Patents


Paul G. Carey, Patrick M. Smith, Thomas W. Sigmon, and Randy C. Aceves
Method for Formation of Thin Film Transistors on Plastic Substrates
U.S. Patent 5,817,550
October 6, 1998
A process for forming thin-film transistors (TFTs) on plastic substrates to replace standard techniques, using sufficiently lower processing temperatures so that inexpensive plastic substrates may be used in place of standard glass, quartz, and silicon wafer-based substrates. The process relies on techniques for depositing semiconductors, dielectrics, and metals at low temperatures; crystallizing and doping semiconductor layers in the TFT with a pulsed energy source; and creating top-gate self-aligned as well as back-gate TFT structures. The process has use in large-area, low-cost electronics, such as flat-panel displays and portable electronics.

Abraham P. Lee, Peter A. Krulevitch, M. Allen Northrup, and Jimmy C. Trevino
Microvalve
U.S. Patent 5,819,749
October 13, 1998
Micromachined thin-film cantilever actuators to individually control the deflection of the cantilevers, valve members, and rudders for steering same through blood vessels or positioning same within a blood vessel. Actuators include tactile sensor arrays mounted on a catheter or guide wire tip for navigation and tissue identification, shape-memory alloy film-based catheter/guide wire steering mechanisms, and rudder-based steering devices that allow the selective actuation of rudders that use the flowing blood itself to help direct the catheter through the blood vessel.


Michael J. Moran
Transverse-Structure Electrostatic Charged Particle Beam Lens
U.S. Patent 5,821,543
October 13, 1998
Electrostatic particle-beam lenses using a concentric coplanar array of independently biased rings. Traditional electrostatic lenses often consist of axial series of biased rings, apertures, or tubes. The science of lens design has devoted much attention to finding axial arrangements that compensate for the substantial optical aberrations of the individual elements. Thus, a multi-element, charged-particle lens can have optical behavior that is far superior to that of the individual elements. This design is convenient for numerical and theoretical analysis.


Michael Glinsky, Richard London, George Zimmerman, and Steven Jacques
Intraluminal Tissue Welding for Anastomosis
U.S. Patent 5,827,265
October 27, 1998
A method and device for performing intraluminal tissue welding for anastomosis of a hollow organ. A retractable catheter assembly is delivered through the hollow organ and consists of a catheter connected to an optical fiber, an inflatable balloon, and a biocompatible patch mounted on the balloon. The disconnected ends of the hollow organ are brought together on the catheter assembly, and, upon inflation of the balloon, the free ends are held together on the balloon to form a continuous channel while the patch is deployed against the inner wall of the hollow organ. The ends are joined, or "welded," using laser radiation transmitted through the optical fiber to the patch. The laser radiation delivered has a pulse profile to minimize tissue damage.


Bill Neuman, John Honig, Lloyd Hackel, C. Brent Dane, and Shamasundar Dixit
Phase Plate Technology for Laser Marking of Magnetic Discs
U.S. Patent 5,828,491
October 27, 1998
A design for a phase plate that enables distribution of spots in arbitrarily shaped patterns with very high uniformity and a continuously or near-continuously varying phase pattern. A continuous phase pattern eliminates large phase jumps typically expected in a grating that provides arbitrary shapes. The design can be easily adapted to minimize manufacturing errors and maintain high efficiencies. This grating is significantly more efficient than previously described Dammann gratings and is easier to manufacture and replicate than a multilevel phase grating.


Barry L. Freitas
High Density, Optically Corrected, Micro-Channel Cooled, V-Groove Monolithic Laser Diode Array
U.S. Patent 5,828,683
October 27, 1998
An optically corrected, microchannel-cooled, high-density laser diode array able to achieve stacking pitches to 33 bars/cm by mounting laser diodes into V-shaped grooves. The design delivers over 4 kW/cm2 of directional pulsed laser power. The laser is usable in solid-state systems that require efficient, directional, narrow-bandwidth, high-optical-power-density pump sources.


Thomas E. McEwan
Micropower RF Material Proximity Sensor
U.S. Patent 5,832,772
November 10, 1998
A level or proximity detector for materials capable of sensing through plastic container walls or encapsulating materials of the sensor. An antenna has a characteristic impedance that depends on the materials in proximity to the antenna. An RF oscillator, which includes the antenna and is based on a single transistor in a Colpitt's configuration, produces an oscillating signal. A detector coupled to the oscillator signals changes in the oscillating signal caused by changes in the materials close to the antenna. The antenna detects the fill level within the container as the material reaches the level of the antenna.


