December 6, 2002 Search the Currents Archive

Secretary Abraham Visits Berkeley Lab

Disappearing Neutrinos At KamLAND Support Case for Neutrino Mass

Mina Bissell Named Distinguished Scientist
Symons New Head of Nuclear Science
Lab-Led Team Wins SC Bandwidth Challenge
Wozniak Wins Election Runoff
Berkeley Lab Currents
Glimpsed on The Horizon: A Virtually Perfect Solar Cell
FY 2003 Laboratory R&D Program Awards Announced
Bulletin Board
ALS Staff Recognized for Open House Effort
EH&S Classes – December 2002
Flea Market
Flea Market Policy

Secretary Abraham Visits Berkeley Lab

By Ron Kolb

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has been in office for almost two years, consumed by the complexities of national energy policy, international oil reserves, and post-9/11 homeland security. So when he finally got around to visiting his West Coast science labs, he apparently liked what he saw.

Speaking before more than 200 employees at the end of a two-hour visit to Berkeley Lab on Nov. 26, Abraham called the science labs “the crown jewels in many ways of America’s national assets. They make priceless contributions to our efforts in energy and national security.”

He said this following a whirlwind tour of facilities and programs, led by Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank and including both Abraham’s wife Jane and his Office of Science director, Ray Orbach. The orientation session included stops at the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) and the Advanced Light Source, where his “all-hands” address took place under clear-blue skies on the ALS patio.

“When I travel to the labs,” he told the audience, “my goal is first to tour and find out what is on the cutting edge.” Earlier in the morning, he had listened to briefings on the Supernova Cosmology Project and its proposed SuperNova Acceleration Probe (SNAP), and on the geological characteristics of the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

“But it’s also to convey back to all of you our appreciation, widely shared in the administration and in Congress, of the fine work you do on the front lines every day. I just want to convey to you that it is important work, and (you have) my absolute commitment to do the best job I can to be a good messenger and interpreter of what is going on both here in Berkeley and throughout our complex.”

He learned first-hand how the x-ray beams of the ALS will help to identify and study contaminants in the environment, and with a push of a computer mouse button he officially commissioned the newest of the beamlines, dedicated to Molecular Environmental Science. He was also dazzled by computer images of cells shown to him by life scientist Carolyn Larabell.

“Being able to cat-scan an individual cell (is) a remarkable basis for future advances in medical science,” he said, noting that the early accelerators developed at Berkeley Lab led to “remarkable life-saving technologies and breakthroughs.” He pointed out that one out of every three hospital patients in America is benefiting from nuclear medicine, and 10,000 cancer patients are treated every day with beams from accelerators.

Berkeley Lab life scientist Carolyn Larabell (front left) shows Secretary Spencer Abraham computer images of cells. Abraham (center, pointing) was joined on the tour by his wife Jane and Director Shank. ALS Division Director Daniel Chemla is pictured next to Larabell.

Abraham began his visit with a briefing on SNAP by astrophysicists Saul Perlmutter and Michael Levi. Armed with graphic images and a cutaway model fashioned by the Engineering Division, they explained to the Secretary their plans to launch a satellite into space before the end of the decade to study the mysterious “dark matter” of the universe.

Then it was off to NCEM, where facility manager Uli Dahmen and Materials Sciences Division Director Daniel Chemla gave the DOE visitors a fascinating look at atomic-scale microscopy. They also paused outside the building to scan the site of the forthcoming Molecular Foundry, one of the Department’s chosen centers for nanotechnology research.

Finally, they hustled to the ALS, where Abraham’s ceremonial mouse click allowed official “first light” to flow through the new MES beamline, captured on video monitors in a bright flash.

“This versatile new beamline will be a valuable addition to this national user facility, already one of the ‘bright lights’ in the Department of Energy’s fleet of synchrotron light facilities,” he said. “This beamline will provide new and unique capabilities to look at extremely small particles that interact with contaminants in our environment and allow unparalleled observation of how these particles impact the environment.

“The results of this research may be new and more cost-effective ways to meet the challenge of environmental cleanup, which is one of the Department of Energy’s critical missions.”

His final briefing before the all-hands meeting was given by Bo Bodvarsson, division director for Earth Sciences and principal investigator for hydrogeologic studies at the Yucca Mountain project. Partially based on analyses provided by Berkeley Lab scientists, the Secretary forwarded his recommendation to President Bush that this site in Nevada is acceptable to safely receive and store the nation’s waste from nuclear power plants. The project is currently before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for licensing.

On several occasions in his address to employees, Abraham emphasized his resolve to maintain funding for basic research labs like Berkeley.

“A serious commitment to energy and national security means a similar commitment to science and the research foundation,” he said. “We’re very serious about this. (The DOE is) the third largest funder of basic research in America, and the largest for the physical sciences. Day in and day out, people like you do work of immense importance of a highly technical nature, and that ranges from designing energy technologies of the future to coming up with the most advanced detectors for use against threats that are posed to us.”

And he closed by saying, “I applaud all of you for the role you play, and I look forward to working with you.” He and Jane then shook hands with many of the onlookers, including a contingent of students visiting from Sir Francis Drake High School in Marin County.

Earlier in the talk, he had implored Berkeley Lab to “help us with another challenge. I’m concerned about the need to inspire young people in America to pursue careers in math, science and engineering. We need to do a better job of that. My hope is to develop ways that we can do even more to provide that inspiration.”

Judging from the excitement on the faces of the Marin students as the Abrahams walked among them, the Secretary appeared to be doing his part.

The rest of his Bay Area visit included stops at the Livermore and Stanford Linear Accelerator labs. His West Coast swing started in Los Angeles, where he toured ophthalmology labs at the University of Southern California and announced a $9 million DOE grant to conduct artificial retina research.

