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Patents

Microfluidic Fuel Cell Systems with Embedded Materials and Structures and Method Thereof
Jeffrey D. Morse, Klint A. Rose, Mariam Maghribi, William Benett, Peter Krulevitch, Julie Hamilton, Robert T. Graff, Alan Jankowski
U.S. Patent 6,921,603 B2
July 26, 2005
In this process for fabricating microfluidic systems with embedded components, micrometer-scale features are molded into the polymeric material polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Micromachining is used to create a mold master, and the liquid precursors for PDMS are poured over the mold and allowed to cure. PDMS is then removed from the mold and bonded to another material, such as PDMS, glass, or silicon, after a simple surface preparation step is taken to form sealed microchannels.

Compact Refractive Imaging Spectrometer Utilizing Immersed Gratings
Scott A. Lerner, Charles L. Bennett, Jay V. Bixler, Paul J. Kuzmenko, Isabella T. Lewis
U.S. Patent 6,922,240 B2
July 26, 2005
This compact imaging spectrometer has an entrance slit for directing light, a first means for receiving the light and focusing the light, an immersed diffraction grating that receives the light from the first means and defracts the light, a second means for receiving the light from the immersed diffraction grating and focusing the light, and an image plane that receives the light from the second means.

Controlling and Operating Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engines
Daniel L. Flowers
U.S. Patent 6,923,167 B2
August 2, 2005
A homogeneous charge compression ignition engine system includes an engine that produces exhaust gas. A vaporization means vaporizes fuel for the engine, and an air-induction means provides air for the engine. An exhaust-gas-recirculation means recirculates the exhaust gas. A blending means blends the vaporized fuel, exhaust gas, and air. An induction means inducts the blended vaporized fuel, exhaust gas, and air into the engine. A control means controls the blending of the vaporized fuel, exhaust gas, and air. It also controls inducting the blended vaporized fuel, exhaust gas, and air into the engine.

Thio-, Amine-, Nitro-, and Macrocyclic Containing Organic Aerogels and Xerogels
Glenn A. Fox, Thomas M. Tillotson
U.S. Patent 6,924,322 B2
August 2, 2005
Organic aerogels and xerogels are formed by a solgel reaction using starting materials that exhibit similar reactivity to the most commonly used resorcinol starting material. The new starting materials, including thio-, amine-, and nitro-containing molecules and functionalized macrocyclic molecules, will produce organic xerogels and aerogels that have improved performance in the areas of detection and sensor technology and water-stream remediation. Further development of these new organic aerogels and xerogels will yield material that can be extracted more easily than current organic aerogels.

Direct-Patterned Optical Waveguides on Amorphous Silicon Films
Steve Vernon, Tiziana C. Bond, Steven W. Bond, Michael D. Pocha, Stefan Hau-Riege
U.S. Patent 6,925,216 B2
August 2, 2005
An optical waveguide structure is formed by embedding a core material within a medium of lower refractive index (that is, the cladding). The optical index of refraction of amorphous silicon (a-Si) and polycrystalline silicon (p-Si), in the wavelength range between about 1.2 and 1.6 micrometers, differ by about 20 percent, with the amorphous phase having the larger index. Spatially selective laser crystallization of a-Si provides a mechanism for controlling the spatial variation of the refractive index and for surrounding the amorphous regions with crystalline material. In cases where an a-Si film is interposed between layers of low refractive index, for example, a structure composed of a silicon–oxygen substrate (SiO2), Si film, and SiO2 film, the formation of guided wave structures is particularly simple.

Apparatus and Method for Reducing Drag of a Bluff Body in Ground Effect Using Counter-Rotating Vortex Pairs
Jason M. Ortega, Kambiz Salari
U.S. Patent 6,926,345 B2
August 9, 2005
An aerodynamic-based drag reduction apparatus and method for bluff bodies, such as tractor-trailer trucks, uses a pair of lift surfaces extending to lift surface tips and located alongside the bluff body, for example, on the opposing left- and right-side surfaces. In a flow stream substantially parallel to the longitudinal centerline of the bluff body, the pair of lift surfaces generates a pair of counterrotating trailing vortices that join in the wake of the bluff body in a direction orthogonal to the flow stream. The confluence draws or turns the flow stream in and around behind the trailing end of the bluff body, raising the pressure on a base surface at the trailing end and thereby reducing the aerodynamic base drag.

