Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL's Boatner and Feenstra cited by Technology Transfer group

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., April 24, 1997 — Lynn Boatner and Ron Feenstra of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) received a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Boatner and Feenstra, both physicists in ORNL's Solid State Division, were recognized for research and development of single crystals of potassium tantalate for wide-ranging uses and the development, patenting and licensing of new thin-film substrates.

"A substrate is an underlying template that lines up the atoms of a crystalline thin film grown on it, much as a waffle iron confers a grid pattern on batter poured into it," said Lynn Boatner, an ORNL corporate fellow and section head in the Solid State Division.

ORNL technology transfer activity on the growth of magnesium oxide (MgO) crystals was also recognized.

Previously, the crystal industry had made and marketed MgO crystals only up to 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in diameter. It is now possible to grow large optical-quality MgO crystals measuring at least 5 to 7.6 centimeters (2 to 3 inches) in diameter.

Large potassium tantalate and MgO substrates can be used for devices based on high-temperature superconductors, for optical switches and modulators for light-based communication networks and all-optical computers. Since infrared light can be passed through MgO at high temperatures, MgO windows and lenses can be used for chemical analysis and for the remote detection of heat-producing processes.

The award was presented to Boatner and Feenstra on April 15 in East Brunswick, N.J.

Boatner, who joined ORNL in 1977, was a group leader in the Solid State Division until 1987, when he was named section head.

Boatner received his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics and mathematics from Texas Tech University. He received a doctorate in physics and mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

He lives in Oak Ridge with his wife, Martha Alice. They have three children: Mark, Ivan and Philip.

Feenstra has worked at ORNL in the Solid State Division since 1988.

He graduated from Free University in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1985. He did post-doctoral work at Kernforschungsanlage in Julich, Germany.

Feenstra and his wife, Susan Jenkins, live in Knoxville.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.