Disappearing Neutrinos At KamLAND
Support Case for Neutrino Mass

By Lynn Yarris

Results from the first six months of experiments at KamLAND, an underground neutrino detector in central Japan, show that anti-neutrinos emanating from nearby nuclear reactors are “disappearing,” which indicates they have mass and can oscillate or change from one type to another. As anti-neutrinos are the antimatter counterpart to neutrinos, these results provide independent confirmation of earlier studies involving solar neutrinos and show that the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which has successfully explained fundamental physics since the 1970s, is in need of updating.

“While the results from earlier neutrino experiments such as those at SNO (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory) and Super-K (Super-Kamiokande) offered compelling evidence for neutrino oscillation, there were some escape clauses. Our results close the door on these clauses and make the case for neutrino oscillation and mass seemingly inescapable,” says Stuart Freedman, a nuclear physicist with Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division and a cospokesperson for the U.S. team at KamLAND, which includes about 100 researchers from 13 institutes, including UC Berkeley.

KamLAND stands for Kami-oka Liquid-scintillator Anti-Neutrino Detector. Located in a mine cavern beneath the mountains of Japan’s main island of Honshu, near the city of Toyama, it is the largest low-energy antineutrino detector ever built. The antineutrino events that were recorded for this study stem from electron anti-neutrinos that originated from the 51 nuclear reactors in Japan plus 18 reactors in South Korea. Anti-neutrinos, like neutrinos, come in three different types or “flavors,” electron, muon and tau. They’re created in fission reactions such as those that drive nuclear power plants.

Since antimatter is thought to be the mirror-image of matter in properties and behavior, to study antineutrinos is to study neutrinos. According to the predictions from the Standard Model, neutrinos and antineutrinos are without mass. Contrary to this, over the past two years, solar neutrino experiments at the SNO and Super-K detectors implied that the ghostlike snippets of matter/antimatter do possess enough mass to enable them to oscillate and change flavor over a distance.

KamLAND consists of a 13 meters in diameter weather balloon filled with a kiloton of liquid scintillator that emits flashes of light when an incoming anti-neutrino collides with a proton. These light flashes are detected by a surrounding array of 1,879 photomultipliers attached to the inner surface of a stainless steel sphere.

However, some scientists have questioned whether these solar neutrinos might have interacted in an unexpected way with the sun’s magnetic field enroute to detectors. KamLAND is the first experiment to observe the neutrino properties responsible for solar neutrino flavor changes from a terrestrial source, the reactors in Japan’s nuclear power plants.

“It’s an amazing coincidence that KamLAND just happens to be the right distance (an average of about 175 kilometers) from Japan’s nuclear reactors for us to be sensitive to the antineutrino oscillations that are expected from the solar experiments,” says Freedman.

In a paper for Physical Review Letters, the KamLAND collaboration reports that over a period of 145 days of operation they recorded 54 electron antineutrino events in the energy range of one to 10 million electron volts, as opposed to the approximately 86 events predicted by the Standard Model under the assumption that no oscillations occur.

Based on analysis of the events and the energies at which they occurred, the collaboration concluded that the likely explanation is that antineutrinos oscillated on their way from the reactors which caused some of them to change from electron to muon and tau antineutrinos. Furthermore, the collaborators deduced that a mixing of the three flavors of antineutrinos took place, a phenomenon that will be helpful in pinning down the neutrino mass with better precision than is possible with the solar neutrino experiments as the KamLAND experiments continue their run.

Berkeley Lab participants in the KamLAND experiment, in addition to Freedman, include Melissa Barclay, Bruce Berger, Robert Cahn, Yuen-Dat Chan, Michal Decowski, Daniel Dwyer, Yu Fu, B.K. Brian Fujikawa, Karsten Heeger, Kevin Lesko, Kam-Biu Luk, Alysia Marino, Hitoshi Murayama, Dave Nygren, Alan Poon, Herb Steiner, Robert Stokstad, and Lindley Winslow from the Nuclear Science and Physics divsions, plus Fred Bieser, Michelle Galloway, Thorsten Stezelberger, and Harold Yaver of the Engineering Division.

Mina Bissell Named Distinguished Scientist

By Paul Preuss

Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank has announced the promotion of Mina Bissell to the rank of Distinguished Scientist. Bissell, who recently returned to full-time research after 14 years as director of the Lab’s Life Sciences Division, is the first woman and only the seventh person in Lab history to attain this rare distinction.

“The Distinguished Scientist rank is reserved for the most exceptional senior scientists,” Shank wrote to Bissell on Nov. 8. “Clearly, you richly deserve the special status conferred by this title. You are a vigorous, insightful, and eloquent scientific leader, recognized nationally and internationally as one of the premier cancer researchers in the field today.”

Over the past two decades Bissell has achieved world renown for her sustained demonstrations of the crucial role of the cell’s microenvironment and the extracellular matrix in the regulation of genes and tissue function. While pursuing her active scientific career, Bissell simultaneously spearheaded the reorganization of the life sciences at Berkeley Lab. Thus in addition to announcing her elevation to Distinguished Scientist, Shank also appointed Bissell his Senior Advisor on Biology, in recognition of her “continuing and unique role in the Laboratory’s biology programs.”

Bissell credits recognition of the relationship between successful research programs and individual scientific achievement to Shank. “I became a division director so I and others could continue to do great science, not the other way around,” she says. “Chuck expects division directors to be fulltime scientists as well as full time directors.”

The Life Sciences Division was formed early in Shank’s directorship, when he mandated the integration of the Lab’s existing biology programs. Bissell, who had joined the Lab in 1972 and since 1985 had directed the Cell and Molecular Biology Division, was charged with organizing the coordinated effort.

To advance basic science as well as pursue programs of special interest to DOE, Bissell took advantage of the Lab’s strengths in fields like DNA repair, structural biology, breast cancer, and genomics. Moving to restore rigor to the Lab’s research, she concentrated the work in a few high-powered teams.

