ORNL’s partners in Virginia include Jefferson Laboratory, Virginia Tech, and the private sector. ORNL currently hold cooperative research agreements with MantaPoole, a maker of light field cameras, and Enginuity, a producer of advanced home heat and cooling technology. In addition, ORNL has partnered with Raytum Photonics, a maker of high-powered lasers for scientific applications, and R & K Cyber Solutions, a provider of computer network defense programs.
ORNL’s user facilities offer a diverse set of tools for experiments across a range of fields, including biology, materials and energy sciences, physics, engineering, and chemistry. Learn more about ORNL’s user facilities. Data reflects fiscal year 2020 except for scientific publications, which covers 2016–2020. Partner stories reflect work conducted from 2016 to present.
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, known as Jefferson Lab, is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory like ORNL. Scientists worldwide use the laboratory’s unique particle accelerator, known as the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, or CEBAF, to probe the most basic building blocks of matter.
Neutron scattering at ORNL has shown that cholesterol stiffens simple lipid membranes, a finding that may help us better understand the functioning of human cells. A team led by Virginia Tech physicist and former ORNL Shull Fellow Rana Ashkar used a special technique at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source to analyze the effect of cholesterol on model unsaturated lipid membranes. Using this technique, called neutron spin echo, they concluded that cholesterol increases the thickness and stiffness of the membrane. “Our study sheds new light on how membrane properties could manifest differently over different length and time scales, a key to understanding complex biological functions that span multiple scales,” said Ashkar.
ORNL collaborated with Enginuity Power Systems based in Alexandria to develop the micro-Combined Heat and Power, or mCHP, platform for commercialization. This innovative product replaces a home’s standard water heater with a fully integrated system that has the capability to achieve overall efficiency and supply the average American home with all its power, water heating, and space heating requirements. Essentially, the mCHP allows homeowners an opportunity to reduce their reliance on the grid and/or augment grid power. The smart mCHP also can tie into other alternative energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic panels, for clean energy and resiliency.
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