R&D World magazine honors inventors by identifying the 100 most technologically significant products and advancements each year and recognizing the winning innovators and their organizations. Winners are chosen from an international pool of submissions from universities, private corporations, and government labs.
In 2020, Sandia researchers submitted entries that earned six. Three of the winning projects were led by Sandia-only teams, and the other three were collaborative endeavors with other national labs, universities, and a private corporation. Since 1976, Sandia has earned 140 of these coveted awards — often referred to as the "Oscars of invention" or "the Nobel Prizes of technology."
The awards began in 1963 as the I-R 100s, in keeping with the original name of the magazine, Industrial Research. The 2020 awards recognize products and technologies with the potential to change industries and make the world a better place.
Binary Solvent Diffusion for Fabrication of Large Nanoparticle Supercrystals
Using an artful combination of nanotechnology and basic chemistry, Sandia synthesized and self-assembled gold nanoparticles into unusually large millimeter size supercrystals that could signiﬁcantly improve the detection sensitivity for trace amounts of chemicals. The enhanced sensing capability derives from giant electromagnetic ﬁeld enhancements between the self-assembled gold nanoparticles enabled by localized surface plasmon resonance of nanoparticles within the supercrystals. The enhanced performance of these materials is speciﬁcally correlated to their shape, size, and packing density. Sandia’s Extended LaMer synthesis of nanoparticles allows precise tunability of the shape, size, composition, and other functional properties for optimization of the plasmonic coupling for superior sensitivity. Control over the structure of these supercrystals is achieved through a seeding and growth process by using a binary solvent diffusion method. Together, these methods enable large-scale production of the materials for reduced cost. Besides sensing, the supercrystals obtained through this process possess superior performance in important applications including optoelectronics, photovoltaic, and surface catalysis.
Detergent-assisted Fabrication of Multifunctional Nanomaterials
Large Field-of-View Bench Top 3-D X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging System
LAMMPS: Atomistic Simulation of Materials
High-fidelity Adaptive Deception & Emulation System (HADES) Platform
SolidSense “Gas Analyzer on a Chip”
Control System for Active Damping of Inter-area Oscillations
Microgrid Design Toolkit
Ultra-Wide Bandgap Power Electronic Devices
Falling Particle Receiver for Concentrated Solar Energy
Ultra-fast X-ray Imager (UXI)
Transceiver for Quantum Keys and Encryption (T-QUAKE)
Stress-Induced Fabrication of Functionally Designed Nanomaterials
Precision High Power Battery Tester
Integrated Circuit Identification
Lightweight Distributed Metric Service
Silicon Carbide JFET Switch
Portable Diagnostic Device for Bacillus Anthracis Detection in Ultra-Low Resource Environments
Triple Harvesting Plastic Scintillators
Membrane Projection Lithography
Mantevo Suite 1.0
Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT)
Microsystems Enabled Photovoltaics
Sandia Digital Microfluidic Hub
Biomimetic membranes for water purification
Microresonator filters and frequency references
Ultra-high-voltage Silicon Carbide Thyristor
CANARY: Event Detection Software
Multifunctional Optical Coatings
Acoustic Wave Biosensors, Rapid Point-of-Care Medical Diagnostics
Micro Power Source
Solution Deposition Planarization (SDP), Superconductor Substrate Preparation Process
Ultralow-Power Silicon Microphotonic Communications Platform
Hyperspectral Confocal Fluorescence Microscope System
Artificial Retina Project
Catamount N-Way (CNW) Lightweight Kernel
XyceTM Parallel Electronic Simulator 4.0.2
Silicon Micromachined Dimensional Calibration Artifact for Mesoscale Measurement Machines
ArcSafe© with Pulsed Arrested Spark Discharge
Mode-Filtered Fiber Amplifier
ElectroNeedle™ Biomedical Sensor Array
Self-Assembling Process for Fabricating Tailored Thin Films
Novint Falcon and Novint/Sandia 3D-Touch Software (joint)
Compute Process Allocator
Tracktable is a set of trajectory analytics used to apply advanced machine learning techniques to large trajectory data sets. It enables searches for shapes and patterns in space and time by providing a mathematical framework to describe such patterns. Given that framework, Tracktable provides tools for fast search and categorizations in order to organize, search, and quickly analyze millions of patterns enabling the computer to group similar shapes together and to find unique or unusual trajectories without first requiring humans to define “normal”. Additionally, its ability to treat time as a variable, similar to space, enables searches for collective behavior and patterns over long periods of time. Finally, fast search techniques enable Tracktable to predict the paths and destinations of moving objects by comparing their observed paths to historical databases of trajectories. The notion of fundamentally representing the trajectory as a vector of “features” is the key idea that makes this approach different from previous trajectory analysis techniques.
High-density Evaluator of COTS Applications for Trust and Efficacy (HECATE)
Sandia’s HECTATE platform is a multifaceted approach to providing varied and measured elements to accumulate trust in both compiled commercial products and opensource software. HECTATE is comprised of virtual and physical assets that integrate to create a wholly immersive environment to install, execute, excite and observe software. The target software is installed on virtualized machinery whose attributes have been modified to resemble physical devices. The platform is constructed such that inputs to the target software may “fuzzed” out-of-band through mechanisms that are not exigent on the virtual machine (VM); outputs from the excitation of inputs are then observed in a similar out-of-band fashion. These approaches are implemented without the use of agents making them observable from the guest VM, which allows the software to proceed unimpeded by observation. The system also allows the ability to fold time, facilitate external network connectivity and communication, and dynamically respond to benign, anomalous and suspected/confirms malicious behaviors.
Institute for the Design of Advance Energy Systems (IDAES) Process Systems Engineering (PSE) Computational Framework
This next-generation multi-scale framework is a comprehensive, integrated set of PSE tools that support the design, modeling, and optimization of advanced energy systems from rigorous analysis to system-wide optimization. The tools have broad potential application, including the support of existing fossil generation systems, the design of new hybrid generation systems, or the evaluation of new technologies in the context of the broader power system.
Co-developing organizations: National Energy Technology Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, West Virginia University, and the University of Notre Dame.
XRPBS: X-ray Polarizing Beam Splitter
XRPBS is the first x-ray polarizing beam splitter in existence. It has the ability to separate an x-ray beam in two in order to measure each polarized beam simultaneously, which makes it an outstanding diagnostic for many types of experiments and a valuable high-synchrotron resource for scientific research facilities.
Co-developing organizations: Nevada National Security Site, Argonne National Laboratory, and EcoPulse.
Legion: A Data-Centric Programming System
Legion is a data-centric HPC programming system and open-source software tool that boosts application performance and speed of computing by automating task scheduling and data movement.
Co-developing organizations: Los Alamos National Laboratory, NVIDIA University of California – Davis, Sandia National Laboratories, Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory