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MPA Division   :  Condensed Matter and Magnet Science Group  
Thermoacoustics   :   Patents  

Recent thermoacoustics patents from Los Alamos.

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Pending or provisional



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At Los Alamos, we are eager to work with corporate partners to develop and commercialize our technology. The principal formal mechanisms for such work are CRADAs and license agreements.

A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) commits a company and Los Alamos National Laboratory to collaborative work toward specific goals. A license agreement grants a company permission to practice a patented Los Alamos invention, usually in a well-defined field of use. More details about how such contracts are typically arranged at Los Alamos are available here.

Below is a list of recent Los Alamos thermoacoustics patents. In many cases, additional relevant background information can be found among our publications.

Pending patents, provisional patents, etc.:


Issued patents:

"Intrinsically irreversible heat engine," J. C. Wheatley, G. W. Swift, and A. Migliori, U.S. Patent No. 4,489,553, December 25, 1984.

"Heat driven acoustic cooling engine having no moving parts," J. C. Wheatley, G. W. Swift, A. Migliori, and T. Hofler, U.S. Patent No. 4,858,441, August 22, 1989.

"Acoustic cryocooler," G. W. Swift, R. Radebaugh, and R. A. Martin, U.S. Patent No. 4,953,366, September 4, 1990.

"Superfluid thermodynamic cycle refrigerator," G. W. Swift and V. Y. Kotsubo, U.S. Patent No. 5,172,554, December 22, 1992.

"Pin stack array for thermoacoustic energy conversion," R. M. Keolian and G. W. Swift, U.S. Patent No. 5,456,082, October 10, 1995.

"Tapered pulse tube for pulse tube refrigerators," G. W. Swift and J. R. Olson, U.S. Patent No. 5,953,920, September 21, 1999.

"Pulse tube refrigerator with variable phase shift," G. W. Swift and D. L. Gardner, U.S. Patent No. 6,021,643, February 8, 2000.

"Traveling wave device with mass flux suppression," G. W. Swift, S. Backhaus, and D. L. Gardner, U.S. Patent No. 6,032,464, March 7, 2000.

"Method and apparatus for adapting steady flow with cyclic thermodynamics," G. W. Swift, R. S. Reid, and W. C. Ward, U.S. Patent No. 6,164,073, December 26, 2000.

"Oscillating side-branch enhancements of thermoacoustic heat exchangers," G. W. Swift, U.S. Patent No. 6,560,970, May 13, 2003.

"Drift stabilizer for reciprocating free-piston devices," W. C. Ward, J. C. Corey, and G. W. Swift, U.S. Patent No. 6,564,552, May 20, 2003.

"Circulating heat exchangers for oscillating-wave engines and refrigerators," G. W. Swift and S. N. Backhaus, U.S. Patent No. 6,637,211, October 28, 2003.

"Method and apparatus for rapid stopping and starting of a thermoacoustic engine," G. W. Swift, S. N. Backhaus, and D. L. Gardner, U.S. Patent No. 6,644,028, November 11, 2003.

"Cascaded thermoacoustic devices," G. W. Swift, S. N. Backhaus, and D. L. Gardner, U.S. Patent No. 6,658,862, December 9, 2003.

"Method and apparatus for fine tuning an orifice pulse tube refrigerator," G. W. Swift and J. J. Wollan, U.S. Patent No. 6,666,033, December 23, 2003.

"Traveling-wave thermoacoustic engines with internal combustion," N. Weiland, B. Zinn, and G. W. Swift, U.S. Patent No. 6,732,515, May 11, 2004.

"Method and apparatus for separating mixtures of gases using an acoustic wave," D. A. Geller, G. W. Swift, and S. N. Backhaus, U.S. Patent No. 6,733,569, May 11, 2004.

"In-line Stirling energy system," Scott N. Backhaus and Robert Keolian, U.S. Patent No. 7,908,856, March 22, 2011.

"Thermoacoustic refrigerators and engines comprising cascading Stirling thermodynamic units," Scott N. Backhaus and Gregory W. Swift, U.S. Patent No. 8,468,838, June 25, 2013.

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Last Modified: 2 August 2016
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