Patents

James L. Kaschmitter
Three-Dimensional Amorphous Silicon/Microcrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
U.S. Patent 5,538,564
July 23, 1996
Solar cells that use deep (high-aspect-ratio) p and n contacts to create high electric fields within the carrier collection volume material of the cell. The deep contacts are fabricated using repetitive pulsed laser doping so as to create the high-aspect p and n contacts. The provision of the deep contacts that penetrate the electric field deep into the material where the high strength of the field can collect many of the carriers results in a high-efficiency solar cell.

Gerald W. Coutts, John F. Bushman, and Terry W. Alger
Mass Spectrometer Vacuum Housing and Pumping System
U.S. Patent 5,539,204
July 23, 1996
A vacuum housing that is composed of cleaned and welded stainless-steel tube components and includes flanges sealed with metal gaskets. The housing is broadly composed of two interconnected tubular sections (each section having a flange at the outer end and at the main body section). The vacuum pumps require simple and minimal electrical controls and use minimal electrical power. These attributes allow packaging into a small, lightweight volume that will operate with minimal power.


Charles L. Bennett
Method for Determining and Displaying the Spatial Distribution of a Spectral Pattern of Received Light
U.S. Patent 5,539,518
July 23, 1996
An imaging Fourier transform spectrometer employing an interferometer coupled to a digital framing camera. Output from the digital framing camera is provided to a computer that, by manipulation of that data, can display a two-dimensional representation of measured spectra and/or numerical data pertaining to those spectra. The digital framing camera is optically and electrically coupled to the output of the interferometer such that an interferogram is recorded at precise intervals in synchrony with the movement of the moving mirror of the interferometer.


William F. Krupke, Ralph H. Page, Laura D. DeLoach, and Stephen A. Payne
Transition-Metal-Doped Sulfide, Selenide, and Telluride Laser Crystal and Lasers
U.S. Patent 5,541,948
July 30, 1996
A new class of solid-state laser crystals and lasers that are formed of materials that have fourfold coordinated substitutional sites. The host crystals include II-VI compounds that are doped with a transition metal laser ion (e.g., chromium, cobalt, or iron). Important aspects of these laser materials are the tetrahedral site symmetry of the host crystal, low excited-state absorption losses, high luminescence efficiency, and the d4 and d6 electronic configurations of the transition metal ions.


Ravindra S. Upadhye and Francis T. Wang
Clean Process to Destroy Arsenic-Containing Organic Compounds with Recovery of Arsenic
U.S. Patent 5,545,800
August 13, 1996
A process using a reducing agent to decompose an organic compound containing arsenic. The reducing agents may include alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, hydrides, and hydrogen gas. In the case of a pure metal reducing agent, an intermediate metal arsenide is formed that may be acidified to form an arsenic-containing gas, such as arsine. The arsine gas is then reduced to pure arsenic by a thermal or chemical process. This reduction process avoids the costly separation or disposal of arsenic oxide.


Don E. Fischer, Don Walmsley, and P. Derek Wapman
Crimp Sealing of Tubes Flush With or Below a Fixed Surface
U.S. Patent 5,546,783
August 20, 1996
An apparatus used when a ductile metal tube and valve assembly are attached to a pressure vessel that has a fixed surface around the base of the tube at the pressure vessel. A flat anvil is placed against the tube, die guides are placed against the tube on a side opposite the anvil, and a pinch-off die is inserted into the die guides against the tube. Adequate clearance for inserting the die and anvil around the tube is needed below the fixed surface. The anvil must be flat, so that, after crimping, it may be removed without deforming the crimped tubes.


Malcolm Caplan and Clifford C. Shang
Vacuum-Barrier Window for Wide-Bandwidth High-Power Microwave Transmission
U.S. Patent 5,548,257
August 20, 1996
A vacuum output window that comprises a planar dielectric material with identical systems of parallel ridges and valleys formed in opposite surfaces. The valleys in each surface neck together along parallel lines in the bulk of the dielectric. Liquid-coolant conduits are disposed linearly along such lines of necking and have water or liquid nitrogen pumped to remove heat. The ridges focus the incident energy in ribbons that squeeze between the liquid-coolant conduits without significant losses over very broad bands of the radio spectrum.


Gary E. Sommargren
Phase Shifting Diffraction Interferometer
U.S. Patent 5,548,403
August 20, 1996
An interferometer having the capability of measuring optical elements and systems with an accuracy of ¬/1,000, where ¬ is the wavelength of visible light. This interferometer uses an essentially perfect spherical reference wavefront generated by the fundamental process of diffraction. The interferometer is adjustable to give unity fringe visibility, which maximizes the signal to noise and has the means to introduce a controlled, prescribed relative phase shift between the reference wavefront and the wavefront from the optics under test.


William J. Benett, Raymond J. Beach, and Dino R. Ciarlo
Monolithic Microchannel Heatsink
U.S. Patent 5,548,605
August 20, 1996
A silicon wafer that has slots sawed in it that allow diode laser bars to be mounted (soldered) in contact with the silicon. Microchannels are etched into the back of the wafer to provide cooling of the diode bars. The channels are rotated from an angle perpendicular to the diode bars, allowing increased penetration between the mounted diode bars. Low thermal resistance of heatsinks allow high average power operation of two-dimensional laser diode arrays.


Troy W. Barbee, Jr. and Timothy Weihs
Method for Fabricating an Ignitable Heterogeneous Stratified Metal Structure
U.S. Patent 5,547,715
August 20, 1996
Method for fabricating a multilayer structure with selectable features: propagating reaction front velocity V, reaction initiation temperature attained by application of external energy, and amount of energy delivered by a reaction of alternating unreacted layers of the multilayer structure. Because V is selectable and controllable, a variety of different applications for the multilayer structures are possible, including use as ignitors, in joining applications, in fabrication of new materials such as smart materials, and in medical applications and devices.


Karla Hagans, Leon Berzins, Joseph Galkowski, and Rita Seng
Self-Tuning Method for Monitoring the Density of a Gas Vapor Component Using a Tunable Laser
U.S. Patent 5,550,636
August 27, 1996
A method using a tunable laser for determining the density of a gas vapor component that absorbs light at an expected maximum frequency. A laser is tuned to transmit a laser source beam at a local maximum absorptance frequency of the component by transmitting at last one laser source beam through at predetermined path of gas vapor. The frequency of the laser source beam is swept through a frequency range, including the expected maximum absorptance frequency.


Awards

Laboratory scientists Bruce Hammel and Laurance Suter have been elected fellows by the American Physical Society. Their election brings to 30 the number of APS fellowships earned by the Laboratory's Inertial Confinement Fusion Program in the last 20 years.
The citation on Hammel's certificate reads "for measurements and understanding of x-ray-driven hydrodynamic instabilities and x-ray drive asymmetry." Hammel is currently head of experimental research within the ICF Program and is responsible for experiments on the Nova laser.
Suter was cited for "pioneering work and leadership in the design, modeling, and analysis of experiments using laser-heated hohlraums that quantify and control x-ray drive, symmetry, and pulse-shaped implosions." He is currently the leader of the Hohlraum Group in the Theory and Target Design (X) Division of the Laser Programs Directorate and is working on a new type of source for producing x rays with high-powered lasers for the future National Ignition Facility.

Sixteen organizations were awarded the 1996 DOE Energy Quality Awards in October, including Livermore's Business Services Department, in recognition of substantial achievement in quality management.
"These award winners have demonstrated excellence in `reinventing government' in support of the President's National Performance Review principles: putting customers first, cutting red tape, empowering employees, and getting back to basics," said DOE Secretary Hazel O'Leary.


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