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Frances Pleasonton seals a vacuum chamber in 1951.

The old photos show her casually writing data in a logbook with stacks of lead bricks nearby, or sealing a vacuum chamber with a wrench. ORNL researcher Frances Pleasonton was instrumental in some of the earliest explorations of the properties of the neutron as the X-10 Site was finding its postwar footing as a research lab.

Isostatic pressing illustration

Following months of promising test results, battery researchers at ORNL are recommending that the solid-state battery industry focus on a technique known as isostatic pressing as it looks to commercialize next-generation batteries.

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed an eco-friendly foam insulation for improved building efficiency. Credit: Chad Malone/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at ORNL developed a competitive, eco-friendly alternative made without harmful blowing agents.

The licensing and leadership team behind AMIGO. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A technology developed at ORNL and used by the U.S. Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, or NAVWAR, to test the capabilities of commercial security tools has been licensed to cybersecurity firm Penguin Mustache to create its platform. The company was founded by the technology’s creator, former ORNL scientist Jared M. Smith, and his business partner, entrepreneur Brandon Bruce.

 Leadership from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Energy Technology Laboratory signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly explore carbon management strategies in the Appalachian region. Credit: NETL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL is teaming with the National Energy Technology Laboratory to jointly explore a range of technology innovations for carbon management and strategies for economic development and sustainable energy transitions in the Appalachian region.

Artist’s conceptual drawing illustrates the novel energy filtering technique using neutrons that enabled researchers at ORNL to freeze moving germanium telluride atoms in an unblurred image. The images offered key insights into how the material produces its outstanding thermoelectric performance. Credit: Jill Hemman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists have long sought to better understand the “local structure” of materials, meaning the arrangement and activities of the neighboring particles around each atom. In crystals, which are used in electronics and many other applications, most of the atoms form highly ordered lattice patterns that repeat. But not all atoms conform to the pattern.

Stephen Dahunsi. Credit: Jason Richards/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Stephen Dahunsi’s desire to see more countries safely deploy nuclear energy is personal. Growing up in Nigeria, he routinely witnessed prolonged electricity blackouts as a result of unreliable energy supplies. It’s a problem he hopes future generations won’t have to experience.

One of the proteins identified through a new ORNL-developed approach could be key to communications between poplar trees and beneficial microbes that can help boost poplar trees’ growth, carbon storage and climate resilience. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL researchers have identified specific proteins and amino acids that could control bioenergy plants’ ability to identify beneficial microbes that can enhance plant growth and storage of carbon in soils.

The next generation of the Center for Bioenergy Innovation will pursue an accelerated feedstock-to-fuels approach for the efficient, economic production of sustainable jet fuel. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The Center for Bioenergy Innovation has been renewed by the Department of Energy as one of four bioenergy research centers across the nation to advance robust, economical production of plant-based fuels and chemicals.

Benjamin Manard

Benjamin Manard has been named to the editorial board of Applied Spectroscopy Practica, serving as an associate editor.