June 13 , 2003 Search the Currents Archive

Physicist Robert C. Dynes to Head UC System

Capturing Excitons in Transition

State of the Lab, Lectures Kick Off Summer Talks
Get Ready for the First Day of Summer
Lab Scientist Discusses Breast Cancer Factors in Marin Forum
Campisi Named to Panel on Aging
Nominations for Lawrence Award Accepted Through June 30
Lawrence Home for Sale
Berkeley Lab Currents
Portable CT Scanner Joins Hunt for Alternative Energy
Lab’s Solar Cell Technology Licensed
The Birth of VENUS: Ion Source to Break Records
Homing in on Dark Energy
Lab’s Scientific Leaders Discuss Ways to Keep Berkeley Lab on the Cutting Edge of Science
National Energy Group Visits Lab
Performance Review Cycle Underway
Breast Cancer and the Cell Microenvironment
Flea Market Policy
IN MEMORIAM — Barbara Laslett
Meet the Clubs Fair
Runaround T-Shirt Design Contest

Physicist Robert C. Dynes to Head UC System

By Ron Kolb

Robert C. Dynes, a first-generation college graduate who went on to become a distinguished physicist and chancellor of UC San Diego, was named the 18th president of the University of California system on Wednesday by the UC Board of Regents.

Dynes came to UC San Diego as professor of physics in 1991 after a two-decade career in the private sector and was named chancellor in 1996. He will become president of the 10-campus, three-lab UC system on Oct. 2. He succeeds Richard C. Atkinson, who is retiring from the UC presidency after eight years that began Oct. 1, 1995.

“I have known President Dynes since we were colleagues at Bell Laboratories in the 1980s,” said Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank. “He is a distinguished scientist and should be an outstanding appointment for both the University and for the national laboratories. He probably has more working knowledge of the labs than any of his predecessors, having served on the President’s Council on the National Laboratories while he was chancellor at San Diego. I look forward to our continuing relationship over the coming years.”

Dynes was selected from a national pool of more than 300 candidates. The recommendation was made by a regental selection committee that was assisted by advisory committees of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“Bob Dynes is an outstanding individual who will provide superb leadership to maintain the quality and accessibility of the University of California,” said John J. Moores, chairman of the Board of Regents. “He brings the perfect mix of skills and experiences to tackle this demanding job. I appreciate the input of all who participated in the selection process, and I am particularly grateful to the faculty for the important role they played in our deliberations.”

Dynes, 60, is an expert on semiconductors and superconductors. He spent a 22-year physics career at AT&T Bell Laboratories before coming to UC San Diego, where he has continued his research and teaching while serving as chancellor. Addressing the regents’ meeting in Oakland, Dynes pledged his commitment as president to high-quality teaching, research that serves the public interest, expanded educational opportunity and institutional accountability.

“I am a first-generation college graduate whose life was transformed by educational opportunity,” the Canadian-born Dynes told the regents. “As an immigrant, I came to America because of my belief that anything is possible in this country if you work hard and apply yourself. As a physicist, I have a passion for discovering new ideas, and an even greater passion for watching my students discover new ideas. Last but not least, I am a Californian, and I am as dazzled by this radiant and richly diverse state now as I was when I arrived 12 years ago.

“I am elated by the prospect of taking the helm of the premier university in the world, a place where the very best come to study, to work and to learn,” Dynes said. “Sustaining the quality of the UC system will be my priority and my privilege as president.”

Robert Dynes (right) shakes hands with outgoing UC President Richard Atkinson at the press conference announcing Dynes’ appointment. John Davies (left) headed the presidential search commitee.

Under Dynes’ chancellorship at UCSD, faculty and student quality remained high, academic breadth expanded, ambitious management goals were met, and the campus addressed many key state and national issues.

During that time, student enrollments grew by 25 percent and graduation rates remained high; a new pharmacy school and management school were established; freshman seminar offerings were expanded; a new undergraduate college was established; outreach programs to public schools in the region were expanded; research expenditures increased 36 percent; the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology was launched with UC Irvine; income from technology transfer increased 76 percent; an initiative to improve staff retention and support was launched; a $1 billion fundraising campaign began, of which nearly half has been raised; and the campus worked with San Diego State University to coordinate a regional homeland security network.

Today, UCSD ranks sixth among American universities in federal awards for research, seventh in the number of faculty elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and seventh among public universities in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

“I could not be more pleased to have Bob Dynes succeed me as president,” Atkinson said. “He is a first-rate scholar, a highly capable manager and a deeply compassionate individual. His record of performance as chancellor, his commitment to the core values of the University of California and his vision for the future will make him a superb president.”

Dynes is also intimately familiar with the three national laboratories UC manages for the federal government. He is vice chair of the University of California President’s Council on the National Laboratories and a member of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Oversight Board. In addition, he has had a 25-year association with the national laboratories as an adviser and consultant to the physics research and weapons programs.

The regents approved a salary of $395,000 per year for the new president. That figure is 18 percent less than the $465,872 average presidential salary of the public and private universities across the nation that UC uses for salary-comparison purposes. It is consistent with the $394,640 average presidential salary of UC’s public comparison institutions.

A self-described “lower middle-class kid who almost chose an ice hockey career over college,” Dynes grew up in London, Ontario, Canada, and is a naturalized United States citizen. He holds a bachelors degree in mathematics and physics from the University of Western Ontario and masters and doctorate degrees in physics from McMaster University.

At AT&T Bell Laboratories, Dynes served as department head of semiconductor and material physics research and director of chemical physics research. Joining UC San Diego in 1991, he founded an interdisciplinary laboratory where chemists, electrical engineers and private industry researchers, joined by graduate and undergraduate students, investigate the properties of metals, semiconductors and superconductors.

