Entries with tag oak ridge national laboratory.

New Technology Analyzes Energy Consumption

The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed a technology tool that promises to lower residential utility bills by analyzing consumers’ energy use. The Citizen Engagement for Energy Efficient Communities (CoNNECT) tool provides energy-consumption monitoring via a Web-based platform. Fiveworx, an energy-efficiency tool vendor, has licensed CoNNECT to help utilities increase participation in power–savings programs and plans to integrate the tool into its intelligence platform. ORNL developed CoNNECT through its Technology Innovation Program, using its Laboratory Directed Research and Development funding. (EurekAlert)(Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

New Patterning Technique Enables Smaller Electronics

Rice University scientists have developed a new lithographic patterning method that allows fabrication of smaller 2D electronics. The process makes patterns for circuitry that includes a conductor and an insulator at a feature resolution of about 100 nanometers wide in atom-thick layers. The researchers, who used graphene and hexagonal boron nitride in their work, say their technique might eventually let designers make 2D devices with circuits only 20 or 30 nanometers wide. Scientists from Vanderbilt University, the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and electronics manufacturer Agilent Technologies contributed to the project, which the researchers published in Nature Nanotechnology. (EurekAlert)(Rice University)(Nature Nanotechnology)

Supercomputer Calculates Possible Isotope Combinations

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee researchers used the Jaguar supercomputer to calculate the number of isotopes that the laws of physics allow. They used six nuclear-interaction models and found about 7,000 possible combinations. Of these 7,000, scientists have observed or produced about 3,000. The other combinations are created in massive stars or in violent stellar explosions, say the researchers. In their calculations, they quantified the so-called drip lines—the maximum number of neutrons and protons the laws of physics allow in a nucleus—that determine nuclear existence. The drip lines become uncertain among heavier elements. The calculations for each possible nuclei require about two hours of supercomputer processing time and include about 250,000 possible nuclear configurations. The researchers say they could not have done this work two or three years ago because they wouldn’t have had access to such a powerful supercomputer. The researchers say their work will create numerous scientific insights and someday could yield benefits such as cancer treatments that irradiate malignant cells without damaging healthy ones. They published their research in the journal Nature. (EurekaAlert)(Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

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