Tagged: ORNL Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 10:20 am on October 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , From greenhouse gas to usable ethanol, ORNL,   

    From Science Node: “From greenhouse gas to usable ethanol” 

    Science Node bloc
    Science Node

    19 Oct, 2016
    Morgan McCorkle

    ORNL scientists find a way to use nano-spike catalysts to convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol.

    In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous.


    Access mp4 video here .
    Serendipitous science. Looking to understand a chemical reaction, scientists accidentally discovered a method for converting combustion waste products into ethanol. The chance discovery may revolutionize the ability to use variable energy sources. Courtesy ORNL.

    “We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said ORNL’s Adam Rondinone, lead author of the team’s study published in ChemistrySelect. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.”

    The team used a catalyst made of carbon, copper and nitrogen and applied voltage to trigger a complicated chemical reaction that essentially reverses the combustion process. With the help of the nanotechnology-based catalyst which contains multiple reaction sites, the solution of carbon dioxide dissolved in water turned into ethanol with a yield of 63 percent. Typically, this type of electrochemical reaction results in a mix of several different products in small amounts.

    “We’re taking carbon dioxide, a waste product of combustion, and we’re pushing that combustion reaction backwards with very high selectivity to a useful fuel,” Rondinone said. “Ethanol was a surprise — it’s extremely difficult to go straight from carbon dioxide to ethanol with a single catalyst.”

    The catalyst’s novelty lies in its nanoscale structure, consisting of copper nanoparticles embedded in carbon spikes. This nano-texturing approach avoids the use of expensive or rare metals such as platinum that limit the economic viability of many catalysts.

    “By using common materials, but arranging them with nanotechnology, we figured out how to limit the side reactions and end up with the one thing that we want,” Rondinone said.

    The researchers’ initial analysis suggests that the spiky textured surface of the catalysts provides ample reactive sites to facilitate the carbon dioxide-to-ethanol conversion.

    “They are like 50-nanometer lightning rods that concentrate electrochemical reactivity at the tip of the spike,” Rondinone said.

    Given the technique’s reliance on low-cost materials and an ability to operate at room temperature in water, the researchers believe the approach could be scaled up for industrially relevant applications. For instance, the process could be used to store excess electricity generated from variable power sources such as wind and solar.

    “A process like this would allow you to consume extra electricity when it’s available to make and store as ethanol,” Rondinone said. “This could help to balance a grid supplied by intermittent renewable sources.”

    The researchers plan to refine their approach to improve the overall production rate and further study the catalyst’s properties and behavior.

    ORNL’s Yang Song, Rui Peng, Dale Hensley, Peter Bonnesen, Liangbo Liang, Zili Wu, Harry Meyer III, Miaofang Chi, Cheng Ma, Bobby Sumpter and Adam Rondinone are coauthors on the study.

    The work was supported by DOE’s Office of Science and used resources at the ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Science Node is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, Science Node is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read Science Node via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”

     
  • richardmitnick 11:58 am on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Oak Ridge Scientists Are Writing Code That Not Even The World's Fastest Computers Can Run (Yet), Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project, ORNL, , Summit supercomputer,   

    From ORNL via Nashville Public Radio: “Oak Ridge Scientists Are Writing Code That Not Even The World’s Fastest Computers Can Run (Yet)” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    1

    Nashville Public Radio

    Oct 10, 2016
    Emily Siner

    2
    The current supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Lab, Titan, will be replaced by what could be the fastest computer in the world, Summit — and even that won’t even be fast enough for some of the programs that are being written at the lab. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

    ORNL IBM Summit supercomputer depiction
    ORNL IBM Summit supercomputer depiction

    Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are starting to build applications for a supercomputer that might not go live for another seven years.

    The lab recently received more than $5 million from the Department of Energy to start developing several longterm projects.

    Thomas Evans’s research is among those funded, and it’s a daunting task: His team is trying to predict how small sections of particles inside a nuclear reactor will behave over a long period time.

    The more precisely they can simulate nuclear reactors on a computer, the better engineers can build them in real life.

    “Analysts can use that [data] to design facilities, experiments and working engineering platforms,” Evans says.

    But these very elaborate simulations that Evans is creating take so much computing power that they cannot run on Oak Ridge’s current supercomputer, Titan — nor will it be able to run on the lab’s new supercomputer, Summit, which could be the fastest in the world when it goes live in two years.