His numerous scientific honors include the 1990 Fritz London Award in Low Temperature Physics and his 1989 election to the National Academy of Sciences. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

At UCSD, Dynes served as chairman of the department of physics and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs before becoming chancellor in July 1996. He is married to Frances Dynes Hellman, an expert on magnetic and superconducting materials who is a professor of physics at UC San Diego. Dynes has one daughter from a previous marriage and two grandchildren.

Dynes told the regents that he is eager to lead the UC system as it confronts the twin pressures of rising enrollments and falling state resources.

“These same pressures are being felt by other universities in other states,” he said. “There is a national consensus that American public universities must redefine how they deliver quality higher education. And the rest of the country is looking to the University of California to lead the way.”

Dynes said UC must work in “vigorous partnership” with the state’s other segments of public higher education — the California State University and the California Community Colleges — to serve the state’s needs. The university must also continue its efforts to expand the concept of “R & D” to “R, D & D,” — meaning “research, development and delivery” to ensure that research innovations end up in the hands of people who will use them.

“We must move discoveries from the bench to the public domain more effectively,” Dynes said. “And we must hand them off more quickly to end-users, whether they are first responders in a crisis, farmers, health care professionals, social workers, or teachers.”

Dynes also told the board that the educational experience of UC undergraduates will remain a high priority for him. “I believe their education is the single most important thing that this university does, and their future achievements will be our most lasting legacy,” Dynes said.

The University of California, founded 135 years ago in 1868, enrolls more than 200,000 students and employs more than 160,000 faculty and staff. Its campuses are consistently at or near the top of national and international rankings for academic quality, and 44 of its faculty members have been awarded the Nobel Prize.

Capturing Excitons in Transition

By Lynn Yarris

Berkeley Lab scientists, using simultaneous ultrashort flashes of near-infrared and far-infrared terahertz (trillion cycles per second) electromagnetic radiation, created and observed electron-hole gases in semiconductor quantum wells as they changed from electrical insulators to conductors and back to insulators again.

The results demonstrate that semiconductor nanostructures are an ideal means for learning more about Coulomb interactions in many-body systems — those made up of multiple interacting particles — which lie at the heart of all our technology in electronics and chemistry.

“We have developed a unique new way to study the dynamics of excitons and unbound electron-hole pairs in semiconductors and got some surprising results,” says Daniel Chemla, director of the Advanced Light Source and the physicist who led this research. “Our findings open up a whole new set of questions about Coulomb interactions in many-body systems, in particular in nanostructures.”

ALS Director Daniel Chemla (left), Marc Carnahan, and Robert Kaindl (pointing) are lead collaborators on the reasearch team.

Collaborating with Chemla on this experiment were Robert Kaindl and Marc Carnahan, both with the Materials Sciences Division, plus Daniel Hägele and Reinhold Löven-ich, visiting researchers who have since returned to Germany. All of the Berkeley team members are also affiliated with UC Berkeley’s Physics Department. Results of this research, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Science, were published in the June 12 issue of the journal Nature.

In a semiconductor crystal, absorption of visible light “photoexcites” an electron into a higher energy space. The electron is moved into the conduction band, up from the valence band where it is tightly bound to the parent atom, and leaves behind a vacancy or “hole” that acts like a positively-charged particle. Electron and hole — being oppositely charged — attract each other via the same Coulomb force that stabilizes the shape of atoms or molecules.

“If created by a sufficiently high-energy photon, this electron-hole pair is unbound and can carry an electric current as its constituents freely move around the crystal,” explains Chemla. “Under the right conditions, however, new quantum states called excitons can form, with an electron and hole bound to each other. Owing to its local charge neutrality, an exciton gas behaves as an insulator while a collection of unbound electron-hole pairs form a conducting plasma. The transition from electron-hole plasma to exciton gas is a typical metal-insulator transition.”

The internal energy levels of excitons are analogous to those of a hydrogen atom, but the binding energy of excitons is about 1,000 times smaller, as is the spacing of their energy levels. Until now, experimental investigations of exciton dynamics have been indirect as they probed excitons at photon energies much higher than their level spacing. Departing from this script, the Berkeley Lab researchers used near-IR laser light to create the electron-hole pairs, then analyzed the results with picosecond pulses of far-infrared terahertz radiation. At a photon energy of about 4 meV, terahertz radiation (aka “T-rays”) is the ideal light for observing the internal electromagnetic transitions of excitons and unbound electron-hole gases.

“Working with semiconductors, experiments can be done in nanostructures of exceptional purity and controlled growth,” says Kaindl. “Conditions including temperature, electron density, and magnetic fields can be varied over many orders of magnitude and the dimensionality can be custom tailored so we can create Coulomb interactions of varying strengths. Our experiment, in accessing the response to terahertz radiation, gives us information about whether the constituents in the electron-hole soup have paired up into an insulating state — such that their mutual strong attractive binding into excitons makes them virtually immune to the small terahertz electric field; or, alternatively, whether they are still loosely associated in unbound states such that the external terahertz field can induce an electric current. By using ultrashort pulses, we can obtain a new view on the dynamic evolution of the many particle system between these two extreme situations.”

Through the combination of two-dimensional confinement in nano-sized quantum wells of undoped gallium arsenide, and tunable near-infrared photoexcitation light from a titanium-doped sapphire laser, the Berkeley Lab researchers were able to create with a great degree of control a plasma of electron and hole pairs. They then probed this plasma with the picosecond pulses of terahertz radiation. Generating both the pump and the probe light from the same source enabled them to control very precisely the timing of events and access the transition dynamics with excellent accuracy.

“Insulators and conductors live in two different worlds of experimental apparatus, so usually scientists are looking at one or the other but not both,” said Chemla. “Ours is a unique experimental setup and allows us to study Coulomb interactions without the traditional need for an electrical contact.”

