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Oak Ridge National Laboratory entrance sign

Balendra Sutharshan, deputy associate laboratory director for operational systems at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has joined ORNL as associate laboratory director for the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate.

A 3D printed turbine blade demonstrates the use of the new class of nickel-based superalloys that can withstand extreme heat environments without cracking or losing strength. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have demonstrated that a new class of superalloys made of cobalt and nickel remains crack-free and defect-resistant in extreme heat, making them conducive for use in metal-based 3D printing applications.

ORNL has modeled the spike protein that binds the novel coronavirus to a human cell for better understanding of the dynamics of COVID-19. Credit: Stephan Irle/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To better understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have harnessed the power of supercomputers to accurately model the spike protein that binds the novel coronavirus to a human cell receptor.

 The researchers embedded a programmable model into a D-Wave quantum computer chip. Credit: D-Wave

A multi-institutional team became the first to generate accurate results from materials science simulations on a quantum computer that can be verified with neutron scattering experiments and other practical techniques.

Merlin Theodore holding N95 mask filtration material produced at DOE's Carbon Fiber Technology Facility

Three technologies developed by ORNL researchers have won National Technology Transfer Awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium. One of the awards went to a team that adapted melt-blowing capabilities at DOE’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility to enable the production of filter material for N95 masks in the fight against COVID-19.

ORNL welder Devin Johnson uses a new orbital welder to seal a hollow target in a glovebox in the lab’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center. The new welder makes a clean seam on the metal target, eliminating the need for hand-finishing afterward. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A better way of welding targets for Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s plutonium-238 production has sped up the process and improved consistency and efficiency. This advancement will ultimately benefit the lab’s goal to make enough Pu-238 – the isotope that powers NASA’s deep space missions – to yield 1.5 kilograms of plutonium oxide annually by 2026.

Researchers at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center partnered to design a COVID-19 screening whistle for convenient home testing. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Collaborators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are developing a breath-sampling whistle that could make COVID-19 screening easy to do at home.

In situ monitoring to evaluate nickel-based superalloys as they are printing gave Mike Kirka, an ORNL materials scientist, the ability to see potential weaknesses that could lead to part failure. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Growing up in the heart of the American automobile industry near Detroit, Oak Ridge National Laboratory materials scientist Mike Kirka was no stranger to manufacturing.

self-healing elastomers
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed self-healing elastomers that demonstrated unprecedented adhesion strength and the ability to adhere to many surfaces, which could broaden their potential use
An international research team used scanning tunneling microscopy at ORNL to send and receive single molecules across a surface on an atomically precise track. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences contributed to a groundbreaking experiment published in Science that tracks the real-time transport of individual molecules.