    So Evans is thinking ahead, he says, “to ultimately harness the power of the next generation — technically two generations from now — of supercomputing.

    “And of course, the challenge is, that machine doesn’t exist yet.”

    The current estimate is that this exascale computer, as it’s called, will be several times faster than Summit and go live around 2023. And it could very well take that long for Evans’s team to write code for it.

    The machine won’t just be faster, Evans says. It’s also going to work in a totally new way, which changes how applications are written.

    “In other words, I can’t take a simulation code that we’ve been using now and just drop it in the new machine and expect it to work,” he says.

    The computer will not necessarily be housed at Oak Ridge, but Tennessee researchers are playing a major role in the Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project. In addition to Evans’ nuclear reactor project, scientists at Oak Ridge will be leading the development of two other applications, including one that will simulate complex 3D printing. They’ll also assist in developing nine other projects.

    Doug Kothe, who leads the lab’s exascale application development, says the goal is not just to think ahead to 2023. The code that the researchers write should be able run on any supercomputer built in next several decades, he says.

    Despite the difficulty, working on incredibly fast computers is also an exciting prospect, Kothe says.

    “For a lot of very inquisitive scientists who love challenges, it’s just a way cool toy that you can’t resist.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 8:54 am on October 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Geothermal heat pump (GHP) technology, ORNL   

    From ORNL: “Xiaobing Liu: Making geothermal heat pump technology a household name” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    October 5, 2016
    Bill Cabage, Communications
    cabagewh@ornl.gov
    865.574.4399

    1
    ORNL researcher Xiaobing Liu works in the laboratory’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center.

    As a boy growing up in China, Xiaobing Liu knew all about Oak Ridge and the World War II Manhattan Project. He had no idea that he would one day work at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Secret City’s successor.

    Liu is a lead researcher in geothermal heat pump (GHP) technology, developing software and smart controls and performing characterization and modeling for GHPs in both component and system levels. Accessing energy stored in the Earth’s crust to heat and cool buildings is a no-brainer to Liu. His years of research have made him confident, if not passionate, about using GHP as a viable option to clean and renewable energy.

    “Living in China, I saw how people made homes in the sides of hills—they’re called Yao Dong— and the temperature inside was always comfortable, both in summer and winter,” said Liu. “Visiting my grandpa at age six, I was aware of the comfort in these cave-like structures compared to the outside temperatures.”

    Perhaps his early exposure to these Chinese abodes is what fueled his drive to tackle geothermal energy in his career, so much so that his division director introduces him as the “evangelist of geothermal heat pumps.”

    After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai, Liu came to the U.S. for his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University, which is the epicenter of GHP technology. After earning his Ph.D., Liu went to work as the system engineering manager at ClimateMaster, which at the time, was the largest GHP manufacturer in North America. At ClimateMaster, Liu developed software used in designing, analyzing, and optimizing GHP systems. The software is still in wide use today. He also helped design more than 30 GHP systems in the United States and other countries.

    In 2009, Liu joined the ORNL Building Technologies Research and Integration Center.

    “It was a difficult decision for me but very hard to refuse,” said Liu. “I had admired and respected the scientists at ORNL for a long time and was familiar with their work.” His boyhood knowledge of Oak Ridge’s history also enticed him to the laboratory.

    Liu was the technical lead of building equipment research in the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency (CERC BEE), a partnership that was just renewed for another five years. He also serves as the research chair for the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), and the research chair for the TC 6.8 Geothermal Heat Pump and Energy Recovery Applications technical committee of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

    What would Liu like to see in GHP development if given more opportunities?

    “First, invest R&D in ground heat exchanger designs, installation, and drillings. If we can send people to the moon, we can make drilling cheap,” he says. “Geothermal systems need to be cheap and reliable.”

    Second, enable wider adoption of the GHP technology. Liu said people need to be able to easily and accurately measure the energy savings they achieve when using GHP.

    And third, Liu says the industry needs software tools and cost effective systems for performance monitoring, as well as real-time diagnosis and optimization, to ensure GHP systems are running at optimal performance at all times.

