Public Release: 

Los Alamos' SCORR technology a tech award finalist

DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Oct. 7, 2002 - A Los Alamos National Laboratory technology that may one day change the way integrated circuits are manufactured - eliminating almost all waste products - has been chosen as a finalist for the 2002 Tech Museum Awards given by San Jose, California's Tech Museum of Innovation, in cooperation with the American Council for the United Nations University and Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society.

The finalist technology, Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Resist Removal (SCORR), uses carbon dioxide in its supercritical form, heated and pressurized until it becomes a zero-surface tension fluid, to remove waste leftover from photolithography - a process that creates a chip's tiny electronic circuits by altering the topography of a silicon wafer. Typically solvents are used to do the job, and then ultra-pure water is needed to clean up the solvents. SCORR does both without the solvents and water, producing virtually zero hazardous waste.

SCORR technology has the potential to rapidly advance integrated circuit technology and make a significant positive impact on the environment.

The winners of the Tech Museum Awards will be announced Nov. 7, 2002 at a black tie gala in San Jose, Calif. The Tech Museum of Innovation is a multi-discipline and hands-on museum focused on technology - how it works and the way it impacts how people work, live, play and learn.

"We were surprised to learn that we'd even been nominated, much less selected as a finalist," said Craig Taylor of the Laboratory's Applied Chemical Technology group. "The entire SCORR team is excited and honored to be representing the Laboratory and the SCORR technology in this competition."

The SCORR team includes Taylor, Leisa Davenhall, Kirk Hollis and Jerry Barton of Applied Chemical Technology group and Jim Rubin of Nuclear Materials Technology division.

The awards are designed to honor individuals, for-profit companies and public and not-for-profit organizations from around the world who are applying technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the categories of education, equality, environment, health and economic development.

This year, a panel of judges considered over 460 nominations, representing 59 countries. The 25 2002 Tech Laureates come from Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States.

"Collectively our laureates address some of the world's most pressing challenges," said Peter Giles, Tech President and CEO. "These stories and the incredible impact of these innovators will help us achieve our goal of inspiring future scientists, technologists, and dreamers to harness the tremendous power and promise of technology to solve the global challenges that confront us today."

For more information on the 2002 Tech Museum Awards, please visit the awards web site.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA in its mission.

Los Alamos enhances global security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and national security concerns.


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