Vincent Malba
Process for 3D Chip Stacking
U.S. Patent 5,834,162
November 10, 1998
A process for fabricating electrical interconnects that extend from a top surface of an integrated circuit chip to a sidewall of the chip using laser pantography to pattern three-dimensional interconnects of an L-connect or L-shaped type. The process includes holding individual chips for batch processing, depositing a dielectric passivation layer on the top and sidewalls of the chips, opening vias in the dielectric, forming the interconnects by laser pantography, and removing the chips from the holding means. The process enables low-cost manufacturing of chips and increased performance, reduced size, and increased function per unit volume.


John P. Warhus and Jeffrey E. Mast
Ultra Wideband Ground Penetrating Radar Imaging of Heterogeneous Solids
U.S. Patent 5,835,054
November 10, 1998
A noninvasive imaging system for analyzing engineered structures comprising pairs of ultrawideband radar transmitters and receivers in a linear array that are connected to a timing mechanism that allows a radar echo sample to be taken at transmission. Transmitters and receivers are coupled to a position-determining system for each group of samples measured. Return signal amplitudes represent relative reflectivity of objects within the volume, and the delay in receiving each signal echo represents the depth of the object in the volume and the propagation speeds of intervening material layers.


Eric L. Altschuler and Farid U. Dowla
Encephalolexianalyzer
U.S. Patent 5,840,040
November 24, 1998
The encephalolexianalyzer uses digital signal processing techniques on electroencephalograph (EEG) brain waves to determine whether someone is thinking about moving, actually moving, or at rest and not thinking of moving. The mu waves measured by a pair of electrodes are signal processed to determine the power spectrum. At rest, the peak value of the power spectrum in the 8- to 13-Hz range is high; during movement or thought of movement, the peak value is low. This measured change in signal power spectrum is used to produce a control signal. The encephalolexianalyzer, used to communicate either directly or via a cursor, will benefit people with disabilities and be invaluable for studying the brain.


Stephan P. Velsko
Frequency Agile Optical Parametric Oscillator
U.S. Patent 5,841,570
November 24, 1998
The frequency-agile optical parametric oscillator converts a fixed wavelength pump laser beam to arbitrary wavelengths within a specified range with pulse agility, at a rate limited only by the repetition rate of the pump laser. Uses of this invention include laser radar (LIDAR) active remote sensing of effluents/pollutants, environmental monitoring, antisensor lasers, and spectroscopy.



Awards


Recognized for bringing "unusual distinction to the engineering profession," James Candy and Robert Deri have been elected as Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Candy, director of the Laboratory's Center for Advanced Signal and Image Sciences, was cited for "contributions to model-based ocean acoustical processing," used for detecting and localizing submarines. IEEE cited Deri's "contributions to photonic devices and integrations on compound semiconductors" for developing small microchips that can be used to transmit and receive light in fiber-optic systems. Deri, associate division leader in electronic engineering technology, was cowinner of two R&D 100 awards.

Laboratory physicists Neil Holmes and Dmitri Ryutov were recently elected Fellows of the American Physical Society. Holmes was cited for "innovative experimental studies to elucidate and understand the response of condensed matter to dynamic high pressure." Holmes's career at the Laboratory has included research for laser-driven shockwaves and light-gas guns, leader of the Physics Directorate's equation-of-state program and dynamic experiments, and associate division leader. Areas of Ryutov's research include plasma and space physics, advanced dynamics, and astrophysics. He came to Livermore in 1994 from the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Novosibirsk, Russia. His citation reads: "For contributions to the diverse areas of fusion plasma and astrophysical research, in a career characterized by exceptional analytical skills and innovative ideas."

The LDRD Working Group, led by deputy director of the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program Rokaya Al-Ayat, received the DOE/Albuquerque Operations top honor-the Platinum Team Quality Award-as part of the team effort for "outstanding management and oversight of three LDRD Programs at three Defense Programs Laboratories." The team includes Nathan Lucas, associate director of the DOE/OAK Weapons Research Division, and Livermore's Cathy Sayre, Pat Taylor, Nancy Campos, and Pamela Harris.



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