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Predicting the limits of friction: Sandia looks at properties of material

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Normally, bare metal sliding against bare metal is not a good thing. Friction will destroy pistons in an engine, for example, without lubrication. Sometimes, however, functions require metal on metal contact, such as in headphone jacks or electrical systems in wind turbines. Still, friction causes wear and wear destroys performance, and it’s […]

Testing for Zika virus: there’s an app for that

Sandia prototype dramatically cuts cost, time for detection of mosquito-borne illness LIVERMORE, Calif. — Add rapid, mobile testing for Zika and other viruses to the list of things that smartphone technology is making possible. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic device that weighs under a pound, costs as little as […]

Power partners: Sandia draws industry into quest for cheaper, cleaner electricity

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is working with three industry partners to commercialize a distributed power system that can produce cheaper, cleaner, more efficient electricity. The labs signed three-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with Peregrine Turbine Technologies of Wiscasset, Maine; Xdot Engineering and Analysis of Charlottesville, Virginia; and Flowserve Corp. of Irving, Texas. […]

Guiding Light: Sandia creates 3-D metasurfaces with optical possibilities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Metamaterials don’t exist in nature, but their ability to make ultra-thin lenses and ultra-efficient cell phone antennas, bend light to keep satellites cooler and let photovoltaics absorb more energy mean they offer a world of possibilities. Formed by nanostructures that act as “atoms,” arranged on a substrate to alter light’s path in […]

Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage

Sandia researchers use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance LIVERMORE, Calif. — Sometimes, you have to go small to win big. That is the approach a multilab, interdisciplinary team took in using nanoparticles and a novel nanoconfinement system to develop a method to change hydrogen storage properties. This discovery could enable the creation […]

Sandia intern, mentor win chemical society award

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Sandia National Laboratories student intern Julian A. Vigil and researcher Timothy N. Lambert captured a 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Inorganic Chemistry Award for Undergraduate Research. Vigil will receive a financial stipend and a plaque; his mentor Lambert will receive a plaque for permanent display at Sandia. Vigil’s research career began as […]

Sandia using kinetics, not temperature, to make ceramic coatings

Room temperature coatings make design, fabrication flexible ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Researcher Pylin Sarobol explains an elegant process for ultrafine-grained ceramic coatings in a somewhat inelegant way: sub-micron particles splatting onto a surface. That splatting action is a key part of a Sandia National Laboratories project to lay down ceramic coatings kinetically. By making high-velocity submicron […]

Origin of spooky meteor noises reappraised by Sandia researchers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When a meteor is about to conk your neighborhood and gives fair warning by emitting sizzling, rustling and hissing sounds as it descends, you might think that the universe is being sporting. But these auditory warnings, which do occur, seem contrary to the laws of physics if they are caused by the […]

Research at Sandia looking at how brittle materials fail

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you want to see what happens if your phone falls onto concrete, you can actually drop it or let an engineer work out the consequences in advance. Odds are you’ll go with the engineer. Figuring out how brittle materials inside a device behave, and fail, is one goal of Sandia National […]

Battling corrosion to keep solar panels humming

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — People think of corrosion as rust on cars or oxidation that blackens silver, but it also harms critical electronics and connections in solar panels, lowering the amount of electricity produced. “It’s challenging to predict and even more challenging to design ways to reduce it because it’s highly dependent on material and environmental […]

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