Thirty-five research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy have been honored for their technological significance with R&D 100 Awards for 2003.
The technologies and products were selected by the editors of R&D Magazine and a panel of 60 outside experts to receive the prestigious R&D 100 Awards. Widely recognized in industry, government, and academia as a mark of excellence for the most innovative ideas of the year, the R&D 100 Awards are the only industry-wide competition rewarding the practical applications of science.
The R&D 100 Awards recognize the most promising new products, processes, materials, or software developed throughout the world and introduced to the market the previous year. Awards are based on each achievement's technical significance, uniqueness, and usefulness compared to competing projects and technologies.
The complete list of 2003 R&D 100 Awards appears in the September 2003 issue of R&D Magazine. The winners will be recognized at R&D Magazine's 41st annual awards banquet to be held on October 16, 2003, in Chicago, where the magazine is based.
The following is a list of the 35 DOE 2003 R&D 100 Award winners, from 11 national laboratories and two companies whose research is supported by DOE. Joint awards appear at the end of this list.
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne researchers won three of the coveted R&D 100 Awards this year, bringing that lab's total to 82 since the inception of the award.
Argonne’s Scanning Confocal Electron Microscope will benefit studies of nanomaterials such as those related to electronic, magnetic, and photonic devices.
Argonne's Nestor Zaluzec led development of the award-winning Scanning Confocal Electron Microscope, which permits the observation and characterization of sub-surface structures of thick, optically opaque materials at both nanometer-level resolutions and large fields of view. The instrument merges the capabilities of the scanning, transmission, and x-ray microscopes and achieves unprecedented resolutions in optically dense materials by incorporating the technology of confocal imaging into an electron microscope. The microscope will benefit studies of nanomaterials, particularly the next generation of electronic, magnetic, and photonic devices ranging from high-tech consumer electronics to the latest in multi-layered high-density research and development integrated circuits.
Argonne researcher Ali Erdimir is one of the developers of the nanostructured carbide derived carbon technology. The automotive industry has expressed interest in this technology for sealing water pumps.
Argonne researchers Ali Erdimir and George Fenske won an R&D 100 award several years ago for developing a process to make carbon-based coating that was harder and slicker than Telfon. Now, they have developed the new Nanostructured Carbide Derived Carbon technology that makes coatings harder still, and more cost-efficient to manufacture. The coating can be grown at rates up to 100 micrometers per hour and is composed of graphite, diamond, amorphous carbon, and carbon "nano-onions" (small carbon structures with concentric rings, resembling an onion). These components vary between 2 to 10 nanometers in thickness. Industry has expressed interest in the coating to seal water pumps in automotive engines to prevent dry-run failure and extend the engine's lifetime. The development of this coating could save billions of dollars and reduce energy consumption.
Argonne’s Large-Area Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Films and Deposition System uses diamond grains at the nanoscale to provide novel diamond film coatings.
Argonne researchers Dieter Gruen, Orlando Auciello, and John Carlisle teamed with researchers from Innovation Plasma Systems to develop the Large-Area Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Films and Deposition System. This diamond film technology and desposition system uses diamond grains only five nanometers in size to provide the first-ever affordable large-area diamond film coating, suitable for producing large area coatings for macro-devices, microelectromechanical systems and nanoelectromechanical system devices, biodevices, and biosensors. Nanocrystalline diamond films offer a particularly clear example of the startling changes in properties that can occur when materials approach single-digit nanometer dimensions where more than 10 percent of the atoms are at surfaces or grain boundaries. These films are grown using novel argon-rich microwave plasmas developed at Argonne, and exhibit a number of unique properties.
More information is available about Argonne's technologies.
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory
Change Detection System inventor Greg Lancaster considers how the award-winning software can highlight imperceptible differences between images, such as the MRI scans of his own brain. Lancaster artificially altered one image to test his doctors’ ability to spot small changes using side-by-side comparison versus the CDS approach.
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