapacitor electrodes
- Solid-state batteries
- Colloidal nanocrystal solar cells
- Engineered microbes for rare-earth element adsorption
- Transport system design and optimization
- Limiting oxidation and degradation of energy materials
Nondestructive Characterization Institute
The Nondestructive Characterization Institute (NCI) advances the fields of non-destructive evaluation and characterization through collaborative R&D applied to real-world national security problems. NCI seeks a quantitative understanding of physical and chemical makeup in three dimensions and generates 3D object images. In this exciting field involving sophisticated sources, detectors, data acquisition, simulation/modeling, algorithms, visualization and computing, we work closely with universities, institutes and other laboratories around the world.
- X-ray signatures of homemade explosives
- Evaluating detection systems for cargo
- Advanced few-view tomography reconstruction algorithms
- Acoustic emission and non-linear evaluation
- Transducer ultrasonic testing
- Laser-based ultrasonics testing
- Microwave diagnostics
- In-situ electromagnetic diagnostics
- Uncertainty quantification
- Ads-built model creation
Space Science Institute
The Space Science Institute’s (SSI) multidisciplinary teams address key questions in astrophysics and planetary science. For example, we analyze, model and interpret data obtained by existing observatories, and we develop technology and instrumentation for future observatories. These pursuits are enabled by unique experimental capabilities at LLNL and our research expertise in optics, plasma physics, nuclear science, high-performance computing and data science. Our collaborations with other research institutions, including NASA centers, expand the scope and impact of our work.
- Planetary science
- Astrophysics and cosmology
- Technology and instrumentation for small satellites
- Adaptive optics
- X-ray optics and coatings
- Gamma-ray spectrometers for space missions
Livermore Valley Open Campus
A place to collaborate on the future
Livermore Open Valley Campus is an innovative gateway to Laboratory expertise and capabilities. Collaborative organizations and brilliant minds from the Tri-Valley, the Bay Area and the nation come together at LVOC to address a range of 21st-century challenges. Learn how LVOC’s specialized resources can benefit your organization.