Solid-Phase Microextraction Field Kit
Peter J. Nunes, Brian D. Andresen
U.S. Patent 6,929,778 B2
August 16, 2005
This field kit is used to collect, isolate, and concentrate trace amounts of residue from high explosives and biological and chemical weapons agents found in air, soil, vegetation, swipe, and liquid samples. The kit includes a number of solid-phase microextraction fiber and syringe assemblies. It also includes a sampling port, a protective cap for the fiber, an extractor for the protective cap, spare parts, a protective glove, and an instruction manual. The kit is enclosed in a hermetically sealed transportation container.

High-Power Laser Having a Trivalent Liquid Host
Earl R. Ault
U.S. Patent 6,931,036 B1
August 16, 2005
This high-power laser features a lasing chamber and a semiconductor-pumping device with trivalent titanium ions dissolved in a liquid host within the lasing chamber. Because the host is a liquid, it can be removed from the optical cavity when it becomes heated, avoiding the inevitable optical distortion and birefringence common to glass and crystal hosts.

Ion Mobility Sensor
Jackson C. Koo, Conrad M. Yu
U.S. Patent 6,933,496 B2
August 23, 2005
This ion mobility sensor can simultaneously detect both ions and molecules. Thus, one can measure the relative arrival times between various ions and molecules. Different ions have different mobility in air, and the ion sensor enables measurement of ion mobility. One can identify the various ions and molecules from these measurements. The ion mobility sensor, which uses a pair of glow discharge devices, can be designed for coupling with an existing gas chromatograph, where various gas molecules are already separated and the number of each kind of molecules is relatively small. In such a case, a conventional ion mobility sensor cannot be used.

Process for Direct Integration of a Thin-Film Silicon P-N Junction Diode with a Magnetic Tunnel Junction
Daniel Toet, Thomas W. Sigmon
U.S. Patent 6,933,530 B2
August 23, 2005
This process for direct integration of a thin-film silicon p-n junction diode with a magnetic tunnel junction is used in advanced magnetic random-access-memory cells of high-performance, nonvolatile memory arrays. The process is based on pulsed laser processing for the fabrication of vertical polycrystalline silicon electronic device structures, in particular p-n junction diodes, on films of metals deposited on low-temperature substrates such as ceramics, dielectrics, glass, or polymers. The process preserves underlayers and structures onto which the devices are typically deposited, such as silicon integrated circuits. The process involves the low-temperature deposition of at least one layer of silicon, either in an amorphous or a polycrystalline phase, on a metal layer. Dopants may be introduced in the silicon film during or after deposition. The film is then irradiated with short-pulse laser energy that is efficiently absorbed in the silicon, resulting in the crystallization of the film and simultaneously in the activation of the dopants by ultrafast melting and solidification. The silicon film can be patterned either before or after crystallization.

Free-Space Optical Communications Using Holographic Conjugation
Eddy A. Stappaerts
U.S. Patent 6,934,475 B2
August 23, 2005
A beacon beam is transmitted from a receiver to a transmitter. The transmitter generates and transmits a conjugate beacon beam back to the receiver, which is then interfered with a local oscillator beam to form a hologram. The hologram is used to configure a spatial light modulator as a diffraction grating. A conjugate communications laser beam containing information is subsequently transmitted to the receiver. The diffraction grating deflects the conjugate communications beam to a fixed and known direction, whereupon it is directed through a spatial filter. Because the direction of the conjugate communications beam is fixed and known, the diameter of the filter aperture can be minimized to accept the communications beam, while rejecting most of the background light. A high-speed detector directly detects the filtered conjugate communications beam. The detector output is transmitted to a demodulator, which extracts the information carried by the beam.



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UCRL-52000-05-11 | November 9, 2005