This experimental setup, which was configured by Kaindl, features an elaborate maze of about one hundred mirrors and other optics which are precisely positioned to deliver both the pump and the probe infrared pulses at a desired length and frequency. Using picosecond pulse lengths, the researchers were able to obtain a series of snapshot images showing the dynamic evolution of the Coulomb interactions they generated.

Says Kaindl, “What we observed — unexpectedly — is a Coulomb correlation enhancement at zero time delay after the excitation pulse has just created a plasma of unbound electron-hole pairs. While the overall formation of excitons takes place over a period of several hundred picoseconds, this enhancement appears almost instantaneously and is related to the extremely fast Coulomb interactions between the vast number of constituents of the electron-hole plasma.”

Adds Chemla, “In a normal metal, the density of charged particles is so large that the Coulomb interaction is effectively screened. The transient phase we observed seems to be something like a mixture of bound and unbound electron-hole pairs. For now we are calling it ‘strange metal,’ but we don’t know what it really is yet.”

While they expect their results will keep the theorists busy trying to offer an explanation of this intermediate state during the formation of excitons, the Berkeley researchers believe that the responses to terahertz radiation they’ve demonstrated should pave the way for future studies of Coulomb interactions in multibody systems that have remained elusive to visible and near-infrared optics.

State of the Lab, Lectures Kick Off Summer Talks

By Ron Kolb

Berkeley Lab and the Joint Genome Institute have two special things in common — both institutions are celebrating an illustrious year of achievements, and both are positioning themselves to stay at the forefront of science in the coming years. Employees and summer visitors will get a chance to hear all about them in the next two weeks.

Charles Shank

Laboratory Director Charles Shank has scheduled his annual State of the Lab address for Thursday, June 26, the second in a series of six weekly talks that constitute the ninth annual Summer Lecture Series. His presentation at noon in the Building 50 auditorium will review successes of the previous year, and look ahead to the challenges the Laboratory faces in the near and distant future. Shank will also answer questions from the audience.

Dan Rokhsar

The Director will be preceded in the series by Daniel Rokhsar, head of Computational and Theoretical Biology Department in Physical Biosciences and an associate professor of physics at UC Berkeley. He will speak about “Beyond the Human Genome: What Next?” on Wednesday, June 18 at noon in the Building 50 auditorium.

Rokhsar is also head of the computational genomics department at the JGI, a Department of Energy production sequencing consortium in Walnut Creek, which involves researchers and staff from Berkeley, Livermore and Los Alamos labs. They were instrumental in contributing the sequences for three of the body’s chromosomes in the successful international effort to decipher the blueprint of life — the completion of the DNA sequencing of the human genome, which was announced this spring.

Now the JGI is poised to probe the structure and function of genes in other organisms, some of them no less important to the planet’s future than the human map. Rokshar will talk about those prospective inquiries and the JGI’s promising future.

All summer lectures are taped for subsequent broadcast on Berkeley Cable Access Channel 25. In addition, for those who can’t be accommodated in the auditorium, Director Shank’s talk will be webcast live. Access details will be provided in “Today at Berkeley Lab.”

The talks have become a laboratory tradition as a means for employees and summer guests, especially visiting students and teachers, to become more familiar with the range and significance of research at Berkeley Lab. They are generally geared toward a non-technical audience and include followup speaker-audience interactions.

Get ready for the first day of summer

The weather may not be cooperating, but the calendar is unmistakable — next Saturday, June 21, is the first day of summer. And as it did last year, Berkeley Lab will honor the solstice with a classic car show and barbecue next Friday at the cafeteria.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., historic rods and coupes like the one above will be on display in the lower parking lot, and the Music Club’s Rhythm and Blues Band will be cranking out the tunes. Dining hall personnel will be offering a hot dog or hamburger and a 20-ounce soft drink for $2.95 on the cafeteria lawn. Be there or be square!

Lab Scientist Discusses Breast Cancer
Factors in Marin Forum

Christine Erdmann, a scientist in the Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, discussed some of her latest findings regarding breast cancer at a recent town meeting called by Marin County’s health department. The event was held to look at recent research into the high breast cancer rate in Marin — one of the highest in the country. The research is based on interviews with 305 Marin County women, none of whom had breast cancer.

Erdmann identified five risk factors that are more pronounced in Marin. If these factors could be eliminated, she said, the number of breast cancer cases in Marin would be cut in half. They are: having first menstrual cycle before age 12; having a first child after age 30 or not having children at all; family history of the disease; beginning menopause after age 55; and being overweight after menopause.

“Late childbearing really pops out as accounting for a large proportion of cases,” Erdmann was quoted in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s not going to be a popular thing, but that’s the cost of social progress. Our social evolution has outpaced our biological evolution.”

The findings were released on May 29. Erdmann said a full report on the study is expected shortly.

Campisi Named to Panel on Aging

Berkeley Lab’s Judy Campisi was one of 16 distinguished physicians, scientists, and researchers named by the Alliance for Aging Research to its Science Advisory Board. The panel includes two Nobel Laureates, a Pulitzer Prize winner, eight university professors, and the first female president of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Their charge will be to support and advise the Alliance on improving the quality of life and medical care for older Americans.

Campisi is a cell biologist in the Life Sciences Division and a leading authority on aging research. She is also one of the cofounders of the Center for Research and Education on Aging (CREA), a joint project between Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.

Nominations for Lawrence Award
Accepted Through June 30

The Department of Energy is accepting nominations for the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. government.

The award honors U.S. scientists and engineers who have made exceptional and relatively recent contributions to the development, use, or control of energy (including the science and technology of nuclear, atomic, molecular, and particle interactions and effects; and environmental conservation and efficiency).

The award, which carries a $5,000 honorarium, is given in each of the following fields: chemistry, environmental science and technology, life sciences (including medicine), materials research, national security, nuclear technology, and physics.

The nomination deadline is June 30. Nominees must be U.S. citizens.

Detailed information about the nomination procedure can be found at http://www.science.doe.gov/sc-5/lawrence/html/Nominations.htm.

