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  • Yilu Liu

    ORNL, UT's Liu elected member of National Academy of Engineering

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Feb. 10, 2016 – Yilu Liu, the Governor’s Chair for Power Grids, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. The Governor’s Chair is a joint appointment at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee.
  • ORNL researchers are developing an idealized collector molecule that has a shape complementary to the surface atomic structure of xenotime, a rare earth yttrium-rich phosphate mineral.

    Energy – Critical materials, critical role …

    February 4, 2016 – Ensuring a reliable supply of rare earth elements, including four key lanthanides and yttrium, is a major goal of the Critical Materials Institute ( as these elements are essential to many clean-energy technologies. These include energy-efficient lighting, electric vehicles, photovoltaic panels and wind power.
  • Researchers developed a framework to learn physical and chemical phenomena defining nanocrystal growth from scanning transmission electron microscopy.

    Nanoscience – Learning from nanocrystal growth …

    February 4, 2016 – To tailor tiny nanocrystals for catalysts, semiconductors and other applications, scientists must predict what happens inside the particle, at the boundary and in the solvent during particle growth. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Kentucky tackled this tricky task by developing a framework to analyze crystal growth mechanisms, collective dynamics and proximity effects.
  • One-third of the nation’s energy generation units are located within 50 miles of the coasts.

    Climate – Populations at risk …

    February 4, 2016 – Increased extreme weather events expected to accompany climate change pose a significant risk to coastal regions, home to more than half of the U.S. population with more people on the way.

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Plutonium for deep space

With the production of 50 grams of plutonium-238,researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have restored a U.S. capability that had been dormant for nearly 30 years and set the course to provide power for NASA and other missions.