Before long the Lab had shown that it could make world-class science possible in ways not open to less versatile institutions, through connecting established areas of strength — engineering, for example, and computation — with programs like the Drosophila genome project. Large programs in atheroscloresis, DNA repair, chromatin structure, and breast cancer would also benefit from the integrated approach.

One result, says Bissell, “is that not only did the world take notice of what we were doing at Berkeley Lab — the Berkeley campus did also!” Soon UCB and other UC campuses “decided it was a good time to partner with us.” The result was a New Biology Committee, set up by Shank and chaired jointly by Bissell and UC Berkeley’s Robert Tjian.

A search for talented researchers to expand joint biology programs on campus and at the Lab began immediately. “We competed with the most elite institutions in the US — and we were successful!” Bissell says. “In addition to the other fantastic scientists I recruited, we now have five young joint faculty in the Life Sciences Division.”

Recruiting wasn’t limited to a single division. Bissell jokes that “I recruited Adam Arkin (of the Physical Biosci-ences Division) before the world realized what a genius he was” — an example of how she and her colleagues advanced the interests “not just of the Life Sciences Division but all biology at LBNL and UC Berkeley. Nor were we competing with the campus, but seeking ways to make the best use of the unique strengths of both.”

The transformation did not escape the notice of the Department of Energy. In 1999, Marvin E. Frazier, director of the Life Sciences Division of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) in the Office of Science, wrote a frank letter to Charles Shank asking for Bissell’s help in strengthening OBER’s programs in the other national laboratories.

Frazier noted that prior to Bissell’s assuming the directorship of the Life Sciences Division, he personally regarded Berkeley Lab’s biology programs as among “the worst” in the national laboratory system. “It is now clearly the best!” Frazier wrote. “I believe that Dr. Mina Bissell deserves a large part of the credit for the LBNL success.”

Meanwhile, Bissell’s scientific progress never flagged. Just this year she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received a special “Innovator Award” newly established by the Defense Department’s Breast Cancer Research Program; the $3 million award will enable her to focus her attention on the relationship between cancer and the cellular microenvironment, a field of study she pioneered.

These are the latest in a long list of honors, including DOE’s Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and an honorary doctorate from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. But Bissell’s achievement could hardly be better expressed than through the record of accomplishment of the Life Sciences Division, whose formation she directed and of which she continues to be a leading member.

Berkeley Lab staff members who previously achieved career status as Distinguished Scientists were David Nygren, Arthur Poskanzer, Frank Stephens, Andrew Sessler, David Shirley, and Frederick Goulding. Bissell is not only the first woman among them but the first life scientist, itself a mark of Berkeley Lab’s biological revolution.

Symons New Head of Nuclear Science

By Dan Krotz

On Monday, Director Charles Shank appointed James Symons head of the Nuclear Science Division. Symons succeeds Lee Schroeder, who led the division since 1995.

The appointment begins Symons’ second stint as director of this division. He joined the Laboratory in 1977 after receiving a Ph.D. degree from Oxford University, and served as head of the Nuclear Science Division from 1985 to 1995. Even with a decade of experience as division director, Symons is open-minded about returning to the position.

“It really feels like a new job, and it’s a great opportunity,” he said. Director Shank echoed his optimism.

“The Laboratory is privileged to have James bring his wealth of knowledge and understanding to the role of division director at this time,” said Shank. “I am confident that the Laboratory will benefit from his intellectual strength and leadership, and I am delighted to welcome him.”

Symons will oversee large-scale projects such as the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and STAR, a collaborative effort with Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) designed to investigate particle production from an environment similar in energy density to the early stages of the universe. In addition to these experiments, which are already in the data-collection phase, Symons will shape the division’s future.

“We need to identify the scientific problems we will be studying in the next 10 years,” he said. Possibilities include a follow-up to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, in the form of either another neutrino detector or a double beta decay detector. As for RHIC, Symons foresees upgrades to the STAR detector, followed by an electron ion collider at Brookhaven. And as a follow-up to the Gammasphere, Symons foresees the construction of a Gamma Ray Tracking Array.

“Another big challenge is deciding the future of the 88-inch Cyclotron,” Symons said, adding that a Laboratory Directed Research and Development program is currently exploring ways to use the facility.

If previous successes are any indication, many of these initiatives will flourish. During his first term as division director, Symons had a leadership role in the development of the 88-Inch Cyclotron as a national user facility supporting the Gammasphere detector, the initiation of new programs in nuclear astrophysics and weak interactions, and the continued growth of the relativistic heavy ion program, providing leadership for experiments at CERN and Brookhaven.

Between tenures, Symons pursued his research interests full time. In 1997, he was appointed to the DOE and National Science Foundation-convened Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), and became its chair in 2000. Under his leadership, NSAC developed A Long-Range Plan for the Next Decade, June 2002, a report that has been widely praised for its vision and clarity. He is also a member of the STAR collaboration, and he maintains an active interest in nuclear structure research.

Symons thanked his predecessor for making his job easier.

“The division is in excellent condition thanks to Lee Schroeder,” Symons said. Shank also offered kudos to the outgoing division director.

“I want again to express my appreciation for the dedicated service of Lee Schroeder as the Nuclear Science Division Director for the past seven years,” Shank said. “We are indebted to him for his leadership.”

Lab-Led Team Wins SC Bandwidth Challenge

By Jon Bashor

An international team led by Berkeley Lab scientists achieved their third consecutive victory in the High-Performance Bandwidth Challenge at the SC2002 Conference on high-performance networking and computing, held Nov. 16-22 in Baltimore.

The team won top honors for the highest performing application, moving data at a peak speed of 16.8 gigabits (6.8 billion bits of data per second) — more than five times higher than the team’s record-setting win at last year’s conference.

The team used clusters of computers at seven sites in the United States, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Entitled “Wide Area Distributed Simulations using Cactus, Globus and Visapult,” the winning application modeled gravitational waves generated during the collision of black holes.

“This year we proved that Moore’s Law is too slow for networking,” said Berkeley Lab’s John Shalf, leader of the team.