Lawrence Home for Sale

On June 1 the Los Angeles Times reported that the Newport Beach home of Lab founder and Nobel Laureate Ernest Lawrence has been listed for $3.7 million. Lawrence purchased the property in 1946, and it remained in his family for the next 57 years. The home, on Little Balboa Island, has six bedrooms and a boat mooring.

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, msfriedlander@lbl.gov

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

fleamarket@lbl.gov / currents_calendar@lbl.gov

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
Communications Department,
MS 65, One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720
(510) 486-5771 Fax: (510) 486-6641

Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Portable CT Scanner Joins Hunt for Alternative Energy

By Dan Krotz

Berkeley Lab scientists have developed the world’s first x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner, capable of examining entire core samples at remote drilling sites. The portable device, which employs the same high-resolution imaging technology used to diagnose disease, could help researchers determine how to best extract the vast quantities of natural gas hidden under the world’s oceans and permafrost.

The CT scanner, developed last year, is already an old hand aboard the JOIDES Resolution. Photo courtesy of the Ocean Drilling Program.

The scanner images the distribution of gas hydrates in core samples pulled from deeply buried sediment. These hydrates are a latticework of water and methane that form an ice-like solid under high pressures, and temperatures that hover just above freezing — conditions found in deep oceans and under Arctic permafrost. Scientists estimate the methane trapped in this crystalline mix may yield far more energy than the planet’s remaining reserves of fossil fuel.

But they must first determine how to find and remove it. As part of this investigational legwork, researchers drill into likely gas hydrate reserves and extract core samples. Select samples are then shipped to laboratories for analysis, and the resulting data is used to develop computer models that predict how gas hydrates behave in sediments, which may help researchers determine how to most efficiently locate and extract methane.

It’s a laborious process, however. Because gas hydrates rapidly decompose when brought to the surface, the samples must be preserved under high pressure and low temperatures, then shipped to labs hundreds of miles away. This means the data required for these powerful numerical models is harvested slowly, one carefully packaged-and-shipped core at a time.

Barry Freifeld, a mechanical engineer in the Earth Sciences Division, wondered if real-time, onsite analysis could expedite this work. His optimism stemmed from earlier research in which he demonstrated that a medical CT scanner can image a wave of methane hydrate dissociating in a sand mixture.

“Nobody had ever done that before, and I asked why can’t we also do it in the field,” Freifeld says.

Unfortunately, most CT scanners weigh more than 1,000 kilograms, are bolted to the floor, and are housed in lead-lined rooms. Portable they’re not. On the other hand, their ability to splice hundreds of x-ray scans into one cross-sectional image could enable researchers to map the distribution of gas hydrates in core samples in unprecedented detail — if only such power could be reduced in size and brought to the drill site.

Freifeld believed he knew how to do that, and he got his break last spring after learning the drill ship JOIDES Resolution was scheduled to probe for gas hydrates off the Oregon coast. The vessel is operated by the Ocean Drilling Program, an international partnership of scientists and research institutions sponsored by the National Science Foundation and participating countries. The group had previously used conventional x-ray imaging aboard the ship to analyze core samples, but the images proved of marginal quality. When Freifield suggested x-ray CT, essentially offering laboratory-quality analysis on the high seas, the Ocean Drilling Program jumped at the chance.

His team received funding from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, and in five weeks built a refrigerator-sized, 300-kilogram scanner. They trucked it to Oregon’s Coos Bay, loaded it on a supply ship, sailed west overnight, and at daybreak hoisted it aboard the JOIDES Resolution as it drilled along the Cascadia Ridge in search of hydrates. Several hours later, the scanner analyzed its first core sample, and churned through 1,500 feet of core over the next several weeks.

“We can run core through the scanner almost as quickly as they can pull it out,” says Freifeld “Now, researchers don’t have to send kilometers of core to a lab to get the same information they can obtain in the field. They’ll send data instead of rocks.”

Their success hinges on several innovations. Instead of a lead-lined room to protect operators from radiation, they developed a three-piece shield composed of a layer of lead sandwiched between two thin stainless steel layers. This arrangement reduces the amount of lead usually required to encapsulate x-ray imaging systems. And because x-rays passing through the center of the core are more attenuated than those passing through the edges, they designed a half-cylinder-shaped, aluminum compensator that flattens the image intensity and ensures high-resolution imaging throughout the core sample. In addition, special software reconstructs a 3-D image of a scanned core, giving an operator the freedom to observe the core’s interior from any angle and direction. And 3-D scans can be taken at a rate of three minutes per foot of core length, yielding resolutions between 50 and 200 microns.

“We’ve taken a million dollar medical instrument and transformed it into a rugged, $150,000 piece of equipment,” Freifeld says.

This winter, the hearty scanner traveled above the Arctic Circle to the permafrost stretches near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. There, researchers are conducting the first test on U.S. soil concerning how to extract methane from gas hydrates. The scanner analyzed more than 500 feet of core sample, enabling researchers to generate the most detailed log of permafrost cores ever recorded. And the system worked in subzero temperatures.

“It ran fine, but the cold was hard on the technicians. We needed a lot of tea and coffee,” Freifeld says.

Luckily for Freifeld, the scanner is next headed to warmer climates. It’s scheduled for another hitch aboard the JOIDES Resolution as it sails from Bermuda to Newfoundland. The ship will drill along the continental margin and study rifting, the tectonic process by which the lithosphere thins and the seafloors spread. The scanner will allow scientists to generate the most detailed lithostratigraphic record ever constructed from oceanic cores.

“With this instrument, we can systematically investigate everything recovered and generate a detailed electronic record,” Freifeld says. “Its ability to conduct high-resolution imaging anywhere will have a large impact on energy exploration, mining and fundamental research.”

