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ORNL wins four R&D 100 awards, pushing total to 116

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won four R&D awards from R&D Magazine, which since 1963 has given the awards for the 100 most significant innovations of the year.

"All of us at ORNL are extremely proud of our staff for winning these awards," said ORNL Director Bill Madia. "The award is among the most coveted in the world of scientific research, and winning it brings prestige to both the researcher and the laboratory."

ORNL's total of 116 awards is second only to General Electric. The following inventions received honors:

RAMiTS: Raman Integrated Tunable Sensor, developed and submitted by Tuan Vo-Dinh, Joel Mobley, Brian Cullum and David Stokes of the Life Sciences Division, and Alan Wintenberg and Steven Frank of the Engineering Science and Technology Division. Robert Maples of RIS of Knoxville is a co-developer.

RAMiTS is a compact, "point-and-shoot," fully integrated, battery-operated Raman monitor and is based on solid-state acoustooptic tunable filter technology. Outside the laboratory, this device can perform qualitative analysis of chemical and biological samples in seconds. RAMiTS can identify hundreds of substances, including toxic chemicals, by-products from explosives, biomedical markers, pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs. RAMiTS also could help revolutionize sensing applications such as environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics and homeland security, researchers said.

MicroTrapMS, developed and submitted jointly by Michael Ramsey, William Whitten and Peter Reilly of the Chemical Sciences Division; Oleg Kornienko, postdoctoral ORNL fellow; and Protasis Corp. of Marlboro, Mass.

MicroTrapMS is a highly miniaturized ion trap mass spectrometer that is based on ORNL patented technology. The product can be used for applications from on-line screening for toxins in municipal watersheds to detecting hazardous substances at airport checkpoints. MicroTrapMS will enhance real-time capabilities of field engineers to sweep many local areas for pesticides, drugs, explosives and more. MicroTrapMS has the power of a conventional mass spectrometer at a lower cost.

CF8C-Plus: New Cast Stainless Steel for High-Temperature Performance, developed and submitted jointly by Philip Maziasz and Robert Swindeman of the Metals and Ceramics Division and Caterpillar of Peoria, Ill. Joint developers are Timothy McGreevy, Bradley University; Paul Browning, Solar Turbines - DeSoto Overhaul Facility of DeSoto, Texas; and Arun Bhattacharya of Solar Turbines - Materials and Processes Engineering of San Diego.

CF8C-Plus is designed to drastically improve high-temperature durability, performance and reliability based on ORNL's unique engineered microstructure alloy development methodology. The engineered microstructure method dramatically changes CF8C-Plus from steel that cannot be used above 600-650 degrees Celsius to steel that can be used up to 850 degrees Celsius and resists failure during creep, mechanical fatigue and thermal fatigue. Developers said that end users like Caterpillar or commercial foundries like MetalTek will benefit from CF8C-Plus because it is a cost-effective product with higher performance and immense reliability.

Uncooled Micromechanical Infrared Camera (UMIR-Cam), developed and submitted by Panos Datskos, Slobodan Rajic, Lawrence Senesac and Nickolay Lavrik of the Engineering Science and Technology Division and James Corbeil, an ORNL research associate.

UMIR-Cam is a sensitive, miniature imaging and infrared photo-detection device. It runs at room temperature and can be used in a number of endeavors, including night vision, industrial process monitoring and medical imaging. It also can help firefighters see through smoke and has particularly important uses in the commercial and military sectors, because infrared radiation is the second-most intense source of radiation in our environment.

ORNL is a DOE multiprogram research facility managed by UT-Battelle.