Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico


Developing Environmentally Stable Oxides on Metals using Pulsed Laser Irradiation
Samantha Lawrence, Purdue University
Practicum Year: 2014
Practicum Supervisor: David P. Adams, Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff, Org. 1832, Coatings and Surface Engineering, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
Surface laser-irradiation of oxidizing metals such as stainless steel induces a high-temperature chemical reaction between the metal and ambient atmosphere, resulting in the growth of a film composed of elements from the substrate in combination with environmental gasses. Such films are highly colored and may find use as unique authenticity markings in welded components. The practicum research focused on critical experimental studies to develop materials processing methods to ensure sealed components are robust in harsh corrosive and embrittling environments. As it is likely that laser-induced Cr-depletion from stainless steel substrates is the primary cause of corrosion for the oxidized SS 304L, a set of conditions to will control the environmental resistance of alloys subjected to laser processing was predicted. A set of experiments assessed the effectiveness of pre- and post-treatment of SS 304L for reducing Cr dissolution.
Sunshine to Petrol (S2P)
Elizabeth Miller, Northwestern University
Practicum Year: 2012
Practicum Supervisor: Andrea Ambrosini, Senior Member of Technical Staff, Materials, Devices & Energy Tech, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
For the twelve weeks of my practicum, I was part of Sandia National Laboratories’ Sunshine to Petrol (S2P) project. As the United States seeks to become energy-independent, novel methods for sourcing fuels are required. It is not feasible to have an immediate shift to all renewable energy sources, especially in the area of transportation fuels, and thus, easily implementable, renewable energy sources with shorter time scales are needed. The S2P Program aims to fulfill this need by researching thermochemical fuel production fueled by concentrated solar power. The overarching goal of this project is to find materials that can split carbon dioxide and water. Products from these reactions (carbon monoxide and hydrogen, respectively) can then be used as precursors for the manufacture of hydrocarbon fuels. Current materials which have been successful for this purpose such as ceria have been well-studied but are limited in efficiency; thus the search for better performing, thermodynamically and kinetically favorable redox systems must be expanded.
Ab initio simulations of warm, dense deuterium for x-ray scattering
Paul Davis, University of California, Berkeley
Practicum Year: 2010
Practicum Supervisor: Michael Desjarlais, Manager, Diagnostics and Target Physics, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
This project uses Sandia computer systems and simulation tools to study the properties of deuterium under extreme conditions. In particular, MD-DFT simulations were performed and analyzed to compare to recent x-ray scattering experiments that were performed at LLNL.
Streaked Visible Spectroscopic Measurements on the Z Machine
Matthew Gomez, University of Michigan
Practicum Year: 2009
Practicum Supervisor: Mike Cuneo, Manager, , Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
A fiber coupled streaked spectroscopic system was set up to be fielded on the Z machine at Sandia National Labs. This diagnostic was used to observe light emission by z-pinch wires during the initial ablation stage. It was also used to observe light emission from a photo-ionized neon gas cell. Future experiments that will utilize this diagnostic include observation of the plasma formed in a post-hole convolute and hydrogen/helium gas cell emission/absorption with applications to white dwarf stars.
Initial Wetting Tests for the Liquid Lithium Divertor (LLD)
Laura Berzak Hopkins, Princeton University
Practicum Year: 2007
Practicum Supervisor: Richard Nygren, Manager, Fusion Technology Department, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
The National Spherical Torus eXperiment (NSTX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) intends to install a novel liquid lithium divertor (LLD) prior to the next run campaign. Before the final divertor can be built, design and materials testing must be completed in order to ascertain the parameters for an optimal device. While design work is underway, Sandia is involved in materials testing. The initial wetting tests are an examination of a unique molybdenum foam and the behavior of lithium in its presence. Thermocouple and IR data are gathered from both bench-top and vacuum heating tests of the foam itself. In addition, lithium foil is melted on to the foam and a variety of both qualitative and quantitative data regarding the manner in which the lithium wets the foam is collected.