In addition to Freifeld, Tim Kneafsey, Jacob Pruess, Paul Reiter, and Liviu Tomutsa of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division contributed to the development of the scanner.

Lab’s Solar Cell Technology Licensed

Nanosys, Inc., a Palo Alto-based nanotechnology company, has signed exclusive licensing agreements for the rights to intellectual properties covering materials and technologies of nanocomposite solar cells developed at Berkeley Lab. The licensed patents cover important aspects of nanocomposite solar cells based on inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials such as nanocrystals, nanorods and nanowires.

This new generation of solar cells combines nanotechnology with plastic electronics.

Berkeley Lab chemist Paul Alivisatos, director of the Molecular Foundry, led the team which reported their hybrid solar cell development in the March 29, 2002 issue of Science.

The hybrid solar cells will be cheaper and easier to make than their semiconductor counterparts.

For more on this technology, see the April 12, 2002 issue of Currents.

The Birth of VENUS: Ion Source to Break Records

By Paul Preuss

VENUS — for “versatile ECR ion source for nuclear science” — is a new superconducting electron-cyclotron resonance ion source (ECRIS) coming online at the 88-Inch Cyclotron. ECRISs developed under the leadership of director Claude Lyneis have endowed the 88-Inch Cyclotron with unique resources for heavy ion physics — one reason it remains one of the most capable nuclear research facilities in the world.

Standing with VENUS are (from left) Steve Abbot, main mechanical engineer; Daniela Leitner, head of ion-source development at the 88-Inch Cyclotron; Matthaeus Leitner, former VENUS project manager and project physicist; and Claude Lyneis, director of the 88-Inch Cyclotron.

Poised to set records for beam intensity and heavy-ion charge states, VENUS has already set the record for the world’s most powerful magnetic confinement system for an ECR plasma. Field strength at the chamber walls reaches 2.4 tesla, increasing to 3 tesla at one end and 4 tesla at the other — up to 160,000 times the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field.

“The beauty of ECR ion sources is that they can make everything from hydrogen ions to uranium ions,” says Daniela Leitner, head of ion-source development at the 88-Inch, “and they can produce them in very high charge states.”

Ions are atomic nuclei stripped of one or more of the electrons that normally surround them: the more missing electrons, the higher the positive charge. When complete, VENUS may routinely supply high currents of uranium ions charged to 55-plus and higher — uranium atoms stripped of over half their electrons.

VENUS also serves as the prototype source for the Rare Isotope Accelerator (RIA) to be built by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. RIA will need high-current, medium-charge-state beams many times as intense as those produced by the current record-holding ECRIS, the 88-Inch Cyclotron’s AECR-U.

“A plasma is an ionized gas, containing free electrons and ions,” Leitner explains. “The number of electrons and ion charges is always balanced, so the plasma is overall neutral.” In an ECRIS, a magnetic bottle confines all these charged particles to the central region of the plasma chamber.

Two donut-shaped solenoid magnets form the ends of the bottle, and a third, oppositely polarized, reduces the field in its center. Around the sides of the plasma chamber six magnets (hence “sextupoles”) are arranged like barrel staves. Whichever way a charged particle in the center of the bottle looks, it sees a rapidly increasing magnetic field.

Microwaves generate the plasma and transfer energy to the plasma electrons. Electrons spiraling in synchronization with the microwave frequency along a magnetic surface in the plasma (thus “electron cyclotron”) get an energetic kick from the micro-waves (thus “resonance”) — zipping back and forth to collide with ions and strip off more and more electrons.

“There are basically two ways to improve the performance of an ECR: you can increase the plasma density or increase the confinement time,” says Leitner. “As a practical matter, you have to do both.”

VENUS’s planners recognized that improving upon the high performance of the AECR-U would require the highest magnetic field strengths ever used in such an ion source — which meant combining superconducting magnets in a way never done before.

Inside VENUS, hot plasma configured with six cusps is shaped and held partly by the sextupole magnets surrounding the plasma chamber.

In the strong magnetic fields called for by the design, sextupoles magnets literally try to blow themselves apart. Any movement at all could interrupt their superconducting state and lead to a “quench,” a sudden return to normal conductivity. A first set of sextupoles failed to maintain perfect stability; the VENUS team made an entirely new set, separated by bladders filled with liquid metal under high pressure, which remain frozen in place even at full field strength.

Many other major components are needed to make VENUS work. Ions with the desired charge state must be extracted and formed into a beam. Close together and highly charged, they strongly repel one another; the transport system focuses the beam, then steers it through a 90-degree turn in an analyzing magnet, spreading the ions by mass and charge so that unwanted varieties can be stripped away.

During its first commissioning run last fall, operating with 18-GHz microwave power, VENUS outdid the AECR-U’s production of oxygen plus-6 ions by a third. Installation of the 28-GHz microwave power supply for which VENUS was designed is underway. By the end of this year, new records will fall to the power of VENUS.

ZuQi “Dan” Xie, formerly of the Nuclear Science Division (NSD), developed VENUS’s conceptional design. Clyde Taylor of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division (AFRD) was responsible for design and construction of the superconducting magnets and cryostat. Additional components, including the beam transport system and analyzing magnet, were designed and constructed under the leadership of project manager Matthaeus Leitner (husband of Daniela), now of AFRD, and mechanical lead engineer Steve Abbott of the Engineering Division.

Many others who contributed to the ongoing development of VENUS include Roger Dwinell, Pat Casey, Dennis Collins, Jim Rice, Gudrun Kleist, and George Potter of the Engineering Division, Daniel Girlington of the Facilities Division, and Byron Nofrey (retired) of NSD, with additional technical expertise supplied by Brian Bentley, Bob Connors, Bob Conroy, Al Harcourt, John Haugrud, Don Lester, Ron Oort, Bob Shannon, Jeff Trigg, Danny Williams and Tim Williams, and with major subcomponents designed by Bob MacGill and Charlie Matuk (retired), all of Engineering.

