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Patents


Alexander R. Mitchell, Phillip F. Pagoria, and Robert D. Schmidt
Amination of Electrophilic Aromatic Compounds by Vicarious Nucleophilic Substitution
U.S. Patent 6,069,277
May 30, 2000
A process to aminate electrophilic aromatic compounds by vicarious nucleophilic substitution of hydrogen using quaternary hydrazinium salts. The use of trialkylhydrazinium halide, trimethylhydrazinium iodide, hydroxylamine, alkoxylamines, and 4-amino-1,2,4-triazole to produce aminated aromatic structures such as 1,3-diamino-2,4,5-trinitrobenzene (DATB), 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (TATB), and 3,5-diamino-2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (DATNT) is described. DATB and TATB are useful insensitive high explosives. TATB is also used for the preparation of benzenehexamine, a starting material for the synthesis of novel materials (optical imaging devices, liquid crystals, ferromagnetic compounds).

Joe N. Lucas
Method for Isolating Chromosomal DNA in Preparation for Hybridization in Suspension
U.S. Patent 6,077,671
June 20, 2000
A method is provided for detecting nucleic acid sequence aberrations using two immobilization steps. A nucleic acid sequence aberration is present when one acid sequence has both a first nucleic acid sequence type (for example, from a first chromosome) and a second nucleic acid sequence type (for example, from a second chromosome). In the method, immobilization of a first hybridization probe is used to isolate a first set of nucleic acids from a sample of the first nucleic acid sequence type. Immobilization of a second hybridization probe is then used to detect and isolate a second set of nucleic acids from within the first set. The presence of the second set of nucleic acids indicates the presence of a nucleic acid sequence aberration. Chromosomal DNA in a sample containing cell debris is prepared for hybridization in suspension by treating the mixture with RNase. The treated DNA can also be fixed prior to hybridization.


Charles G. Stevens and Norman L. Thomas
Immersion Echelle Spectrograph
U.S. Patent 6,078,048
June 20, 2000
A small spectrograph containing no moving components and capable of providing high-resolution spectra of the mid-infrared region from 2 to 4 micrometers in wavelength. The resolving power of the spectrograph exceeds 20,000 throughout this region and at an optical throughput of about 0.00005 square centimeters per steradian. The spectrograph incorporates a silicon immersion echelle grating operating in high spectral order combined with a first-order transmission grating in a cross-dispersing configuration to provide a two-dimensional spectral format that is focused onto a two-dimensional infrared detector array. The spectrometer incorporates a common collimating and condensing lens assembly in a nearly aberration-free axially symmetric design. The spectrometer has potential uses in general research as well as in areas such as monitoring atmospheric constituents for air quality, climate change and global warming research, and monitoring exhaust fumes for smog sources or exhaust plumes for evidence of illicit drug manufacture.


Alan D. Conder
Vacuum-Compatible Miniature CCD Camera Head
U.S. Patent 6,078,359
June 20, 2000
A charge-coupled device (CCD) camera head that can replace film for digital imaging of visible light, ultraviolet radiation, and soft-to-penetrating x rays, such as within a target chamber where laser-produced plasmas are studied. The camera head is small, is capable of operating both in and out of a vacuum environment, and is versatile. The CCD camera head uses PC boards with an internal heat sink connected to the chassis for heat dissipation, allowing for close (0.22 centimeters, for example) stacking of the PC boards. Integration of this CCD camera head into existing instrumentation provides a substantial enhancement of diagnostic capabilities for studying high-energy-density plasmas in a variety of military, industrial, and medical imaging applications.


Jesse D. Wolfe and Norman L. Thomas
Durable Silver Coating for Mirrors
U.S. Patent 6,079,425
June 20, 2000
A durable multilayer mirror that includes reflective layers of aluminum and silver and has high reflectance over a broad spectral range, from ultraviolet to visible to infrared. An adhesion layer of a nickel and/or chromium alloy or nitride is deposited on an aluminum surface, and a thin layer of silver is then deposited on the adhesion layer. The silver layer is protected by a passivation layer of a nickel and/or chromium alloy or nitride and by one or more durability layers made of metal oxides and typically a first layer of metal nitride. The durability layers may include a composite silicon aluminum nitride and an oxinitride transition layer to improve bonding between nitride and oxide layers.