Participating sites in the winning effort were the Parallel Distributed Systems Facility at NERSC and clusters at the SC2002 conference in Baltimore, Argonne National Laboratory, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the University of Amsterdam, and the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.

Shalf said the team used a “Global Grid Testbed Collaboration” to win. “As we build a more global infrastructure, researchers will be able to choose from resources around the world to increase their throughput,” he said. This same collaboration won two out of three awards in the SC2002 High Performance Computing Challenge.

John Shalf (sitting, left) and Wes Bethel (center) showed the judges in the Bandwidth Challenge competition how they ran their data transfer.

The team ran the Visapult volume rendering application at SC2002 to create visualizations from the simulations being run on the participating clusters. According to Wes Bethel, head of the Lab’s Visualization Group and developer of Visapult, the effort demonstrated how distributed resources can be used effectively. Bethel said that improvements in Visapult, along with the evolving networking and Grid infrastructure of hardware, software and middleware helped push the team’s data transfer to such a high rate. Members of the team tested the basic setup last July to demonstrate the feasibility of 10-gigabit Ethernet capability.

The team led by Berkeley Lab won the first ever Bandwidth Challenge at SC2000, where they moved data at an average of 596 megabits per second over 60 minutes, hitting a peak of 1.48 gigabits per second over a five-second period. At the SC2001 conference, the team took the top prize by achieving a sustained network performance level of 3.3 gigabits per second.

First held in 2000, the High-Performance Bandwidth Challenge encourages teams of researchers from around the world to use, if not swamp, the conference network to demonstrate applications using huge amounts of data. The challenge is sponsored by Qwest Communications and provides cash prizes for the winning teams in three categories.

Wozniak Wins Election Runoff

In an aggressive runoff race for a Berkeley City Council seat, retired Lab scientist Gordon Wozniak defeated UC Berkeley graduate student Andy Katz on Tuesday. The race was forced into a runoff when Wozniak barely missed winning the 45 percent of the vote needed to win in the general election on Nov. 5.

Wozniak was a senior scientist with the Nuclear Sciences Division. Most recently he was the coleader of a team that demonstrated that atomic nuclei can be made to undergo a “phase transition” and change from a liquid to a vapor state, thereby solving a long-standing mystery in nuclear physics.

His win represents a victory for the city’s “moderate” faction, as Wozniak describes himself. His district encompasses the hills east of campus and the Claremont-Elmwood neighborhoods.

Wozniak won 58.4 percent of the 4,302 votes cast by special mail-in or hand-delivered ballot. His opponent received 41.6 percent. Tuesday’s results will be verified by the city clerk on Dec. 10, at which time the winner will be sworn in.

Berkeley Lab Currents

Published twice a month by the Communications Department for the employees and retirees of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Ron Kolb, Communications Department head.

EDITOR: Monica Friedlander, (510) 495-2248,

STAFF WRITERS: Lisa Gonzales, 486-4698; Dan Krotz, 486-4109, Paul Preuss, 486-6249; Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jon Bashor, X5849; Allan Chen, X4210


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Glimpsed on The Horizon:
A Virtually Perfect Solar Cell

By Paul Preuss

Solar cells so cheap and efficient could revolutionize the
use of solar power on Earth as well as in space.”

Researchers in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, working with crystal-growing teams at Cornell University and Japan’s Ritsumeikan University, have learned that the bandgap of the semiconductor indium nitride is not 2 electron volts (2 eV) as previously thought, but close to 0.7 eV.

A technicality? Hardly. The low bandgap suggests that it may be possible to create rugged, inexpensive devices that can convert the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical current from a single alloy of indium, gallium and nitrogen — the most efficient solar cells ever created.

“It’s as if nature designed this material on purpose to match the solar spectrum,” says Wladek Walukiewicz, who led the collaborators in making the discovery.

The importance of the bandgap

The bandgap is the difference between the energy of the electrons in a semiconductor’s filled valence band and the energy electrons would need to occupy its empty conduction band. Bandgaps fundamentally limit the colors a solar cell can convert to electricity.

In a solar cell, photons with just the right energy — the color of light that matches the bandgap — create electron-hole pairs and let current flow across the junction between positively and negatively doped layers (p-type and n-type layers).

Photons with less energy slip right through, and photons with too much energy waste the excess as heat. That’s why a one-layer solar cell, with a single bandgap, is limited to 30 percent efficiency.

To do better, researchers and manufacturers stack materials with different bandgaps. In principle dozens of different layers could be stacked to catch photons at all energies, for efficiencies better than 70 percent — but a host of problems intervenes. If the dimensions of adjacent crystal lattices differ too much, for example, strain damages the crystals. The most efficient multijunction solar cell yet made — 30 percent out of a theoretically possible 50 percent efficiency — combines just two materials.

A clue from blue light

The first clue that there were undiscovered possibilities for solar cell materials came when the Berkeley Lab researchers were studying indium nitride — not the way it absorbs light to create electrical power, but the reverse.

“We were studying the properties of indium nitride as a component of light-emitting diodes,” says Walukiewicz. “But even though its bandgap was reported to be 2 ev, nobody could get light out of it at 2 eV. All our efforts failed.”

In the 1990s a new generation of wide-bandgap LEDs emerged, capable of radiating light at very short wavelengths. At 3.4 eV, the wavelength emitted by gallium nitride is so short it’s invisible. When some of the gallium is exchanged for indium, however, colors like violet, blue, and green are produced in addition to ultraviolet (see Currents, July 14, 2000).

The Berkeley Lab researchers surmised that the same alloy might emit even longer wavelengths if the proportion of indium was increased. But simple indium nitride refused to emit any light at all, even at its supposed bandgap of 2 eV.

That bandgap had been measured on samples of indium nitride created by sputtering. If such a sample were to be contaminated with impurities like oxygen, its bandgap would be displaced.