    Liu makes a strong statement for conditioning buildings with GHP technology with one simple comparison. “We use a flame that burns at approximately 3,000°F to heat our homes when we only need 76 – 80°F. Why do we do that?”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 9:10 am on September 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MAESTRO code for supercomputing, , OLCF Team Resolves Performance Bottleneck in OpenACC Code, ORNL, ,   

    From ORNL: “OLCF Team Resolves Performance Bottleneck in OpenACC Code” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    1

    Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility

    September 28, 2016
    Elizabeth Rosenthal

    2
    By improving its MAESTRO code, a team led by Michael Zingale of Stony Brook University is modeling astrophysical phenomena with improved fidelity. Pictured above, a three-dimensional simulation of Type I x-ray bursts, a recurring explosive event triggered by the buildup of hydrogen and helium on the surface of a neutron star. No image caption.

    For any high-performance computing code, the best performance is both highly effective and highly efficient, using little power but producing high-quality results. However, performance bottlenecks can arise within these codes, which can hinder projects and require researchers to search for the underlying problem.

    A team at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, recently addressed a performance bottleneck in one portion of an OLCF user’s application. Because of its efforts, the user’s team saw a sixfold performance improvement in the code. Team members for this project include Frank Winkler (OLCF), Oscar Hernandez (OLCF), Adam Jacobs (Stony Brook University), Jeff Larkin (NVIDIA), and Robert Dietrich (Dresden University of Technology).

    “If the code runs faster, then you need less power. Everything is better, more efficient,” said Winkler, performance tools specialist at the OLCF. “That’s why we have performance analysis tools.”

    Known as MAESTRO, the astrophysics code in question models the burning of exploding stars and other stellar phenomena. Such modeling is possible because of the code’s OpenACC configuration, an approach meant to simplify the programming of CPU and GPU systems. The OLCF team worked specifically with the piece of the algorithm that models the physics of nuclear burning.

    Initially that portion of MAESTRO did not perform as well as expected because the GPUs could not quickly access the data. To remedy the situation the team used diagnostic analysis tools to discover the reason for the delay. Winkler explained that Score-P, a performance measurement tool, traces the application, whereas VAMPIR, a performance visualization tool, conceptualizes the trace file, allowing users to see a timeline of activity within a code.

    “When you trace the code, you record each significant event in sequence,” Winkler said.

    By analyzing the results the team found that although data moving from CPUs to GPUs performed adequately, the code was significantly slower when sending data from GPUs to CPUs. Larkin, an NVIDIA software engineer, suggested using a compiler flag—custom instructions that modify how programming commands are expressed in code—to store data in a more convenient location for the GPUs, which resulted in the code’s dramatic speedup.

    Jacobs, an astrophysicist working on a PhD at Stony Brook, brought the OpenACC code to the OLCF in June to get expert assistance. Jacobs is a member of a research group led by Michael Zingale, also of Stony Brook.

    During the week Jacobs spent at the OLCF, the team ran MAESTRO on the Titan supercomputer, the OLCF’s flagship hybrid system.

    ORNL Cray Titan Supercomputer
    ORNL Cray Titan Supercomputer

    By leveraging tools like Score-P and VAMPIR on this system, the team employed problem-solving skills and computational analysis to resolve the bottleneck—and did so after just a week of working with the code. Both Winkler and Jacobs stressed that their rapid success depended on collaboration; the individuals involved, as well as the OLCF, provided the necessary knowledge and resources to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.

    “We are working with technology in a way that was not possible a year ago,” Jacobs said. “I am so grateful that the OLCF hosted me and gave me their time and experience.”

    Because of these improvements, the MAESTRO code can run the latest nuclear burning models faster and perform higher-level physics than before—capabilities that are vital to computational astrophysicists’ investigation of astronomical events like supernovas and x-ray bursts.

    “There are two main benefits to this performance improvement,” Jacobs said. “First, your code is now getting to a solution faster, and second, you can now spend a similar amount of time working on something much more complicated.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 3:05 pm on September 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Innovation Crossroads accelerator, ORNL   

    From ORNL: “ORNL launches new accelerator for energy tech entrepreneurs” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    September 20, 2016
    Morgan McCorkle, Communications
    mccorkleml@ornl.gov
    865.574.7308

    The nation’s top innovators will soon have the opportunity to advance their promising energy technology ideas at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in a new program called Innovation Crossroads. Up to five entrepreneurs will receive a fellowship that covers living costs, benefits and a travel stipend for up to two years, plus up to $350,000 to use on collaborative research and development at ORNL. The first cohort is expected to start the program in early 2017.