Homing in on Dark Energy

At last month's annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting in Nashville, Tenn., the two teams who startled the world five years ago by announcing the accelerating expansion of the universe presented new results, making the case even stronger.

Rob Knop and Saul Perlmutter of the Supernova Cosmology Project, based at Berkeley Lab, joined John Tonry and Robert Kirshner of the competing High-z Supernova Search Team in presenting independent observations of several new Type Ia supernovae. The new data remove any uncertainty that the universe is now accelerating, propelled by mysterious, antigravitational “dark energy.”

Knop, formerly at Berkeley Lab and now an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Vanderbilt University, discussed the analysis of data from 11 distant Type Ia supernovae studied with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) — the largest set of these superb "standard candles" ever collected solely from space.

Because the space telescope avoids atmospheric effects, the new observations have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio and much greater spatial resolution than those made with ground-based telescopes, offering greatly improved color measurements of distant supernovae.

“These HST data provide a strong test of host-galaxy extinction," says Knop, referring to concerns that dust in distant galaxies reddens the light of supernovae enough to introduce systematic bias. Because the new HST data show no anomalous reddening with distance, says Knop, the supernovae “pass the test with flying colors.”

What Perlmutter called “this strikingly beautiful data set” yields not only impressive agreement with earlier observations but also more precise bounds for several critical cosmological parameters, including the mass density and the density of dark energy in the universe. The new data are consistent with a wide variety of dark energy models, including the classic “cosmological constant” first proposed by Einstein and others that would allow dark energy to vary with time. — Paul Preuss

Lab’s Scientific Leaders Discuss Ways to Keep
Berkeley Lab on the Cutting Edge of Science

By Ron Kolb

If the ideas discussed by Berkeley Lab’s scientific leadership at a recent planning conference come to fruition, the Hill will be a busy and exciting place indeed over the next decade.

Director Charles Shank and the Lab’s division directors engaged in their annual visit of the Laboratory’s strategic plan last week, and the vision that resulted is a multifaceted, interdisciplinary roadmap of opportunities in every major research area. Some involve potential new facilities. All are designed to advance the frontiers of science in the 21st century.

For some, like the SuperNova/ Acceleration Probe (SNAP) that will engage a satellite to explore the mysteries of dark energy in the universe, initial funding commitments from the Department of Energy have already been made. Ground on the Molecular Foundry nanoscience facility will be broken within the year.

For others, like the linear accelerator that will use short-burst x-rays to probe ultra-fast processes (LUX for short), the future is less clear, and much work will be done to advance the scientific case and secure investments in Washington. But in all cases, the creative imagination of these scientists energized the community and offered a realistic outline of how Berkeley Lab can remain on the cutting edge of solving the world’s greatest challenges.

The biosciences, for instance, are changing rapidly to a discipline of multi-use, data-driven facilities that take genomic analysis to the next level. Physical Biosciences Division Director Graham Fleming talked about a future that may include a national library of microbial ecology and physiology, part of the DOE’s Genomes-to-Life program for environmental restoration. He talked about a center for structural and functional genomics and a cell design institute that would create new microorganisms that could attack the world’s most deadly pathogens.

The Joint Genome Institute, fresh from its world-class contributions to the sequencing of the human genome, will become a user facility devoted largely to microbes if director Eddy Rubin’s vision is fulfilled. And Joe Gray, a recent joint appointee from UC San Francisco, sees a biotechnology research facility devoted to cancer studies as the centerpiece of an invigorated life sciences partnership with the medical center across the bay.

The international issues involving carbon in the atmosphere provide the impetus for an interdivisional effort for identification, analysis and sequestration involving earth sciences, environmental energy technologies, and chemistry. A National Geologic Carbon Sequestration Test Facility proposed by division director Bo Bodvarsson and Laboratory Deputy Sally Benson is one of the unique components of this effort.

A hydrogen-fueled, no-carbon-emission economy is getting attention from the White House, and Berkeley Lab would like to contribute in a variety of ways, including developing new materials for hydrogen generation and storage. Cross-divisional initiatives for "green" projects include photovoltaic materials, nanohybrid assemblies for photosynthesis, renewable energy from biomass, and other promising areas that will help the nation achieve energy security.

The strategy for computing sciences includes the eventual relocation of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center back on the Hill, thus better serving data-intensive projects like SNAP, combustion, nanoscale imaging, modeling, and computational biology. Among the concepts envisioned by Associate Laboratory Director Bill McCurdy is the Alvarez Center for Computational Science, a full-service facility with office space, machine room, grid and visualization theatres.

The high energy and nuclear physics teams are poised to take the next step in understanding neutrinos, in particular the process known as double-beta decay, through experiments here and at other facilities around the world.

These and the many other ideas floated at the conference will take time and creativity to mature, but the atmosphere was one of reality rather than dreams. Director Shank will be talking about future visions, as well as recent achievements, in his State of the Laboratory address on Thursday, June 26, at noon in the Building 50 auditorium.

National Energy Group Visits Lab

Members of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy attended a reception and demonstration at Berkeley Lab on Monday, while in town for ACEEE’s national conference on energy efficiency.

Highlights for attendees included the Lab’s lighting, thermal distribution and demand response, and commercial building programs.

Don Lucas of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (right) is pictured here with Mike Gebbie of Aeroseal. The lucite house demonstration showed the difference in pressure (and therefore energy savings) between a house whose ducts have not been sealed, and one with sealed ducts. Photo by Robert Couto

Performance Review Cycle Underway

Human Resources has announced the start of the annual performance review cycle for the period of July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003.

Career, term or post-doc employees are encouraged to prepare an Employee Worksheet and submit it to their supervisor. These worksheets are optional for nonscientific em-ployees and required for scientific staff.

Scientific employees are also required to update their CVs every five years.