The Berkeley Lab researchers worked with a group at Cornell headed by William Schaff, renowned for their expertise at molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), and with a group at Ritsumeikan University headed by Yasushi Nanishi. In MBE the components are deposited as pure gases in high vacuum at moderate temperature.

Indium nitride’s real and much lower bandgap was only the first surprise. Because their collaborators could precisely control the relative amounts of indium and gallium in the crystals, the Berkeley Lab group soon learned that bandgap width increases smoothly as the alloy’s proportions shift from indium toward gallium — all the way to 3.4 eV for simple gallium nitride.

This extraordinary range immediately suggested solar cells. But to exploit the alloy’s near-perfect correspondence to the spectrum of sunlight will require a multijunction cell with layers of different composition. Walukiewicz explains that “lattice matching is normally a killer” in multijunction cells.

“But not here,” he adds. Indium gallium nitride crystals are riddled with defects, hundreds of millions or even tens of billions per square centimeter, which would ordinarily stop charge carriers in their tracks. Yet remarkably, “these materials can accommodate very large lattice mismatches without any significant effect on their optoelectronic properties.”

It remains to be seen if a p-type version of indium gallium nitride suitable for solar cells can be made, but here too success with LEDs of the same material gives hope.

Indium gallium nitride has tremendous heat capacity and is extremely resist to radiation, ideal properties for the solar arrays that power communications satellites and other spacecraft. But what about cost?

“If it works, the cost should be on the same order of magnitude as traffic lights,” Walukiewicz says. “Maybe less.” Solar cells so cheap and efficient could revolutionize the use of solar power on Earth as well as in space.

FY 2003 Laboratory R&D
Program Awards Announced

Allocations for Lab’s FY 2003 LDRD Projects

Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank has announced the awards for the FY 2003 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program (see Currents, March 8, 2002). A total of about $9.8 million in operating and capital equipment was allocated for 78 projects selected from among more than 160 proposals submitted requesting $24.5 million. The proposals were evaluated in a review process that used the scientific judgment and priorities of division reviews and the Director’s review committees.

In making the awards, Director Shank said, “This year, we received an exceptional group of proposals. Decisions were even more difficult than in previous years, and many worthy proposals were not funded. I would like to express my appreciation to all those who participated.”

Lead P.I.


Award ($K)


Miniaturized Systems for Particle Exposure Assessment



Experimental Mathematician’s Toolkit



Understanding the Agrobacterium Tumefaciens T-DNA Transporter: a Type IV Secretion System



Microbial Controls on Metals in the Environment



Nonlinear Mathematical Models of Phenomena Related to Petroleum Mining and Geological Engineering



Effective Field Theory and Few-Nucleon Systems


Bertozzi et al.

Interactive Hybrid Materials for the Construction of Cell-Based Biosensors



Infrastructure for Improving Protein Structure Predication in Computational Biology


Bissell et al.

Biomechanics of Cell-Matrix Adhesion in Normal and Malignant Mammary Epithelial Cells



Comparative Studies Between Earth and Planetary Sciences



Disorder and Multiple Length Scales in Non-Fermi-Liquid f-electron Intermetallics



High Spatial and Energy Resolution Electron Energy Loss: Spectroscopy for Nanoscale Materials Applications



Microscopic Imaging in High-Throughput Screening for Crystals of the Bacterial Ribosome



New Femtosecond Spectroscopies of Structural Dynamics: IR Pump X-ray Probe Experiments



Application of Real-time PCR with Reverse Transcription for Quantification of Specific Microbial Activity in Complex Communities


Colella et al.

Advanced Simulation of Complex Beam Systems


Corlett et al.

Ultra-fast X-ray Source for fsec Dynamics



Dynamic Reorganization of Chromosome Architecture During Meiosis



Short Period Superconducting Undulator Development



New Machine Learning and Data Mining Methods for Genomics and Information Retrieval



Molecular Recognition and Protein/Protein Interactions in Signal Transduction


Eisen, Biggin

Analysis of Gene Regulation Through Systematic Determination of Regulatory Protein Binding Specificities



Self-assembling Arrays of Nanocrystals Templated by Cytoskeletal Proteins



Development of a Neutral Molecule Synchrotron Storage Ring



Numerical Simulations of Fuel Cells


Hamann et al.

Interactive Visualization Methods for Exploration and Comparison of Multi-billion Base Pair Sequence Data.


Harris et al.

Investigation of Charge Transfer in Organic Electronics Using Ulrafast Spectroscopy and Targeted Synthesis



Modeling of High Energy Physics Detectors


Hussain, et al.

Development of a Novel Photon-in Photon-out Spectroscopy Capability for Studying Complex Electron System



Structural Studies of Presenilin-1, a Membrane Protein Critical to the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease



Determining the Light-Adsorbing Properties of Aerosol Particles



Allosteric Mechanisms in Proteins Involved in Cell Signaling



Design of Digital Signal Processing Electronics for High Resolution Solid State Detectors



POLARBEAR: An Experiment to Measure Polarization Anisotropy in the CMB



Novel Coherent THz and IR Source Using a Laser Wakefield Accelerator and Applications



Concepts for a Premier Stable Beam Facility for Low Energy Nuclear Physics



Coherent Control and Quantum Information in Polyatomic Molecules



Detector Research and Development for Low Energy Solar Neutrino Detectors



Segmentation of Mammary Gland Ductal Structure Using Geometric Methods



Coupling of Seismologic and Hydrologic Processes



Orphan Guanylate Cyclase Receptors in C. elegans


Martin et al.