    A growing global population and increased industrialization require new approaches to energy that are reliable, affordable and carbon neutral. While important progress has been made in cost reduction and deployment of clean energy technologies, a new program at DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will invest in the next generation of first-time clean energy entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation.

    Innovation Crossroads is the most recent clean energy accelerator to launch at a DOE national laboratory and the first located in the Southeast. ORNL is the nation’s largest science and energy laboratory, with expertise and resources in clean energy, computing, neutron science, advanced materials, and nuclear science.

    “There is a huge opportunity and need to develop an emerging American energy ecosystem where cleantech entrepreneurs can thrive,” said Mark Johnson, director of EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). “This program gives the next generation of clean energy innovators a chance to make a transformative impact on the way we generate, process and use our energy resources. Innovation Crossroads will play an important role in strengthening the Southeast region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

    Located on ORNL’s main campus, Innovation Crossroads entrepreneurs will have access to ORNL’s world-class research talent and DOE facilities including the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, the National Transportation Research Center, the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and the Spallation Neutron Source. Through a partnership with mentor organizations in the Southeast, participants will also receive assistance with developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and commercial partners.

    “ORNL has an excellent reputation for collaborating with industry and moving innovation to the commercial marketplace,” said ORNL Director Thom Mason. “We look forward to expanding our focus to include clean energy entrepreneurship. We recognize that growing new energy technology companies is not easy: entrepreneurs need to develop and validate technologies, build prototypes, secure customers, and raise several rounds of capital. Support from Innovation Crossroads can significantly improve the prospects for promising new energy ventures.”

    Innovation Crossroads is part of EERE’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP), sponsored by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and co-managed by EERE’s Technology-to-Market Program. LEEP includes Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Cyclotron Road and Chain Reaction Innovations, which launched at Argonne National Laboratory earlier this year. Innovation Crossroads will be led by Tom Rogers, ORNL Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development.

    “LEEP is a new model for energy R&D,” said Johanna Wolfson, director of EERE’s Technology-to-Market Program. “The combination of having top technical talent embedded in a world-class R&D facility, and maintaining a laser focus on entrepreneurial endeavors is creating a new generation of energy entrepreneurs working to bring really challenging solutions to fruition.”

    Interested entrepreneurs can learn about the Innovation Crossroads at innovationcrossroads.ornl.gov and submit a pre-application.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 5:44 am on September 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Electron beam microscope directly writes nanoscale features in liquid with metal ink, , ORNL   

    From ORNL: “Electron beam microscope directly writes nanoscale features in liquid with metal ink” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    September 9, 2016
    Dawn Levy, Communications
    levyd@ornl.gov
    865.576.6448

    1
    To direct-write the logo of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists started with a gray-scale image. They used the electron beam of an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope to induce palladium from a solution to deposit as nanocrystals. Image credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are the first to harness a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) to directly write tiny patterns in metallic “ink,” forming features in liquid that are finer than half the width of a human hair.

    The automated process is controlled by weaving a STEM instrument’s electron beam through a liquid-filled cell to spur deposition of metal onto a silicon microchip. The patterns created are “nanoscale,” or on the size scale of atoms or molecules.

    Usually fabrication of nanoscale patterns requires lithography, which employs masks to prevent material from accumulating on protected areas. ORNL’s new direct-write technology is like lithography without the mask.

    Details of this unique capability are published online in Nanoscale, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and researchers are applying for a patent. The technique may provide a new way to tailor devices for electronics and other applications.

    “We can now deposit high-purity metals at specific sites to build structures, with tailored material properties for a specific application,” said lead author Raymond Unocic of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL. “We can customize architectures and chemistries. We’re only limited by systems that are dissolvable in the liquid and can undergo chemical reactions.”

    The experimenters used grayscale images to create nanoscale templates. Then they beamed electrons into a cell filled with a solution containing palladium chloride. Pure palladium separated out and deposited wherever the electron beam passed.

    Liquid environments are a must for chemistry. Researchers first needed a way to encapsulate the liquid so the extreme dryness of the vacuum inside the microscope would not evaporate the liquid. The researchers started with a cell made of microchips with a silicon nitride membrane to serve as a window through which the electron beam could pass.