The worksheets for all employees other than ASD staff in the Directorate (whose worksheets, have been completed already), are due to your supervisor by June 20.

The forms may be downloaded from the Human Resources website at http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/HumanResources/forms/.

The Worksheet give employees an opportunity to state their accomplishments and goals for the new year.

As part of the performance and development planning process, the supervisors will review the document and meet with the employees to discuss the contents and agree upon goals for next year.

For assistance with this process, contact your HR representative in the following divisions:

• Accelerator Fusion & Research and Laboratory Directorate:

 - Madelyn Bello, X7532

 - Marcus Davis, X4509

• Physics and Nuclear Science:

 - Rachel Sandoval, X7201

 - Neli Lopez, X4563

• General Sciences (AF, NS, PH) and Laboratory Directorate: Colette Gooch, X2884

Friends of Science presents:

Breast Cancer and the Cell Microenvironment

On Thursday, June 19, Mina Bissell, Distinguish-ed Scientist in the Life Sciences Division, will be the featured speaker at the next Friends of Science presentation, to be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Perseverance Hall.

Bissell will talk about her research into the relationship between malignancy and the microenvironment of epithelial cells.

She is widely recognized by her peers for uncovering the critical role in breast cancer development played by the “extracellular matrix,” a network of fibrous and globular proteins that surround breast cells. Bissell, the recipient of the prestigious Innovator Award and funding from the Department of Defense, is studying ways to accelerate the fight to eradicate breast cancer.

Reservations for this event are required. To sign up, send an email to friendsofscience@lbl.gov or contact the Community Relations Office at X7292. Reserved parking will be available in the Building 54 lot.



‘95 ISUZU RODEO, 4 wd, 80K mi., man trans, ac, all pwr, am/fm/cass/12cdX, $5,900/bo, Kathy, X4385, 986-0323

‘93 FORD MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE LX, 2 dr, 4 cyl, 2.3 L, 74K mi, auto, cruise, pw, $2,850/bo, Feng, X5304, 652-6842

‘92 MAZDA MPV minivan, 160K mi, good cond, new serv & batt, cruise, all pwr, rear ac, am/fm/cass, runs great, $2,700/bo, Gustavo, X4473, 524-6095

‘89 MAZDA 626 sedan, 4 dr, 2.2 L Turbo, 94K mi, auto trans, air, all pwr, sunroof, am/fm/cass, exc mech cond, paint chipped at front wheels, $1,900, transfer after 7/ 6, Richard, X5835, RVersluis@lbl.gov

‘72 VOLVO 1800 ES, hunter green, estate hatchback, 4 sp w/OD, less than 500 mi on rebuilt engine/ 100K orig mi on chassis, rust free body, good inter, recent paint job, cust alloy wheels & performance tires, rear brakes, battery, stereo, all gauges work except clock, $6,950 b/o, Randy X6517 or (925) 228-9798, rfhedegaard@ lbl.gov


‘80 HONDA CX500, great commute bike, $250/bo, Bob, (925) 376-2211


ALBANY, inlaw cottage, furn, 425 sq ft, sep ent & bth, 10-min walk to BART, no smoking, $1,000/mo + utils, water & garbage paid, avail 07/15, mtremblay1@yahoo.com

ALBANY, 2 bdrm/2 bth condo, clean, bay view, swim pool, tennis, 24-hr sec, garage, bus/BART to Lab/UCB, nr shopping, no pets/smoking, 12-mo lease, avail 8/5, $1,600/mo + sec, Rose, X5124, 234-0867

BERKELEY HILLS, large 1 bdrm apt, fully furn, marble bthrm, kitchen, priv patio, no smoking/ pets, $1,295/mo + util, Helga, 524-8308, Ivankash @hotmail.com

BERKELEY HILLS, bay view, furn room 17x15, priv bth/entr, quiet neighborhood nr UC/pub trans/ shops, cooking facil in adj rm, pool table, workout mach, w&d, $850/mo incl linens, dishes, util, phone, DSL, use of garden/bbq, no smoking/pets, also wkly b&b $300/wk, Carol, 524-6692

BERKELEY HILLS, large furn house, bay view, 3 bdrm, bth, lge yard, quiet Grizzly Peak location, walk to Lab, DSL & wireless internet, sabbatical, avail 8/1 for 6 mos, 1 yr likely $2,850/mo, vgo@pacbell. net

BERKELEY, 1 bdrm/1 bth, inlaw garden apt, sep entr, w&d, nr shops/BART/public trans, 12-mo lease, no pets/smok, avail now, $875/ mo+ util, Linda, 849-1579, lmoroz@earthlink.net.

BERKELEY, lge partly furn rm for rent, close to campus/lab shuttle/downtown, avail 7/1, $450/mo + util, Hendrik, X6645

BERKELEY/CLAREMONT, space for 1 or 2 persons in priv home, close to Lab, $700 for 1 pers, $900 for 2, mo-to-mo, Jim, X5603, Carol, 848-7401

CLAREMONT, 2 bdrm/ 2 bth eleg & quiet home, well furn, patio, lge liv rm, fp, din rm, eat-in kitchen, w&d, rose garden, walk dist to campus & College Ave shops, $2,450/mo, 848-6812, ronna@mindfulmanagement.com

EL CERRITO, unfurn 1 bdrm apt nr BART/bus, approx 20 min drive to Lab, inlaw type in nice quiet neighborhood, sep access, laundry 1 day/wk, $700/mo+ $1,250 sec dep, 1-yr lease, no pets, 486-7311, RDatta@ lbl.gov

HAYWARD HILLS, lge 1850 sq ft, 3 bdrm/2 bth single dwelling, unfurn home in quiet neighborhood across from huge park, lge liv rm + lge rec rm, 2 fireplaces, lge wooden deck, all major appliances incl, pets neg, $1,700/mo,Craig, 486-7253, 889-1657