Vincent Malba and Anthony E. Bernhardt
3-D Laser Patterning Process Utilizing Horizontal and Vertical Patterning
U.S. Patent 6,114,097
September 5, 2000
A process that vastly improves the three-dimensional patterning capability of laser pantography (computer-controlled laser direct-write patterning). The process uses commercially available electrodeposited photoresist (EDPR) to pattern three-dimensional surfaces. The EDPR covers the surface of a metal layer conformally, coating the vertical as well as horizontal surfaces. A laser pantograph then patterns the EDPR, which is subsequently developed in a standard, commercially available developer, leaving patterned trench areas in the EDPR. The metal layer ;under the EDPR is thereby exposed in the trench areas and masked in others; thereafter, it can be etched to form the desired pattern (subtractive process), or it can be plated with metal (additive process), followed by a resist stripping and removal of the remaining field metal (additive process). This improved laser pantograph process is simpler, faster, and more manufacturable, and it requires no micromachining.


David J. Erskine
Single and Double Superimposing Interferometer Systems
U.S. Patent 6,115,121
September 5, 2000
Interferometers that can imprint a coherent delay on a broadband uncollimated beam are described. The delay value can be independent of incident ray angle, allowing interferometry using uncollimated beams from common extended sources such as lamps and fiber bundles and facilitating Fourier transform spectroscopy of wide-angle sources. Pairs of such interferometers matched in delay and dispersion can measure velocity and communicate using ordinary lamps, wide-diameter optical fibers, and arbitrary nonimaging paths, without requiring a laser.


Charles S. Vann
Multidimensional Position Sensor Using Range Detectors
U.S. Patent 6,115,128
September 5, 2000
A small, noncontact optical sensor uses ranges and images to detect its relative position to an object in up to six degrees of freedom. The sensor has three light-emitting range detectors that illuminate a target and can be used to determine distance and two tilt angles. A camera located between the three range detectors senses the three remaining degrees of freedom, two translations, and one rotation. Various range detectors, with different light sources (for example, lasers and light-emitting diodes), different collection options, and different detection schemes (for example, diminishing return and time of flight) can be used. This sensor increases the capability and flexibility of computer-controlled machines. For example, it can instruct a robot how to adjust automatically to different positions and orientations of a part.


Roscoe E. Marrs
X-Radiography with Highly Charged Ions
U.S. Patent 6,115,452
September 5, 2000
An extremely small (1- to 200-micrometer full width at half-maximum) beam of slow, highly charged ions deexciting on an x-ray production target generates x-ray monochromatic radiation that is passed through a specimen and detected for imaging. The resolution of the x radiograms is improved, and such detection is achieved with relatively low dosages of radiation passing through the specimen. An apparatus containing an electron beam ion trap (and modifications thereof) equipped with a focusing column serves as a source of ions that generate radiation projected onto an image detector. Electronic and other detectors can detect more radiation per pixel than previous methods and apparatus could.


George E. Vogtlin, David A. Goerz, Mark Hsiao, Bernard T. Merritt, Bernie M. Penetrante, John G. Reynolds, and Ray Brusasco
Nitrogen Oxide Removal Using Diesel Fuel and a Catalyst
U.S. Patent 6,119,451
September 19, 2000
Hydrocarbons such as diesel fuel are added to internal combustion engine exhaust to reduce exhaust NOx in the presence of an amphoteric catalyst support material. Exhaust NOx reduction of at least 50 percent in the emissions is achieved with the addition of less than 5 percent fuel as a source of the hydrocarbons.


Kevin G. Knauss, Sally C. Copenhaver, and Roger D. Aines
Hydrous Pyrolysis-Oxidation Process for In Situ Destruction of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon and Fuel Hydrocarbon Contaminants in Water and Soil
U.S. Patent 6,127,592
October 3, 2000
The in situ hydrous pyrolysis-oxidation process is useful for degrading fuel hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum distillates, and other organic contaminants present in the soil and water into nontoxic products. The process uses heat that is distributed through soils and water, optionally combined with oxygen and/or hydrocarbon degradation catalysts, and is particularly useful for remediation of solvent, fuel, or other industrially contaminated sites.


Anthony D. Lavietes, Joseph Mauger, and Eric H. Anderson
System and Method of Active Vibration Control for an Electromechanically Cooled Device
U.S. Patent 6,131,394
October 17, 2000
A system and method for controlling the active vibration of an electromechanically cooled device. The cooling device is characterized by its vibration transfer function, which depends on its mounting apparatus, proximity to vibration-generating devices, or temperature. Its vibrations-which may be triggered by powering up the system, having it reach an operating temperature, or resetting it-are received by a sensor in a vibration controller. The sensor generates a vibration signal that the controller uses, along with the vibration transfer coefficients, to generate a drive signal to a counterbalance that adjusts the vibrations to reduce them.


