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Samarthya Bhagia examines a sample of a thermoplastic composite material additively manufactured using poplar wood and polylactic acid. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Chemical and environmental engineer Samarthya Bhagia is focused on achieving carbon neutrality and a circular economy by designing new plant-based materials for a range of applications from energy storage devices and sensors to environmentally friendly bioplastics.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers used an invertible neural network, a type of artificial intelligence that mimics the human brain, to select the most suitable materials for desired properties, such as flexibility or heat resistance, with high chemical accuracy. The study could lead to more customizable materials design for industry.

A study led by researchers at ORNL could help make materials design as customizable as point-and-click.

Virginia-based battery technology company, BTRY, has licensed several electrolyte and thin-film coating technologies, developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to make batteries with increased energy density, at lower cost, and with an improved safety profile in crashes. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Several electrolyte and thin-film coating technologies, developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have been licensed by BTRY, a battery technology company based in Virginia, to make batteries with increased energy density, at lower cost, and with an improved safety profile in crashes.

This image illustrates lattice distortion, strain, and ion distribution in metal halide perovskites, which can be induced by external stimuli such as light and heat. Image credit: Stephen Jesse/ORNL

A study by researchers at the ORNL takes a fresh look at what could become the first step toward a new generation of solar batteries.

Samples of four unique materials hitched a ride to space as part of an effort by ORNL scientists to evaluate how each fares under space conditions. Credit: Zac Ward/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To study how space radiation affects materials for spacecraft and satellites, Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists sent samples to the International Space Station. The results will inform design of radiation-resistant magnetic and electronic systems.

Govindarajan Muralidharan has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Muralidharan was recognized for “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.”

ORNL scientists used an electron beam for precision machining of nanoscale materials. Cubes were milled to change their shape and could also be removed from an array. Credit: Kevin Roccapriore/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Drilling with the beam of an electron microscope, scientists at ORNL precisely machined tiny electrically conductive cubes that can interact with light and organized them in patterned structures that confine and relay light’s electromagnetic signal.

Mars Rover 2020

More than 50 current employees and recent retirees from ORNL received Department of Energy Secretary’s Honor Awards from Secretary Jennifer Granholm in January as part of project teams spanning the national laboratory system. The annual awards recognized 21 teams and three individuals for service and contributions to DOE’s mission and to the benefit of the nation.

Using quantum Monte Carlo methods, the researchers simulated bulk VO2. Yellow and turquoise represent changes in electron density between the excited and ground states of a compound composed of oxygen, in red, and vanadium, in blue, which allowed them to evaluate how an oxygen vacancy, in white, can alter the compound’s properties. Credit: Panchapakesan Ganesh/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Neuromorphic devices — which emulate the decision-making processes of the human brain — show great promise for solving pressing scientific problems, but building physical systems to realize this potential presents researchers with a significant

Merlin Theodore, advanced fibers manufacturing group leader and Tuskegee University alumna, will guide Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s collaboration with the university, through which students and researchers work together to advance the development of bioderived materials. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL and Tuskegee University have formed a partnership to develop new biodegradable materials for use in buildings, transportation and biomedical applications.