Development of a Coherent Far-IR Synchrotron Source at the ALS



Development of Techniques for Structural Analysis of Large, Multi-Subunit Eukaryotic Transcription Complexes



Health Effects of Indoor and Outdoor Particle Concentrations, Assessed with Epidemiology



Parallel Methods for Robust Optimization and Uncertainty Quantification



Systems Biology: Biological Input-Output Devices



Second-order Methods for Solid-Fluid Shock Coupling with Application to Martian Meteorites



Modeling Quantum Coherence and Transport in Nanoscale Spin, Charge, and Flux Devices



Simulations of Femtosecond X-ray Spectra of Photoexcited Molecules



Photoionization Experiments on Atoms and Molecules Adsorbed onto Helium Droplets



Chemical Dynamics Under Reaction Conditions



Development of Monitoring Strategies for Carbon Sequestration Verification Using Coupled Subsurface and Subaerial Simulation



Nanoscale Electronic Phase Separation, a New Paradigm for Complex Electronic Materials



Aberration Correction of Electron Microscopes



Combinatorial Algorithms in Scientific Computing


Pines et al.

"Ex-Situ" and "Remote" Molecular Imaging and Spectroscopy



Photoemission Study of Magnetic Quantum Well Interaction



Scalable Methods for Studying Collisional Breakup and Rearrangement Processes


Riley et al.

Applying a Coupled Climate-Land Surface Regional Model to Deduce Trends in Soil Moisture from Air Temperature Data


Ryne, Ng

Optimal Solvers for Infinite-Dimensional Hamiltonian Systems.



Superconducting Magnet Systems for Ex-Situ NMR Spectroscopy



Soft X-ray Spectroscopy of Liquid Surfaces


Schenkel, Bokor

Solid State Quantum Computer Development With Single Ion Implantation



P-sec Time-Resolved Photo-Electron Emission Microscopy on Magnetic Nano-Structures



Scientific Investigations and Technique Development of Wet Spectroscopy, High Pressure PhotoelectronSpectroscopy, and Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy for Molecular Environmental Science



Characterization of Adult Stem Cell Involvement in Mammary Gland Development



X-ray Diffraction for the Study of Strongly Correlated Materials



A MEMS “Test Kit” for Structural – Mechanical Property Relationships at the Nanoscale



Synchrotron and Wiggler Radiation Measurement of the Longitudinal Bunch Distribution in Hadron Colliders


Van Buskirk

Evaluation of Dynamic Air Quality Impacts of Distributed Generation


Van Hove et al.

Bonding in Low-Dimensional Structures: Theory and Computation



Electron Production and Collective Field Generation in Intense Particle Beams



All Nitride, Full Solar Spectrum Photovoltaics


Waychunas et al.

Reactivity of Nanoparticles in Natural Environments



Research on a Next Generation Vertex Detector



Conformation and Reaction Dynamics at the Single Molecule Level


Yelick, Hargrove

Advancing Computer Architectures



Fabrication and In-Situ TEM Study of Nanocontacts in Embedded Nanophase Systems


TOTAL: $9,760

Bulletin Board

Outstanding Performance at the Bevatron

Director Charles Shank and Deputy Director Sally Benson (second and third from the right) recently recognized the interdisciplinary Operations team for last fiscal year's excess facility removal work at Building 51 and distributed Outstanding Performance Awards to several team members.

"What makes this group of people so outstanding is that we are truly a cross functional team from many different operations divisions," says project leader Margaret Goglia (right). "People from Facilities, ASD, EH&S, Engineering and Financial Services all worked together to make this effort successful."

Director’s Annual Holiday Party

The annual holiday party hosted by Lab Director Charles Shank will be held next Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Food and musical entertainment will be provided. Everyone is invited to join in the fun and holiday spirit.

Spam Control Brown Bag

The increasing amount of SPAM has generated considerable concern at the Lab in recent months. Learn how to declare war on unwanted e-mail at the next computer protection brown bag, to be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at noon in the Building 50 auditorium. Mark Rosenberg, leader of the Computing Infrastructure Technologies Group, will be the presenter. Bring your lunch and questions.

Mac Users Meeting: Migrating to OS X

Migrating from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X can be a confusing experience for beginning and seasoned users alike. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, the Lab’s Mac Users’ Group Meeting will shed light on this process. Presenter Keith Olson will address the changes between the two operating systems and demonstrate ways to efficiently navigate Mac OS X. Topics will include users and permission, navigating in the new finder, finder customization, the dock, networking, and issues related to the new Mac OS X 10.2.

The meeting will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Building 90-3148. Mac OS X newbies, users of iBooks and TiBooks, and other curious computer users are welcome.

Windows XP Security Course

A half-day course on Windows XP Security will be held on Friday, Dec. 13 from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Building 50 auditorium. Windows XP is the newest in the line of Microsoft Windows workstations and the standard for workstation rollouts at Berkeley Lab. The course is offered by the Lab’s Computer Protection Program.

To enroll, see the Employee Self Service website at

Changes to Industrial Gas Program

Effective Dec. 1, the Airgas company, which currently supplies the Lab with cylindered gases (e.g., nitrogen, oxygen, argon), will also become the subcontractor for the Lab’s toxic and specialty gases. The change is part of an effort by the Procurement Department to streamline the Laboratory’s industrial gas program.

Airgas will supply Lab employees with the type of gas they require, including gases previously ordered from other vendors. The company carries a comprehensive range of products, including industrial and specialty gases, welding equipment, safety products, industrial tools, refrigerant gases, and maintenance supplies.

Lab personnel may order directly from Airgas by fax request form, bypassing the normal purchase order method.

Please note that all health-hazardous gas orders must first be reviewed by the EH&S program coordinator, John Seabury (X6547, fax: 6224) before being faxed to Airgas. Also see Pub. 3000 for information on the safe handling of gases. A technical representative has been assigned to handle calls from the Laboratory.

For further information contact Zelma Richardson at X4216 or

UC Regents Approve New CAP Retirement Fund

On Nov. 14 the UC Board of Regents approved the creation of an additional “CAP” retirement fund for eligible UC employees in an effort to help offset disappointing 2002-2003 salary increases. Called a Capital Accumulation Provision (CAP), this special account will put the equivalent of 5 percent of the employee’s salary into a separate retirement account in the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP). The funds will earn a rate of interest specified by the UC Regents, currently set at 7.5 percent. (The Regents may change the rate.)

