Sandia Labs FY21 LDRD Annual Report


Developing novel structural metamaterials to mitigate harsh environments. Sandia components must survive in harsh environments, including shock, crush, thermal, vibration, radiation, etc. In use for several decades, metamaterials, otherwise known as lattice materials, have origins in metallic honeycombs. Through additive manufacturing technologies, far more sophisticated geometries are now possible. The LDRD project team focused on three theme areas: (1) inventing, building, and testing completely new lattice architectures that possess unique abilities to mitigate harsh structural environments; (2) employing gradient-based optimization strategies to enable generative design of architectures tailored to meet specific requirements; and (3) understanding the role of manufacturing defects on the performance of these as-printed lattices. This project led to two filed patents and eleven published journal articles, including the most recent one in Materials & Design. In parallel, Texas A&M University, a Sandia academic partner, developed the capability to print such lattices in a nickel-titanium shape memory alloy with precise compositional control necessary to maximize the functional benefits of these alloys. Ben Young, a doctoral student on this project, will join Sandia in 2022 as a postdoctoral appointee. To date, this project has spawned several new efforts, including a funded collaboration with the Air Force. (PI: Brad Boyce)

The novel interpenetrating lattice metamaterial controls the transmission of thermal, electrical, or mechanical energy through surface interactions between two interwoven constituent sublattices (“A” and “B,” represented in yellow and blue). This patented design, with its unusual but useful properties, is described in a recent Additive Manufacturing article.

Leveraging spin-orbit coupling in heterostructures for quantum information transfer. Coherent distribution of information will be required for many future applications that take advantage of quantum phenomena. The information in hybrid systems will need to be transferred between hardware elements that process quantum information in physically different ways. For this LDRD project, researchers developed the fundamental building blocks of one potential distribution node in the solid- state. The team investigated the unique properties of single-hole-spin qubits in germanium (Ge) and silicon/germanium (SiGe) quantum dots and the potential to couple hole spins to photons trapped in a superconducting resonator through intrinsic spin-orbit coupling. The work highlights a compelling path

forward for quantum information distribution between heterogeneous quantum elements that can benefit national security applications relying on quantum networks. (PI: Dwight Luhman) An image of superconducting resonator (left) and a lithographic quantum dot device in Ge/SiGe (right) fabricated as part of the project. Note the difference in length scales between the two quantum technologies.



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