Steve P. Swierkowski, James C. Davidson, and Joseph W. Balch
Vacuum Fusion Bonding of Glass Plates
U.S. Patent 6,131,410
October 17, 2000
An improved apparatus and method for vacuum fusion bonding of large, patterned glass plates. One or both glass plates are patterned with etched features such as microstructure capillaries and a vacuum pump out moat, and one plate has at least one hole through it for communication with a vacuum pump out fixture. The plates are held in accurate alignment with a temporary clamping fixture until the start of the fusion bonding heat cycle. A complete, void-free fusion bond of seamless, full-strength quality is obtained throughout the plates because the glass is heated well into its softening point and because a large, distributed force presses the two plates together. The force is developed from the difference in pressure between the furnace ambient (high pressure) and the channeling and microstructures in the plates (low pressure) caused by the drawn vacuum. The apparatus and method may be used to fabricate microcapillary arrays for chemical electrophoresis, for example, or any apparatus using a network of microfluidic channels embedded between plates of glass or similar moderate melting point substrates with a gradual softening point curve. Or it may be used for assembling glass-based substrates onto larger substrates, such as in flat-panel display systems.


Awards


In early November 2000, President Clinton named Lawrence Livermore Director Emeritus Herbert York as one of the winners of the Enrico Fermi Award, given for lifetime achievement in the field of nuclear energy. Other winners were Sidney Drell, formerly of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and Sheldon Datz, a physicist and senior fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
York, the Laboratory's first director (1952 to 1958), received the award for his efforts in nuclear deterrence and arms control agreements. A nuclear physicist and emeritus director of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, which he founded in 1983, York served as science adviser to President Eisenhower and was cofounder and first chief scientist of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. He was ambassador and chief negotiator for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty negotiations under President Carter.
York has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce international tensions through deterrence and negotiated arms control agreements.
York is the fifth Fermi award winner from Lawrence Livermore. Previous recipients include Edward Teller, Harold Brown, and John Foster, all previous directors. E. O. Lawrence, the Laboratory's founder, was also a Fermi recipient.
The Fermi Award, the U.S. government's oldest science and technology award, dates to 1956. It honors Enrico Fermi, leader of the group of scientists who, on December 2, 1942, achieved the first self-sustained, controlled nuclear reaction.

Livermore physicist John Lindl and retiree Garth Cummings have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
They are among 251 new fellows recognized by the AAAS this year for their efforts in advancing science or fostering applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.
Lindl was cited for his "distinguished contributions to the understanding of high-energy-density matter and to the development of inertial confinement fusion." He joined the Laboratory in 1972 as a physicist working on laser target design. He has served as associate program leader of theory and design in the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program and leader of the division responsible for ICF target design. He became scientific director of the ICF program in 1994 and was recently named head of the Laboratory's Fusion Energy program.
Cummings was cited for distinguished contributions to research on reactor design and operation and to the application of risk assessment techniques to improved reactor safety. He joined the Laboratory in 1956 and retired in 1996. He held numerous positions during his long career, including program leader for the Nuclear Systems Safety program, section leader for Engineering Mechanics, and Nuclear Systems group leader, and chief of operations for the Livermore Pool Type Reactor. He went to work in the Director's Office in 1990 as an assistant to the deputy director for Operations and has continued that work part time since his retirement.

Two Livermore plasma physicists, Bruce Remington and Mordy Rosen, have been selected by the executive committee of the American Physical Society's Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) to participate in DPP's Distinguished Lecturer program. They and four of their plasma physics colleagues were selected from several thousand to travel to various universities throughout the country to describe their research to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.
According to Don Correll, director of Livermore's Science and Technology Education Program and chair of the DPP selection subcommittee, the Distinguished Lecturer program is designed to bring awareness of plasma physics to students throughout North America. "Being chosen from among the 2000 members of DPP to be a distinguished lecturer is an individual recognition of the scientist's contributions to plasma physics and his or her ability to share the information with a broad audience," Correll said.
Remington's talks will deal with "Scaling Astrophysics into the Laboratory." Rosen will address "High-Energy-Density Plasmas and the Quest for Fusion Ignition."
For more information on DPP and the Distinguished Lecturer's Program, see the DPP Web site at http://w3fusion.ph.utexas.edu/aps/.


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