NORTH BERKELEY HILLS, sunny 2+ bdrm house, 3 bridge view, furn, wood flrs, patio, yard, no pets/smok, avail for 1 year starting 7/1, $1,850/mo + util, David, 643-0256, sedlak@ce.berkeley.edu

NORTH BERKELEY, rm w/ priv bth, $680/mo incl util, kitchen & laundry privil, non-smoker/no pets, walk to bus, Betty, 848-7722, Lmstclaire@lbl.gov

OAKLAND, furn rm in 100-yr old house, hardwd flrs, deck, laundry, cable + util, fp, great back yard, no pets/smok, $600/mo, Andreas, 532-1935

NORTH BERKELEY, avail 6/1, fully furn studio, 1 pers only, gated bldg w/ intercom, laundry rm, garden, nr UCB, Lab shuttle, cafes, BART, pub trans, $1,350/mo+1,350 dep, no pets/ smok, Irma, 548-8658, iaposadall@earthlink.net

NORTH BERKELEY, avail 6/1, 1 bdrm fully furn apt, lge kitchen, dishes & linen incl, gated building w/ intercom, laundry rm, garden, nr UCB/Lab shuttle, cafes, BART & pub trans, $1,750/ mo +1,750 dep, no pets/smoking , Irma, 548-8658, iaposadall@earthlink.net

RICHMOND, Marina Bay furn 2 bdrm/1 bth to share, avail 7/1, mo-to-mo, 2nd flr, lge balc & liv rm, laundry, wtw carpet, gym/pool, 20-min drive to Lab, 5 min walk to beach, safe & nice area, $625/mo, Chiao, X4555, jqwu@ux8.lbl.gov

ALAMEDA, 1 bdrm in 2 bdrm duplx, 6/15-7/31 possibly+2 wks, lovely yard & garden, $950/mo, will consider renting both bdrms, price for shorter/ longer stay neg, quiet offstreet location, nr pub trans & shopping, Susan, 523-2317, 10 am - 10 pm

KENSINGTON, 4 bdrm/ 3 bth house for rent, 7/19 to 8/9 or any part of that time, $100/day, neg, recen-tly remodeled, deck, bay view, on cul-de-sac w/ park close, nr pub trans/shops, can incl use of Mazda MPV minivan, Lynn, X6519, LKPrice@lbl.gov


FLAGSTONES for garden pathways/other stonework projects, natural shapes, green & purple hues, slightly under one-half ton, $200, Allan, 486-4210

FUTON, single silk blue lounge, custom made; small unfin pine desk; lge grey metal bi-level utilitarian computer desk; long cedar chest, worn; b/o, Suzanne, X7564, 658-2426

KENMORE electric dryer, $40, Bob (925) 376-2211, rrs@value.net

MOVING SALE: adjustable office chair $30; wood bookcases, $15/ea; white wicker couch & dresser $25/ea; 8-drwr chest $40; wood dintable $30; crystal top patio table, $15; cedar chest, $35; antique wood frame mirror, $30; twin bed frame/slats $95; twin natural latex mattress, $45; 19th century French engravings, $50-$100/ea, miscel free items, Loretta, 845-7085

WOOD BURNING STOVE, sweet home model, exhaust ducting, great for cabin, $200, Joe, X7486


JOURNAL COLLECTION, wish to donate 56 years complete of Am. J. Physics to a deserving college, Larry or JudyRuby@cs.com


NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Kings Beach, 3 bdrm/2 bth, sleeps 6, quiet location, 1 mile from the beach $125/ night +$75 cleaning fee (2 nights min), weekly rate, $675 Vlad & Linda 849-1579 or lmoroz@earthlink.net

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, spacious chalet in Tyrol area, close to Heavenly, peek of lake from front porch, fully furn, sleeps 8, sunny deck, pool/spa in club house, nr casinos & attractions, $150/day + $75 one-time clean fee, Angela, X7712, Pat/Maria, 724-9450

TAHOE KEYS at S. Lake Tahoe, house, 3 bdrm/ 2.5 bth, fenced yard, quiet sunny location, close to attractions, priv dock, great views of water/mountains, $195/night, 2 night min, Bob (925) 376-2211, rrs@value.net

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. Ads must be submitted in writing (e-mail: fleamarket@lbl.gov, fax: X6641, or mailed/delivered to Bldg. 65.

Ads run one issue only unless resubmitted, and are repeated only as space permits.

The deadline for the May 30 issue is Thursday, May 22.

EEA Presents

Meet the Clubs Fair

Berkeley Lab’s annual “Meet the Clubs” fair, organized by the Employees Activities Association, will be held on Wednesday, July 23 from 12 to 1 p.m. on the cafeteria lawn. Representatives of EEA’s 19 recreational, cultural and wellness clubs will be on hand to talk with visitors about their groups and hand out information. Refreshments and entertainment will be provided. For more information, contact EAACoordinator@ lbl.gov or see http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/HumanResources/EAA/.

Runaround T-Shirt Design Contest

The Employees Activities Association (EAA) is accepting submissions for this year’s Runaround T-shirt design contest. The submission deadline is Friday, July 11. Artwork may only be submitted by e-mail as either JPEG or PDF digital files, and should be sent to Angela Dawn at EAACoordinator@lbl.gov.

The selection will be made by July 16. Pictures of previous years’ T-shirts (1978 to 2001) can be seen on the Runaround website (look it up in the Lab’s A-Z index online).

IN MEMORIAM — Barbara Laslett

Barbara Laslett, wife of the late Lab physicist L. Jackson Laslett, died on May 3 in Maine at the age of 97.

Mrs. Laslett was Ernest O. Lawrence’s secretary in the late 1930s. It was at this time that she met and married her husband, an eminent accelerator physicist at the Laboratory.

She is survived by her three children, Lars, Emily, and Helen, and several grandchildren.