Employees will have access to the funds when they retire from or leave the university. Interest is posted monthly until the balance is distributed.

Examples of Current Earnings from a 1993 CAP

Annual salary

CAP Credit

Interest Rate

Amount earned to date


2.5% of salary




2.5% of salary




2.5% of salary



This initiative was undertaken in an effort to help compensate university employees in some way for the low salary increases resulting from limited state funding. The recent economic downturn and resulting decline in state revenues, UC representatives said, provided UC with funds to offer administrative employees systemwide no more than a 1.5 percent raise .

“All of our faculty and staff work very hard to maintain UC as a premier educational institution and they deserve to be recognized accordingly,” said Judy Boyette, associate vice president for human resources and benefits.

“Since we are only able to give modest raises on a systemwide basis this year due to the state's budget deficit, we wanted to try to find additional forms of rewarding people financially. And even though this doesn't increase employees’ incomes immediately, it does give them a financial boost later on.”

This is the second consecutive year that a CAP account was created as UC received less-than-expected state funding for employee salaries. Last year the UC Regents approved a CAP fund that provided eligible employees with 3 percent of salary, at a current interest rate of 7.5 percent. In the last 10 years, UC has offered five separate CAP programs.

CAP and CAP II are being kept separate for record-keeping purposes due to their different interest rates.

The CAP balance will be included in employees’ UC Semi-Annual Account Statement, mailed each February and August. You may also access your combined CAP and CAP II balance at any time through the Bencom phone line (800-888-8267; select “Personal Accounts and Transactions,” and follow the prompts to request a “Statement on Demand.”)

All UC employees who will be active members in the UCRP on April 1, 2003 will be eligible for the CAP. This includes UCRP members on sabbatical or approved leave of absence. Disabled, retired and inactive members would be ineligible.


General Interest

DECEMBER 10, Tuesday

Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium

3 – 4:30 p.m., cafeteria

DECEMBER 11, Wednesday

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Bldg. 90-3148

DECEMBER 12, Thursday

8:00 A.M. – 12:00, Bldg. 26

DECEMBER 13, Friday

9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

DECEMBER 19, Thursday

7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., cafeteria parking lot

Send us your announcements

Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Dec. 20 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

Seminars & Lectures

DECEMBER 6, Friday

The LCLS: Short X-Ray Pulses Open a Window for New
Scientific Opportunities
Speaker: Jerome Hastings, SLAC
10:30 a.m., Building 71, Room 264 (Albert Ghiorso Conference Room)
Refreshments at 10:20 a.m.

DECEMBER 10, Tuesday

Does p53 Affect Organismal Aging?
Speaker: Lawrence Donehower, Baylor College of Medicine
4:00 p.m., Building 66 auditorium

DECEMBER 13, Friday

The Next 20 Years in Particle Physics
Speaker: Hitoshi Murayama, Physics Division
10:30 a.m., Building 71, Room 264 (Albert Ghiorso Conference Room)
Refreshments at 10:20 a.m.

DECEMBER 18, Wednesday

The Casimir Effect: Theory and Practice
Speaker: Robert L. Jaffe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2:30 p.m., Perseverance Hall

DECEMBER 19, Thursday

Aurora A Kinase and Centrosome Aberrations in Mammary
Carcinogenesis: Boveri’s Hypothesis Resurrected
Speaker: William Brinkley, Baylor College of Medicine
4:00 p.m., Building 66 auditorium

ALS Staff Recognized for Open House Effort

The Advanced Light Source’s contribution to the success of this year’s Open House was recognized last month with a party held in Perseverance Hall. Among those participating at the event were (left to right) Jane Tanamachi, ALS Director Neville Smith, Liz Moxon, and Art Robinson.

EH&S Classes – December 2002






EHS 10

Introduction to ES&H at LBNL*

8:00 – 10:15

50 aud


EHS 275

Confined Space Hazards

8:30 – 11:00



EHS 274

Confined Space-Retraining

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 330

Lead Hazards Awareness

1:00 – 2:00



EHS 123

Adult Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 20

ES&H for Supervisors

1:00 – 3:00



EHS 260

Basic Electric Hazard Awareness

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 400

Radiation Protection-Fundamentals

9:00 – 12:00



EHS 154

Building Emergency Team Training

9:00 – 11:00



EHS 280

Laser Safety

1:00 – 4:00



EHS 432

Radiation Protection-Lab Safety

8:00 – 12:30



EHS 60

Ergonomics for Computer Users

10:30 – 12:00



EHS 735/

Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogen

1:30 – 2:45



EHS 530

Fire Extinguisher

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 256


10:00 – 11:30



EHS 10

Introduction to ES&H at LBNL

1:00 – 3:00


* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation.

To enroll, contact Valarie Espinoza-Ross at or enroll via the web at Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10. For a full, updated schedule, see

Flea Market


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BERKELEY / OAKLAND border, Shattuck & 57th St, 2 bdrm house, share w/ 1 pers, avail 12/15 or 1/03, newly renov, lge kitchen, din & liv rms, tile/hardwd flrs, w&d, dw, front porch, yard, garden, parking, nr BART, $750/mo, Matt, 847-6152,

BERKELEY HILLS furn suite by wk/mo, elegant & spacious, sleeps up to 3; bay views, denyse, dchew1

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BERKELEY, 2 bdrm, 1-1/2 bth, fp, dw, w&d, restored w/ new kitchen, nr UC/pub trans/shops, avail 1/01/03, looking for mature person, must have ref, $2,000+util, Susan, 843-4493, 849-0241

BERKELEY, furn rm w/ priv bth in 4 bdrm house, nr campus on Euclid, avail 11/1, no smok/overnight visitors, $700/mo, Giorgio, 548-1287