    Then they needed to elicit a new capability from a STEM instrument. “It’s one thing to utilize a microscope for imaging and spectroscopy. It’s another to take control of that microscope to perform controlled and site-specific nanoscale chemical reactions,” Unocic said. “With other techniques for electron-beam lithography, there are ways to interface that microscope where you can control the beam. But this isn’t the way that aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopes are set up.”

    Enter Stephen Jesse, leader of CNMS’s Directed Nanoscale Transformations theme. This group looks at tools that scientists use to see and understand matter and its nanoscale properties in a new light, and explores whether those tools can also transform matter one atom at a time and build structures with specified functions. “Think of what we are doing as working in nanoscale laboratories,” Jesse said. “This means being able to induce and stop reactions at will, as well as monitor them while they are happening.”

    Jesse had recently developed a system that serves as an interface between a nanolithography pattern and a STEM’s scan coils, and ORNL researchers had already used it to selectively transform solids. The microscope focuses the electron beam to a fine point, which microscopists could move just by taking control of the scan coils. Unocic with Andrew Lupini, Albina Borisevich and Sergei Kalinin integrated Jesse’s scan control/nanolithography system within the microscope so that they could control the beam entering the liquid cell. David Cullen performed subsequent chemical analysis.

    “This beam-induced nanolithography relies critically on controlling chemical reactions in nanoscale volumes with a beam of energetic electrons,” said Jesse. The system controls electron-beam position, speed and dose. The dose—how many electrons are being pumped into the system—governs how fast chemicals are transformed.

    This nanoscale technology is similar to larger-scale activities, such as using electron beams to transform materials for 3D printing at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. In that case, an electron beam melts powder so that it solidifies, layer by layer, to create an object.

    “We’re essentially doing the same thing, but within a liquid,” Unocic said. “Now we can create structures from a liquid-phase precursor solution in the shape that we want and the chemistry that we want, tuning the physiochemical properties for a given application.”

    Precise control of the beam position and the electron dose produces tailored architectures. Encapsulating different liquids and sequentially flowing them during patterning customizes the chemistry too.

    The current resolution of metallic “pixels” the liquid ink can direct-write is 40 nanometers, or twice the width of an influenza virus. In future work, Unocic and colleagues would like to push the resolution down to approach the state of the art of conventional nanolithography, 10 nanometers. They would also like to fabricate multi-component structures.

    The title of the paper is “Direct-write liquid phase transformations with a scanning transmission electron microscope.”

    This research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL. The DOE Office of Science supported the work. ORNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development funds supported a portion of the work.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 3:33 pm on August 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Energy Department to invest $16 million in computer design of materials, ORNL, ,   

    From ORNL: “Energy Department to invest $16 million in computer design of materials” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    August 16, 2016
    Dawn Levy, Communications
    levyd@ornl.gov
    865.576.6448

    1
    Paul Kent of Oak Ridge National Laboratory directs the Center for Predictive Simulation of Functional Materials. No image credit.

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it will invest $16 million over the next four years to accelerate the design of new materials through use of supercomputers.

    Two four-year projects—one team led by DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the other team led by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)—will take advantage of superfast computers at DOE national laboratories by developing software to design fundamentally new functional materials destined to revolutionize applications in alternative and renewable energy, electronics, and a wide range of other fields. The research teams include experts from universities and other national labs.

    The new grants—part of DOE’s Computational Materials Sciences (CMS) program begun in 2015 as part of the U.S. Materials Genome Initiative—reflect the enormous recent growth in computing power and the increasing capability of high-performance computers to model and simulate the behavior of matter at the atomic and molecular scales.

    The teams are expected to develop sophisticated and user-friendly open-source software that captures the essential physics of relevant systems and can be used by the broader research community and by industry to accelerate the design of new functional materials.

    “Given the importance of materials to virtually all technologies, computational materials science is a critical area in which the United States needs to be competitive in the twenty-first century and beyond through global leadership in innovation,” said Cherry Murray, director of DOE’s Office of Science, which is funding the research. “These projects will both harness DOE existing high-performance computing capabilities and help pave the way toward ever-more sophisticated software for future generations of machines.”

    “ORNL researchers will partner with scientists from national labs and universities to develop software to accurately predict the properties of quantum materials with novel magnetism, optical properties and exotic quantum phases that make them well-suited to energy applications,” said Paul Kent of ORNL, director of the Center for Predictive Simulation of Functional Materials, which includes partners from Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, Oak Ridge and Sandia National Laboratories and North Carolina State University and the University of California–Berkeley. “Our simulations will rely on current petascale and future exascale capabilities at DOE supercomputing centers. To validate the predictions about material behavior, we’ll conduct experiments and use the facilities of the Advanced Photon Source [ANL/APS], Spallation Neutron Source and the Nanoscale Science Research Centers.”

