Who Partners with NIF&PS?

Researchers Examine SLOS Imager
Joe Kilkenny, left, NIF scientific diagnostic leader, and Terry Hilsabeck of General Atomics examine NIF’s groundbreaking SLOS (single-line-of-sight) framing camera. Joining LLNL to develop the SLOS camera were Sandia National Laboratories, General Atomics, and UK-based Kentech Instruments Ltd. Credit: Kenneth Piston

Construction and operation of the National Ignition Facility, the world’s highest-energy laser, would not have been possible without the contributions and unique capabilities of our many partners from government, industry, and academia.

Longstanding LLNL/NIF & Photon Science partners include Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, General Atomics, and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester. Other key contributors include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in the United Kingdom, Europe’s Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) (see Enduring Partnerships).

For stockpile stewardship, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) program to assure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, NIF experiments involve scientists from throughout the NNSA weapons complex. Similar experiments are also conducted with researchers from the UK’s AWE. NIF’s unique capabilities and expertise also play an important role in helping the Department of Defense and other agencies enhance the nation’s ability to counter potential security threats (see National Security Applications and DoD Technologies).

Transferring Technology

NIF sits in a secure, guarded federal laboratory, but its impact stretches far beyond the gates of LLNL. While continuing to satisfy the Laboratory’s primary goals—advancing stockpile stewardship, enhancing national security, and furthering Discovery Science—research on NIF and within the NIF & Photon Science Directorate can also generate spinoffs that bring the benefits of new technologies to the economy as a whole.

Through its technology transfer efforts, NIF&PS and LLNL show that the decades worth of investments by the nation and the Department of Energy in inertial confinement fusion and high energy density science research are paying off with tangible, positive benefits to society.

Working closely with LLNL’s Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO) and many industrial partners, NIF&PS researchers have successfully transferred a variety of commercially important laser and optics technologies to the private sector, with more now available or under development. Learn more»

Icarus Detector

International Collaboration in Diagnostics

Many national laboratories, universities, and other institutions have contributed to the continuing effort to design and build a suite of diagnostics for NIF. Learn more»

PZ Gain Fiber

Experimental and Technology Partnerships

Sandia, Los Alamos, AWE, and many government and academic collaborators also lead and participate in ongoing national security and Discovery Science experiments and technology development. Learn more»

NIF Nucleosynthesis Experiment

Partnering With NIF Users

Scores of researchers across the Department of Energy laboratory system and thousands of their colleagues in academia and industry around the world work closely with their LLNL partners to conduct experiments at NIF. Learn more»

Target Chamber under construction

NIF Construction Partnerships

NIF & Photon Science also continues its relationships with many of the 3,000 U.S. companies that contributed to building NIF and its tens of thousands of components. Learn more»

Technician Examines Amplifier Optic Slab

Multiple Advances in Optics

NIF is the world’s largest optical instrument, with more than 7,500 meter-sized optics and 26,000 smaller ones. In many cases, new technologies were required to produce these optics in the numbers required for NIF. Learn more»