Back

Physical and Life Sciences

New composite may be key to improved hydrogen storage

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) computational scientists worked with experimental collaborators at Lawrence Berkeley and Sandia national laboratories to design metal amide-based composites capable of overcoming key kinetic limitations in their performance as hydrogen storage materials. Hydrogen possesses the highest energy density of any chemical fuel and can…

LLNL’s prototype telescope now fully operational aboard the International Space Station

When SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on March 16, it delivered several thousand pounds of supplies for the crew as well as new hardware. The hardware included the U.S. Space Force’s Space Test Program Houston 9 (STP-H9) platform, which houses a prototype telescope designed and built by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's…

DOE honors two early-career Lab scientists

Two scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are recipients of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Early Career Research Program award. Daniel Casey and Gauthier Deblonde are among 93 awardees receiving the recognition. Under the program, typical awards for DOE national laboratory staff are $500,000 per year for five years. “Supporting…

Explainable artificial intelligence can enhance scientific workflows

Machine learning techniques are increasingly being used in the sciences, as they can streamline work and improve efficiency. But these techniques are sometimes met with hesitation: When users don’t understand what’s going on behind the curtains, they may lack trust in the machine learning models. As these tools become more widespread, a team of researchers in Lawrence…

LLNL’s enhanced materials science capabilities showcased during open house

LLNL’s Materials Science Division (MSD) recently hosted an open house showcasing its lab facilities and redesigned workspaces that support the division’s expanding research scope. The event, led by Division Leader Manyalibo (Ibo) Matthews, featured tours of updated laboratory spaces. At each tour stop, MSD scientists provided a brief overview of the research that takes…

Machine learning reveals refreshing understanding of confined water

A new study provides surprising behavior of hydrogen bonding of water confined in carbon nanotubes. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists combined large-scale molecular dynamics simulations with machine learning interatomic potentials derived from first-principles calculations to examine the hydrogen bonding of water confined in carbon nanotubes (CNTs)…

Greenland melted recently, shows high risk of sea level rise today

A large portion of Greenland was an ice-free tundra landscape — perhaps covered by trees and roaming wooly mammoths — in the recent geologic past (about 416,000 years ago), according to a new study in the journal Science. The results shed light on the stability of the Greenland ice sheet, which was long assumed to have been frozen continuously over the last two and a half…

Enhancing rare-earth element separation

The irreplaceable roles of rare-earth (RE) elements in ubiquitous modern technologies ranging from permanent magnets to light-emitting diodes (LED) and phosphors have renewed interest in one of the grand challenges of separation science—efficient separation of lanthanides. However, the separation of these 15 elements is complicated due to their similar physicochemical…

Researchers address the challenges in creating carbon nanotubes on metal foil

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) provide extraordinary electronic, thermal, mechanical, and transport properties, among many other benefits. Vertically aligned CNT (VACNT) forests have promising potential applications ranging from energy storage to multifunctional fiber production. While CNTs are traditionally made on substrates such as silicon, the process is not compatible with…

Modifying the molecular structure of carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are known for their high tensile strength and electrical and thermal conductivities, making them ideal for a wide range of consumer applications—energy storage, electronics, etc. However, current approaches to CNT synthesis are limited in their ability to control the placement of atoms on the surface of nanotubes. Some of these limitations stem from…

Developing radioprotection strategies for deep space exploration

During future missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO), such as those planned to the moon, near-Earth asteroids, and Mars, astronauts will face poorly defined health risks as a result of exposure to the complex space ionizing radiation (IR) environment. In fact, the gastrointestinal (GI) system is documented to be highly radiosensitive with even relatively low dose IR…

CO<sub>2</sub> capture and conversion perspectives for a cleaner future

To date, most CO2 capture and conversion processes have been developed in isolation, where the output of the capture process is purified, compressed CO2, which can be used as the feedstock for the CO2 conversion process. This is an energy intensive process and purified CO2 stream still needs to be delivered to the location where it will be converted to the desired product,…

Energy storage for the future

The need for efficient and sustainable energy storage systems is becoming increasingly crucial as the world transitions toward renewable energy sources. However, traditional energy storage systems have limitations, such as high costs, limited durability, and low efficiency. Therefore, new and innovative materials and technologies, such as aerogels (highly porous networks…

Defense Programs Awards of Excellence recognize innovation and achievements in 2021

In virtual ceremonies held May 4 and June 26, Marvin Adams, deputy administrator for Defense Programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), honored individuals and teams at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and partner sites for their outstanding contributions to nuclear security. The Defense Programs Awards of Excellence recognition events…

New NIF experimental platform will probe warm dense matter

To learn about the properties of materials under changing temperatures and pressures, researchers typically combine laboratory experiments with theoretical models and computer simulations. It’s an iterative process: The models help in designing the experiments and interpreting the results, and the results “constrain,” or fine-tune, the models so they can effectively guide…

Sterile neutrino research ramps up

An international collaboration of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and other scientific institutions is ramping up its studies into “sterile neutrinos” to discover and better understand dark matter. Sterile neutrinos are theoretically predicted new particles that offer an intriguing possibility in the quest for understanding the dark matter in…

Advanced masking technology enables new applications for metasurface optics

Optics researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have refined their novel metasurface process to create taller features without increasing feature-to-feature spacing, an advance that unlocks exciting new design possibilities. “We have refined our process to create metasurfaces that allow for a wide optical bandwidth and a large span of incidence angles…

Human-caused climate change at the center of recent California wildfires

Summer wildfire seasons in California routinely break records. The average summer burn area in forests in northern and central portions of the state have increased fivefold between 1996 and 2021 compared to between 1971 and 1995. Although the drivers of increased temperature and dryness are known, the contribution of human-caused climate change to wildfire activity,…

Research reveals how humidity affects atmospheric corrosion of aluminum metal

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) performed simulations using the Lab's supercomputer Ruby to uncover physical mechanisms that explain why humidity controls the rate of atmospheric corrosion of aluminum metal. Their research is featured in the ACS Journal of Applied Materials and Interfaces. Accurate predictions of aluminum component lifetimes…

Six Lab scientists partner with university researchers through WCI’s ACT Awards

Six scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory were recently granted awards through the Lab's 2022 Academic Collaboration Team (ACT) annual call for proposals. Now in their fourth year, ACT university collaboration awards were created to encourage and advance strategic partnerships among universities with a focus on the Lab’s and Weapons and Complex Integration’s…