    ANL APS
    ANL/APS

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source
    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source

    Said the center’s thrust leader for prediction and validation, Olle Heinonen, “At Argonne, our expertise in combining state-of-the-art, oxide molecular beam epitaxy growth of new materials with characterization at the Advanced Photon Source and the Center for Nanoscale Materials will enable us to offer new and precise insight into the complex properties important to materials design. We are excited to bring our particular capabilities in materials, as well as expertise in software, to the center so that the labs can comprehensively tackle this challenge.”

    Researchers are expected to make use of the 30-petaflop/s Cori supercomputer now being installed at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab, the 27-petaflop/s Titan computer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) and the 10-petaflop/s Mira computer at Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF).

    NERSC CRAY Cori supercomputer
    NERSC CRAY Cori supercomputer

    ORNL Cray Titan Supercomputer
    ORNL Cray Titan Supercomputer

    MIRA IBM Blue Gene Q supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility
    MIRA IBM Blue Gene Q supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility

    OLCF, ALCF and NERSC are all DOE Office of Science User Facilities. One petaflop/s is1015 or a million times a billion floating-point operations per second.

    In addition, a new generation of machines is scheduled for deployment between 2016 and 2019 that will take peak performance as high as 200 petaflops. Ultimately the software produced by these projects is expected to evolve to run on exascale machines, capable of 1,000 petaflops and projected for deployment in the mid-2020s.

    LLNL IBM Sierra supercomputer
    LLNL IBM Sierra supercomputer

    ORNL IBM Summit supercomputer depiction
    ORNL IBM Summit supercomputer

    ANL Cray Aurora supercomputer
    ANL Cray Aurora supercomputer

    Research will combine theory and software development with experimental validation, drawing on the resources of multiple DOE Office of Science User Facilities, including the Advanced Light Source [ALS] at LBNL, the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL, and several of the five Nanoscience Research Centers across the DOE National Laboratory complex.

    LBL ALS interior
    LBL/ALS

    The new research projects will begin in Fiscal Year 2016. They expand the ongoing CMS research effort, which began in FY 2015 with three initial projects, led respectively by ANL, Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Southern California.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 12:08 pm on August 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Atomic Sandblasters Could Replace Silicon, ORNL   

    From ORNL via DOE: “Atomic Sandblasters Could Replace Silicon” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    June 22, 2016 [Just today in social media.]
    Ron Walli
    Science Writer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Virtually all electronics today rely on silicon computer chips, but this darling of the tech industry has drawbacks. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory may have found a pathway to a cheaper, lighter and more efficient replacement.

    Today, silicon computer chips are produced through a complicated, multi-step process that utilizes extremely harsh chemicals to etch circuits onto chips. But that could change with the help of a device called the atomic-scale “sandblaster.” A team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers led by Olga Ovchinnikova and Alex Belianinov recently demonstrated a new method to grow — rather than etch — nanostructures, such as those you’d find on computer chips, in materials other than silicon. The technique was applied to a layered material called bulk copper indium thiophosphate.

    The Oak Ridge team works on 2-D materials, ultra-thin materials that are much lighter than much of what is currently used in electronics. “Our method opens pathways to direct-write and edit circuitry on 2-D material without the complicated current state-of-the-art multi-step processes,” Ovchinnikova said. While their “sandblaster” — actually a helium ion microscope — is typically used to cut and shape matter, this new technique could help establish a path to replace silicon as the choice for semiconductors in some applications.

    “Everyone is looking for the next material — the thing that will replace silicon for transistors,” Belianinov said. “2-D devices stand out as having low power consumption and being easier and less expensive to fabricate without requiring harsh chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment.” This makes the possibility of 2-D electronics not only desirable for industries and consumers, but better for the planet.

    Reducing power consumption by using 2-D-based devices could be as significant as improving battery performance. “Imagine having a phone that you don’t have to recharge but once a month,” Ovchinnikova said. With 2-D materials, it would probably be a lot thinner, too.

