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Technology Transfer Opportunities: Basic Energy Sciences


Please Note that a Letter of Intent is due Tuesday, September 08, 2015 5:00pm ET


Program Area Overview


Office of Basic Energy Sciences

The Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) supports fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels in order to provide the foundations for new energy technologies and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security.  The results of BESsupported research are routinely published in the open literature.

A key function of the program is to plan, construct, and operate premier scientific user facilities for the development of novel nanomaterials and for materials characterization through xray and neutron scattering; the former is accomplished through five Nanoscale Science Research Centers and the latter is accomplished through the world's largest suite of light source and neutron scattering facilities.  These national resources are available free of charge to all researchers based on the quality and importance of proposed nonproprietary experiments.

A major objective of the BES program is to promote the transfer of the results of our basic research to advance and create technologies important to Department of Energy (DOE) missions in areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, improved use of fossil fuels, the mitigation of the adverse impacts of energy production and use, and future nuclear energy sources.  The following set of technical topics represents one important mechanism by which the BES program augments its system of university and laboratory research programs and integrates basic science, applied research, and development activities within the DOE.

For additional information regarding the Office of Basic Energy Sciences priorities, click here. 

TOPIC 16:  Technology Transfer Opportunities: Basic Energy Sciences


Maximum Phase I Award Amount:  $225,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount:  $1,500,000

Accepting SBIR Phase I Applications:  YES

Accepting SBIR FastTrack Applications:  YES

Accepting STTR Phase I Applications:  YES

Accepting STTR FastTrack Applications:  YES


Applicants to TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OPPORTUNITIES (TTO) should review the section describing these opportunities on page 7 of this document prior to submitting applications.


Grant applications are sought in the following subtopics:


a. Technology Transfer Opportunity: Synthesis of High Quality Graphene

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a technology for synthesizing high homogeneity, micrometer scale graphene sheets. One highly successful approach has been simultaneous vacuum thermal decomposition of two SiC substrates, placed in close, facetoface proximity to each other. The thickness of the graphene is controlled by adjusting the annealing temperature and duration of heating. Atomic force microscopy measurements demonstrate the homogeneity of graphene is notably improved by this facetoface method compared with other, conventional methods. This method does not require sophisticated fabrication, or elaborate specifications or additional materials for the restriction of the Si sublimation rate. 


Graphene shows promising potential for a wide variety of technological applications such as postCMOS digital electronics, singlemolecule gas sensors, and spintronic devices, among others. For graphene to be successfully applied to new devices, homogeneous growth of graphene with devicesized scale

(micrometer) on a semiconducting or insulating substrate is essential.


Licensing Information:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Contact: Shanshan Li; 5104865366

TTO tracking number: ID2831

Patent Status:  U.S. patent 8,142,754, issued March 27, 2012.



Questions – Contact: Bonnie Gersten,


b. Technology Transfer Opportunity: Minimal Disturbance Cell Injection System

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory nanoinjector is a system where nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes, nanorods, etc. are bound to lectins and/or polysaccharides and prepared for administration to cells. The chemical attachment of the cargo eliminates need for a carrier solvent, which adds undesirable volume to the cell. Use of the injector is not limited to larger cells.  In its current configuration the injector is attached to the tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) probe. The cargo is released in the reducing environment within the cell’s interior. The nanoneedle is then retracted by AFM control. The amount of cargo released within the cell can be adjusted by varying the amount of time the nanoneedle remains in the cell. 


Molecular probes such as the quantum dot can be inserted into the cell and thus probe the cell’s interior for fine details such as the presence of a specific molecule. The LBNL team has already been proven successful in delivering small numbers of proteincoated quantum dots into a line of mammalian cells. LBNL is seeking a company that would develop a cargo loading and release mechanism that would facilitate use of the nanoinjector as a “plugandplay” technology for a variety of cargos. 


Licensing Information:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Contact: Shanshan Li; 5104865366

TTO tracking number: ID2323

Patent Status:  U.S. Patent 8,257,932, issued September 4, 2012.

USPTO Link: 


Questions – Contact: Mike Markowitz,


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