Sandia Labs FY21 LDRD Annual Report


X-ray diffraction for probing phase transition behavior at extreme high pressures. Sandia’s nuclear mission requires understanding the response of materials to high-pressure, including the complexities of pressure-induced solid phase transitions and important transient kinetic effects. This project developed a powerful new in-situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) diagnostic capability to capture and characterize the extreme compression states found during dynamic compression on Sandia’s current (and future) pulsed-power platforms. Partners at the University of New Mexico and the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory

aided in synthesis of well-characterized nanostructured materials and state-of- the-art static high-pressure diamond-anvil compression experiments. (PI: J. Matthew Lane) Initial ambient Wurtzite phase and dynamically compressed rock salt phase X-ray diffraction patterns from pressure-induced phase transition experiments on Thor.

Preventing widespread blackouts through Solid-State Transformer (SST) technology. The current power system depends on thousands of generators working in unison to meet the nation’s ever-increasing power demands. SSTs have been hypothesized as having the potential to prevent and/ or reduce the cascading failures caused by the synchronization requirements of large AC electrical grids. Funded through the Resilient Energy Systems LDRD Mission Campaign, this research team developed the first commercially viable circuit architecture for AC–AC SSTs, Sandia’s patent-pending “Low-Modulation- Index 3-phase Solid State Transformer” (LMI3-SST) technology. Extensive testing on the new technology

demonstrates it to be a viable solution for making the electrical grid more resilient to power outages. Sandia filed a provisional patent for the LMI3-SST, and the technology, as reviewed by an independent analysis, already shows it to be competitive in some transformer applications. (PI: Karina Munoz-Ramos)

Sandia’s LMI3-SST can make the electrical grid more resilient to power outages.



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