    This work was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. This research was funded through the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. Some of the work was performed at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 11:16 am on July 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ORNL,   

    From Oak Ridge: “New 200-petaflop supercomputer to succeed Titan at ORNL” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    1
    Depiction of ORNL IBM Summit supercomputer

    A new 200-petaflop supercomputer will succeed Titan at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and it could be available to scientists and researchers in 2018, a spokesperson said this week.

    The new IBM supercomputer, named Summit, could about double the computing power of what is now the world’s fastest machine, a Chinese system named Sunway TaihuLight, according to a seminannual list of the world’s top supercomputers released in June.

    Sunway TaihuLight is capable of 93 petaflops, according to the list, the TOP500 list. A petaflop is one quadrillion calculations per second. That’s 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

    Summit, which is expected to start operating at ORNL early in 2018, is one of three supercomputers that the U.S. Department of Energy expects to exceed 100 petaflops at three U.S. Department of Energy laboratories in 2018. The three planned systems are:

    the 200-petaflop Summit at ORNL, which is expected to be available to users in early 2018;

    a 150-petaflop machine known as Sierra at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco in mid-2018;

    3
    IBM Sierra supercomputer depiction

    and
    a 180-petaflop supercomputer called Aurora at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago in late 2018.

    4
    Cray Aurora supercomputer depiction

    “High performance computing remains an integral priority for the Department of Energy,” DOE Under Secretary Lynn Orr said. “Since 1993, our national supercomputing capabilities have grown exponentially by a factor of 300,000 to produce today’s machines like Titan at Oak Ridge National Lab. DOE has continually supported many of the world’s fastest, most powerful super-computers, and shared its facilities with universities and businesses ranging from auto manufacturers to pharmaceutical companies, enabling unimaginable economic benefits and leaps in science and technology, including the development of new materials for batteries and near zero-friction lubricants.”

    The supercomputers have also allowed the United States to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear weapon stockpile, said Orr, DOE under secretary for science and energy.

    “DOE continues to lead in software and real world applications important to both science and industry,” he said. “Investments such as these continue to play a crucial role in U.S. economic competitiveness, scientific discovery, and national security.”

    At 200 petaflops, Summit would have at least five times as much power as ORNL’s 27-petaflop Titan. That system was the world’s fastest in November 2012 and recently achieved 17.59 petaflops on a test used by the TOP500 list that was released in June.

    Titan is used for research in areas such as materials research, nuclear energy, combustion, and climate science.

    “For several years, Titan has been the most scientifically productive in the world, allowing academic, government, and industry partners to do remarkable research in a variety of scientific fields,” ORNL spokesperson Morgan McCorkle said.

    Summit will be installed in a building close to Titan. Titan will continue operating while Summit is built and begins operating, McCorkle said.

    “That will ensure that scientific users have access to computing resources during the transition,” she said.

    Titan will then be decommissioned, McCorkle said.

    She said the total contract value for the new Summit supercomputer with all options and maintenance is $280 million. The U.S. Department of Energy is funding the project.

    McCorkle said the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at ORNL has been working with IBM, Nvidia, and Mellanox since 2014 to develop Summit.

    Like Titan, a Cray system, Summit will be part of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, or OLCF. Researchers from around the world will be able to submit proposals to use the computer for a wide range of scientific applications, McCorkle said.

    She said the delivery of Summit will start at ORNL next year. Summit will be a hybrid computing system that uses traditional central processing units, or CPUs, and graphic processing units, or GPUs, which were first created for computer games.

    “We’re already scaling applications that will allow Summit to deliver an order of magnitude more science with at least 200 petaflops of compute power,” McCorkle said. “Early in 2018, users from around the world will have access to this resource.”

    Summit will have more than five times the computational power of Titan’s 18,688 nodes, using only about 3,400 nodes. Each Summit node will have IBM POWER9 CPUs and NVIDIA Volta GPUs connected with NVIDIA’s high-speed NVLinks and a huge amount of memory, according to the OLCF.

    Titan is also a hybrid system that combines CPUs with GPUs. That combination allowed the more powerful Titan to fit into the same space as Jaguar, an earlier supercomputer at ORNL, while using only slightly more electricity. That’s important because supercomputers can consume megawatts of power.

    China now has the top two supercomputers. Sunway TaihuLight was capable of 93 petaflops, and Tianhe-2, an Intel-based system ranked number two in the world, achieved 33.86 petaflops, according to the June version of the TOP500 list.

