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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 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.

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.

The image shows a visualization of a radiation transport simulation for a spaceflight radioisotope power system and complex interactions of radiation fields with operational environments. Credit: Michael B. R. Smith and M. Scott Greenwood/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a first-of-a-kind toolkit drawing on video game development software to visualize radiation data.

Fungi use signaling molecules called LCOs to communicate with each other and to regulate growth. Credit: Jessy Labbe/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators have discovered that signaling molecules known to trigger symbiosis between plants and soil bacteria are also used by almost all fungi as chemical signals to communicate with each other.

UTK researchers used neutron probes at ORNL to confirm established fundamental chemical rules can also help understand and predict atomic movements and distortions in materials when disorder is introduced, as arrows show. Credit: Eric O’Quinn/UTK

Pauling’s Rules is the standard model used to describe atomic arrangements in ordered materials. Neutron scattering experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory confirmed this approach can also be used to describe highly disordered materials.

ORNL assisted in investigating proteins called porins, one shown in red, which are found in the protective outer membrane of certain disease-causing bacteria and tether the membrane to the cell wall. Credit: Hyea (Sunny) Hwang/Georgia Tech and ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory used high-performance computing to create protein models that helped reveal how the outer membrane is tethered to the cell membrane in certain bacteria.

Shown here is an on-chip carbonized electrode microstructure from a scanning electron microscope. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee designed and demonstrated a method to make carbon-based materials that can be used as electrodes compatible with a specific semiconductor circuitry.