BERKELEY, spacious, sunny 1 bdrm triplex, hardwd flrs, liv rm, din rm, walk-in closets, attached garage, nr pub trans, avail 1/03, no pets/smok, $1,200/mo, Janice, 428-1893

BERKELEY, sunny apt on Parker St betw Milvia & MLK, nr Lab shuttle, 1 fully furn rm avail 12/14-1/11/03, 3-rm w/ kitchen & lge bth, backyrd, w&d free, bike shed, share common space w/ one female professional, $695 for entire time or $175/wk, Elisa, X7863 (before 12/13), Laurie, 665-9091

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EL CERRITO house, char-ming 2 bdrm/1 bth, renov, view, liv/din, laundry hk-up, lge yrd, nr BART/ shops, hardwd flrs, fp, lge yrd w/ fruit trees, $1,500/ mo, Craig, 541-0011

EL SOBRANTE, 3 bdrm/ 2.5 bth house, furn, equip kitchen & utensils, w&d, garage, lge fenced yrd, pets ok, avail 12/15 – 6/30/03, $2,000/ mo, Anat, X6857, 223-6490

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NORTH BERKELEY, 1 bdrm, nr LHS/pub trans/ Tilden, natural environ, kitchen, dw, hardwd flr, yard/patio, ftn, pianist in bldg, no smok/pets, yr-lease pref, $1,100 + dep, Rozalina, 845-4624,

NORTH BERKELEY B&GB for vis scholars, $650/2 wks, $850/mo, avail for 2 wks to 8 mos, 1 pers/rm, 2 rms in house, garden cottage, breakfast, bike, close to pub trans, avail now, Helen, 527-3252

NORTH BERKELEY furn 1 bdrm/1 bth flat by wk/mo/ or sem, walk to UCB/pub trans, wood flr/carpet, cable TV, priv garden, gated carport, Geoff, 848-1830,

NORTH BERKELEY HILLS, beautiful & cozy home, fully furn w/ art & oriental rugs, two bdrms, den, office, gourmet kitchen, 2 bths, view, lge deck, avail 12/1 to 6/31, possibly avail mid Dec, $2,500/mo incl gardener,

OAKLAND, nr Lake Merritt, 343 Lenox Ave, 1+ bdrm, 800 sq ft, hrdwd flrs, new gas stove & refrig, avail 12/15, $1,175/ mo + util, nr BART, Ying, 530-3760, Jin X7531

PIEDMONT, furn 1 bdrm apt w/ liv rm, kitchen & patio in secluded area, avail 12/15 for 2 or 6 mo, $1,350, util incl, Velimir, 452-0790

ROCKRIDGE, furn studio apt, nr BART/Lab shuttle, priv entr, bth & kitchen, gas stove & ref/frzr, util incl, $1,100/mo, Barbara/ Rob, 655-8126, Barbara, X7367,

THE UPLANDS, nr Claremont Ave, two single rms avail in lge home, $625 + $100 returnable dep, util incl, laundry, use of refrig, cooking neg, Lorri, X7493, 653-3232


LBNL RA looking for 1-bdrm apt in Berkeley or North Oakland, Steve, X6966

VISITING SCHOLAR & wife seek furn apt/house, 1 bdrm, liv rm, kitchen, for spring semester, 1/13/ - 06/13, pref close to UC,


MECHNICAL metronome, $15/bo; 2 port DSL/cable router w/ cables, $30/bo, Duo, X6878, 528-3408

MUSIC CD, 18 com rec-orded original piano compositions using the Steinway D sampled piano, $5, all proceeds benefit the scholarship fund of LANA (Latin & Native American Association), Flavio, 841-9196

REFRIGERATOR, white, Amana side-by-side, $75, Ron, X6476, (925) 432-4044

SECTIONAL, 4 piece wall cabinet, w/ beveled glass drs, 1 cabinet w/ shelves, 30x19x72, 1 cabinet w/ two sliding doors & hinged top opening lid, 57x18.5x28, exc cond, walnut finish, $650/bo, Paul, (925) 682-8872

SF OPERA TIX, Alcina, Sat 12/7, balc 2nd row ctr, $126/pr, Paul, X5508, 526-3519.

SF OPERA TIX, Kat'a Kabanova, 11/15, Hansel & Gretel, 1/11, frnt row balc cir, $176/pr, Diana, X6444

SF OPERA TIX, orch pr, row O ctr, Hansel & Gretel, 01/16, $236/pr, Craig, 409-0600


HOUSESITTER(S) at Xmas time, 12/24 - 12/28 & 12/26 - 1/12, dog walking & cat feeding, Fred, X4892


CABO SAN LUCAS, five star condo for rent, 12/23 - 12/30, newly built, overlooks ocean, full kitchen, 2 bth, master bdrm king & double bed in liv rm, accom 4 people, $1,800 for 7 nightsMona, mkafoury@

KAPAA, KAUAI, 2 bdrm oceanfront condo at Kapaa Shore Resort, pool, spa, tennis, fully equipped, oceanview, 3rd floor lanai, sleeps 6, walk to shops and dining, no smoking, holiday rental avail, $145/day, $850/wk + 11.42% tax & outcleaning fee, pic at, Richard, 845-1723

PARIS, FRANCE, near Eiffel Tower, furn eleg sunny 2 bdrm apt, avail yr round by week/month, close to pub trans/shops, Geoff, 848-1830,

TAHOE KEYS at S. Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm house, 2-1/2 bth, fenced yard, quiet, sunny, close to attractions, priv dock, great view, $195/night, 2 night min, Bob, (925) 376-2211

Flea Market Policy

Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Only items of your own personal property may be offered for sale.

Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home phone number. Ads must be submitted in writing via e-mail (, fax (X6641), or delivered/mailed to Bldg. 65.

Ads run one issue only unless resubmitted, and are repeated only as space permits. They may not be retracted once submitted for publication.

The deadline for the Dec. 20 issue is Thursday, Dec. 12.