    But as planned, all three of the new DOE supercomputers would be more powerful than the top two Chinese systems.

    However, DOE officials said it’s not just about the hardware.

    “The strength of the U.S. program lies not just in hardware capability, but also in the ability to develop software that harnesses high-performance computing for real-world scientific and industrial applications,” DOE said. “American scientists have used DOE supercomputing capability to improve the performance of solar cells, to design new materials for batteries, to model the melting of ice sheets, to help optimize land use for biofuel crops, to model supernova explosions, to develop a near zero-fiction lubricant, and to improve laser radiation treatments for cancer, among countless other applications.

    Extensive work is already under way to prepare software and “real-world applications” to ensure that the new machines bring an immediate benefit to American science and industry, DOE said.

    “Investments such as these continue to play a crucial role in U.S. economic competitiveness, scientific discovery, and national security,” the department said.

    DOE said its supercomputers have more than 8,000 active users each year from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    Among the supercomputer uses that DOE cited:

    Pratt and Whitney used the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility to improve the fuel efficiency of its Pure Power turbine engines.
    Boeing used the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to study the flow of debris to improve the safety of a thrust reverser for its new 787 Dreamliner.
    General Motors used the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to accelerate research on thermoelectric materials to help increase vehicle fuel efficiency.
    Proctor and Gamble used the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility to learn more about the molecular mechanisms of bubbles—important to the design of a wide range of consumer products.
    General Electric used the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to improve the efficiency of its world-leading turbines for electricity-generation.
    Navistar, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and other industry leaders collaborated with scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Lab to develop technologies that increase semi-truck fuel efficiency by 17 percent.

    Though it was once the top supercomputer, Titan was bumped to number two behind Tianhe-2 in June 2013. It dropped to number three this June.

    As big as a basketball court, Titan is 10 times faster than Jaguar, the computer system it replaced. Jaguar, which was capable of about 2.5 petaflops, had ranked as the world’s fastest computer in November 2009 and June 2010.

    The new top supercomputer, Sunway TaihuLight, was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology, or NRCPC, and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China.

    Tianhe-2 was developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology.

    In the United States, DOE said its Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration are collaborating with other U.S. agencies, industry, and academia to pursue the goals of what is known as the National Strategic Computing Initiative:

    accelerating the delivery of “exascale” computing;
    increasing the coherence between the technology base used for modeling and simulation and that for data analytic computing;
    charting a path forward to a post-Moore’s Law era; and
    building the overall capacity and capability of an enduring national high-performance computing ecosystem.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 3:52 pm on June 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2-D materials, , ORNL   

    From ORNL: “Atomic Sandblasters Could Replace Silicon” 

    i1

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    June 22, 2016
    Ron Walli


    Access mp4 video here .

    Virtually all electronics today rely on silicon computer chips, but this darling of the tech industry has drawbacks. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory may have found a pathway to a cheaper, lighter and more efficient replacement.

    Today, silicon computer chips are produced through a complicated, multi-step process that utilizes extremely harsh chemicals to etch circuits onto chips. But that could change with the help of a device called the atomic-scale “sandblaster.” A team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers led by Olga Ovchinnikova and Alex Belianinov recently demonstrated a new method to grow — rather than etch — nanostructures, such as those you’d find on computer chips, in materials other than silicon. The technique was applied to a layered material called bulk copper indium thiophosphate.

    The Oak Ridge team works on 2-D materials, ultra-thin materials that are much lighter than much of what is currently used in electronics. “Our method opens pathways to direct-write and edit circuitry on 2-D material without the complicated current state-of-the-art multi-step processes,” Ovchinnikova said. While their “sandblaster” — actually a helium ion microscope — is typically used to cut and shape matter, this new technique could help establish a path to replace silicon as the choice for semiconductors in some applications.

    “Everyone is looking for the next material — the thing that will replace silicon for transistors,” Belianinov said. “2-D devices stand out as having low power consumption and being easier and less expensive to fabricate without requiring harsh chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment.” This makes the possibility of 2-D electronics not only desirable for industries and consumers, but better for the planet.

    Reducing power consumption by using 2-D-based devices could be as significant as improving battery performance. “Imagine having a phone that you don’t have to recharge but once a month,” Ovchinnikova said. With 2-D materials, it would probably be a lot thinner, too.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: