Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Capability Centers

Specialized resources across a range of scientific disciplines

Capability Centers

Specialized resources across a range of scientific disciplines

Physical and Life Sciences capability centers provide specialized resources – from nanoscale materials synthesis to biological agent identification to high-performance computing – across a range of scientific disciplines.

Joint Genome Institute 

Contact:   Crystal Jaing
The Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is a high-throughput genome sequencing and analysis facility dedicated to the genomics of nonmedical microbes, microbial communities, plants, fungi and other targets relevant to DOE mission areas in clean energy generation, climate change, and environmental sciences. Scientists from the Applied Genomics group support key missions of JGI by performing DNA sequencing experiments and sequencing data analysis utilizing unique molecular biology skills and state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Animal Care Facility

Contact:   ACF support
The PHS Assured and Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animals, International (AAALAC) accredited Animal Facility houses several thousand small animals, which are cared for by three full time Laboratory Animal Technologists. Animal models have been used in comparative genomics studies, for studies that focus on understanding gene regulation, and for vaccine and countermeasure development.

Select Agent Center

Contact:   Bioagent support
The Select Agent Center has Biosafety Level-2, Biosafety Level -3 and Animal Biosafety Level -3 facilities and is registered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the animal care facilities are PHS Assured and accredited by the AAALAC.

National Resource for Biomedical Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 

Contact:   Ken Turteltaub
The National Resource for Biomedical Accelerator Mass Spectrometry has been established to make Accelerator Mass Spectrometry available to researchers who have a need for accurately measuring very low levels of radioisotopes in their research. The Resource is working to enhance AMS for analysis of radioisotopes in biomedical tracer studies through development of new methods and instrumentation.

Accelerator Facilities

Contact:   Scott Anderson
The LLNL 100 MeV electron linear accelerator (linac) facility has been operational since 1967. The linac was originally built to perform neutron cross-section measurements in support of the nuclear weapons program and boasts a shielded underground cave complex capable of supporting very high average power particle beams and radiation fields.

Center for National Security Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Contact:   Stephen Harley
The Center for National Security Nuclear Magnetic Resonance houses multiple high field and multiple low field NMR spectrometers with capabilities for analysis of solids, liquids and gases, including explosives, radiological, and highly toxic industrial chemical and chemical and biological threat agents.

Energetic Materials Center (EMC)

Contact:   Lara Leininger
The Energetic Materials Center (EMC) is operated jointly by the Physical and Life Sciences, Global Security  and Weapons and Complex Integration  directorates at Lawrence Livermore to conduct research and development on the performance of high explosives. Initially established as a core element of the nuclear weapons program, EMC has grown to also support research and development for advanced conventional weapons, rocket and gun propellants, homeland security, demilitarization, and industrial applications of energetic materials.

Forensic Science Center (FSC) 

Contact:   Bradley Hart
The FSC is one of the two U.S. laboratories to be internationally certified for identifying chemical-warfare agents. Created in 1991, the Center is home to nationally recognized experts who support chemical, nuclear, and biological counterterrorism. The FSC combines state-of-the-art science and technology with expertise in chemical, nuclear, biological, and high-explosives forensic science to support the Laboratory's national security missions. Here is the FSC Fact Sheet .

Livermore Noble Gas Laboratory 

Contact: William Cassata
The Livermore Noble Gas Mass Laboratory houses a number of noble gas mass spectrometry instruments, including one set up to automate the analysis of noble gases and tritiogenic helium in water samples (one of only two in the nation) and a new multi-collector instrument with a versatile sample introduction system that will support NIF, nuclear forensics and planetary science. The facility also includes a field-portable membrane-inlet mass spectrometry system for unique groundwater tracer experiment.

Mass Spectrometry

Contacts:   Carolyn Koester,   Brad Esser
State-of-the-art mass spectrometers including NanoSIMS, 2 NU multi-collector ICP-MS, a multi-collector TIMS, a Noblesse noble gas mass spectrometer, several quadrupole ICP-MS, several stable isotope mass spectrometers and a magnetic sector ICP-MS equipped with an excimer laser ablation system.


Contact:   Peter Weber
The LLNL NanoSIMS 50 is an imaging secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) that combines spatial resolution as good as 50 nm with high ion collection and transmission efficiency and high mass specificity. It is the state-of-the-art for in situ microanalysis of trace elements and isotopes. The LLNL NanoSIMS group has experience with a wide range of samples, including uranium, metal, mineral, glass, aerosol, soil, and biological. Samples can be polished sections, ultramicrotome sections, focused ion beam foils, and dispersions.

Nuclear Counting Facility (NCF)

Contact:   Phil Torretto
The NCF has been providing high-sensitivity radiation measurements since the inception of radiochemical diagnostics in support of the U.S. Nuclear Test Program. NCF supports applications in basic nuclear science, stockpile stewardship, NIF diagnostics, nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation, nuclear forensics and counterterrorism, consequence management and emergency response (the most recent high-visibility response was the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear crisis ), and environmental monitoring. The cutting edge GAMANAL software used to interpret gamma spectra developed at LLNL is now in use globally. NCF is supported by several low-level gamma counters and LSCs in the Environmental Radioanalytical Monitoring Laboratory (EMRL), a facility that primarily supports environmental and stack monitoring for LLNL but also supports the national security mission.

Radiochemistry Facilities

Contact:   Sonia Létant
The Laboratory's Radiochemistry Facilities were opened in 1967 to perform radio-analytical and nuclear chemistry experiments in support of the nuclear weapons program. This Facility includes 75 laboratories with ~2/3 of the space dedicated to wet chemistry processes and 1/3 dedicated to analytical measurements. Type I, II, and III workspaces are available to handle dispersible radioactive materials to support sample dissolution and separation processes, as well as the preparation of sources and samples by evaporation, electro-deposition or volatilization for nuclear counting. The facilities atom-counting, analytical capabilities include inorganic mass spectrometry (ICP-MS, TIMS, SIMS, NG-MS, SIMS, Nano-SIMS, IRMS, and soon the RIMS instrument), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, X-ray Diffraction, X-ray Fluorescence, and Scanning Electron Microscopy. A satellite building completed in the 1993, provides low level laboratory space to support sample preparation for contamination-free, ultra-low measurements.

High Performance Computing 

Contact:    LC support

Livermore Computing Center (LC) is home to a first-class computational infrastructure that supports the computing requirements of the Laboratory’s research scientists.

A particular focus of the Center is to develop solutions (in collaboration with tri-lab partners at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories) that will create a functional problem-solving environment for high performance computers under the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program.

Another goal is to provide leveraged, cost-effective high performance computing to multiple programs and independent researchers under the Multiprogrammatic and Institutional Computing (M&asmp;IC) program.

High Performance Computing Innovation Center 

Contact:    Fred Streitz

The High Performance Computing Innovation Center connects companies with computational science and computer science experts, on demand, to help them solve their toughest challenges.

We provide cost-effective access to some of the world’s largest HPC systems and rapidly assemble expert teams to develop, prove and deploy high-impact solutions across a broad range of industries and applications.

Actinide Materials

Contact:   Scott McCall
LLNL has a long history of working with actinide materials for multiple national security missions. We maintain capabilities to synthesize, characterize, and test materials containing actinides.

Diamond Anvil Cell (DAC) and Ultrafast Science

Contact:   Geoffrey Campbell
In our diamond anvil-based laboratories, we can measure materials properties at static pressures above 1 Mbar. These data provide essential equation-of-state information for weapons performance and the design of experiments at NIF as well as allowing us to probe the chemistries that control the formation of unique materials. New experiments are being developed to study shock compression with 10 picosecond time resolution. These experiments push the limits of current theories of the strength of metals, phase transitions, and chemical kinetics.

Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (DTEM)

Contact:   Geoffrey Campbell
LLNL developed and maintains the first Dynamic TEM capability in the U.S. The dynamic transmission electron microscope (DTEM) at LLNL provides the ability to image transient behavior with an unprecedented combination of spatial and temporal resolution: nanometers and nanoseconds. Learn more... 

Electron Microscopy

Contact:   Kerri Blobaum
LLNL maintains state-of-the-art capabilities in Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) to characterize materials.

Feedstocks for Additive Manufacturing

Contact:   Yong Han
The Materials Science Division is developing novel feedstocks for additive manufacturing, including novel metal alloys to energetic formulations and advanced polymer composites.

Nanoscale Synthesis and Characterization Laboratory (NSCL)

Contact:   Alex Hamza
NSCL is making advances in science at the intersection of physics, materials science, engineering, and chemistry. We are pursuing research in nanoporous materials, advanced nano crystalline materials, novel three-dimensional (3D) nanofabrication technologies, and nondestructive characterization at the mesoscale.

Polymer Science

Contact:   James Lewicki
MSD maintains capabilities to synthesize, characterize, and model a broad range of polymeric materials and architectures.

Computational Nuclear Physics 

Contact:   Bret Beck
Modern technologies based on nuclear processes, such as nuclear weapons, power reactors, radiation and materials detectors, medical imaging devices, and radiation therapies, often require more accurate and complete knowledge of nuclear reaction dynamics and nuclear structure. We measure, collect, and evaluate nuclear data and incorporate these data into libraries to be used in simulations. We provide nuclear data, physics simulation and data processing tools for experimental and theoretical nuclear data.

Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) 

Contact:   Peter Beiersdorfer
With the EBIT device, we perform a wide range of physics experiments. An EBIT is a device that makes and traps very highly charged ions by means of a high current density electron beam. The ions can be observed in the trap itself or extracted from the trap for external experiments. We produce bare uranium (U92+) in the lab using Super-EBIT (a high energy modification to the origional EBIT). The EBIT is the only ion source in the world that can create highly charged ions that are practically at rest. Therefore EBIT allows us to study an otherwise inaccessible domain in which the potential energy of the ion is comparable to or exceeds its kinetic energy. Experiments with highly charged ions are at the forefront of physics research in several areas today. These ions are used for studies in the areas of atomic, nuclear, plasma, astro and surface physics.

Radiative Properties

Contact:   Marilyn Schneider
Radiation properties of plasmas ranging from the basic atomic physics of isolated ions to opacities and radiation flow in hot dense matter to electron-positron pair production. The plasmas are produced at laser facilties such as NIF  or JLF  and at LLNL's electron beam ion trap .

X-Ray Diagnostics

Contact:   Stefan Hau-Reige

Optical Sciences

Contact:   Alex Pertica
X-ray Adaptive Optics systems, Gemini Planet Imager, optical payloads for nano-satellites, dark matter research, simulation of orbital space events, sensor calibration and exploitation strategies for hyperspectral airborne sensors.

Nuclear and Particle Physics

Contact:   Ron Soltz