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ORNL adds three R&D 100 Awards to DOE lab-leading total

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 26, 2000 -- Researchers and engineers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have won three R&D 100 Awards, pushing their national lab-leading total to 107 since the awards began in 1963.

The awards, announced today by ORNL Director Bill Madia, are presented annually by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year's most significant technological innovations. ORNL's 107 R&D 100 awards place it first among DOE laboratories and second only to General Electric.

The honors were for the following processes or inventions:

Differentially Deposited X-ray Microfocusing Mirrors, developed and submitted jointly by Gene Ice of ORNL and Beamline Technology Corp. of Tuscon, Ariz.

With this invention, scientists have a powerful new tool to study interconnects and other materials made up of small disoriented crystal blocks called grains. The new X-ray crystal microscope provides an exciting capability that didn't exist before. Ice said it allows researchers to see the three-dimensional crystal structure of most materials for the first time.

ORNL High-Thermal-Conductivity Graphite Foam, developed by James Klett, Tim Burchell and Ashok Choudhury of ORNL. This is a joint winner with Poco Graphite of Decatur, Texas.

This is a patented carbon foam with thermal conductivity equivalent to aluminum at one-

fifth its weight. Because of its superior heat transfer characteristics, the material could allow auto designers to place the radiator somewhere other than at the car's front end. The foam could also displace heavy cooling fans, metallic fins and heat sinks in electronics. Graphite foam, which is nearly 100 percent graphite, features an open cell structure that improves heat transfer to a working fluid, like the coolant in a radiator. Unlike other carbon foam products, which act as insulators, the ORNL-developed material conducts -- or removes -- heat.

Block II Chemical Biological Mass Spectrometer, developed by Wayne Griest, William Andrews Jr., Don Bible, Eric Breeding, Michael Burnett, Kim Castleberry, Dwight Clayton, Richard Crutcher, Kevin Hart, Mike Hileman, Ralph Ilgner, Bruce Jatko, Roger Jenkins, Stephen Lammert, David McMillan, Randy McPherson, Roosevelt Merriweather, Richard Reid, Irene Robbins, David Smith, Robert Smith, Carl Sohns, Ann Stewart, Cynthia Terry, Cyril Thompson, Arpad Vass, Robert Whitaker, Marcus Wise, Dennis Wolf, Wes Wysor and Judy Zager of ORNL. This is a joint winner with Orbital Sciences Corp. of Pomona, Calif.; MSP Corp. of Minneapolis; Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.; and the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, Arberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

This is the first integrated instrument capable of detecting and identifying both chemical warfare agents and biological warfare agents. It combines the detection speed, sensitivity and specificity necessary for environmental detection of highly diverse classes of materials in a package that is field-portable. First applications will be on the battlefield with future applications likely to support efforts in counter terrorism, domestic preparedness, law enforcement and health care. Existing technologies are severely limited in sensitivity, detection range and speed of response, according to ORNL scientists.


ORNL, which is managed by UT-Battelle, is one of DOE's multiprogram research laboratories.

(Photos available upon request)


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