Augmented Reality System for Power Restoration Crews
The technical approach to construct an application with each element of the conceptual architecture is to assemble a three-server back-end similar to extreme weather/infrastructure forecast systems of AA’s licensed Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth (VERDE) system (www.almeriaanalytics.com) with an imbedded Geoserver for spatial tracking. The manual datastore is integrated with a semi-supervised information extraction system.The AR capability that can present the following: 1. Manuals and instructions selected from large datasets using Watson-like cognitive retrieval technology; 2. Combine the tactical information from repair crews with spatially-based forecasts of cascading outages for effective triage; 3. Present information within three-second response times without causing cognitive overload for the users – technicians and Subject Matter Experts alike. Longer response lags reduce the usability of the system for interactive operational response. 4. Integrate the ground truth from on-scene personnel into response plans and adjust resource deployment as new information is received.
BotFactory SV2 PCB Printer
Millions of Electrical Engineers, Academics, Students and Hobbyists spend billions of dollars creating Printed Circuit Boards, yet waste time waiting for their design to be fabricated. BotFactory took it upon itself to bring the tools closer to the designer, creating a product that integrates all of the steps of PCB fabrication into a compact, intuitive package. When BotFactory started on this path in 2013, they took advantage of the maturation in conductive nanoparticle inks, image recognition technology and the drop in costs in control system costs. Called the BotFactory Squink, this Desktop PCB Printer can print conductive traces, dispense solder and pick-and-place components, creating PCBs on anything from paper to FR4 to flexible kapton. Squink delivers a solution at several magnitudes of cost lower than in-line manufacturing equipment, heralding one of the rare moments where the rules of manufacturing and innovation are up-ended by miniaturization. BotFactory Squink is in the labs of Fortune 500 companies, Ivy League Universities, Hackerspaces and local Garages, being used from everything from developing educational products to teach young students the basics of electrical engineering, embedded electronics for water heater systems or developing IoT devices and wearables.
Low temperature heterogenous nanobonding: high throughput direct wafer scale 3D integration without ultra-high vacuum
Today wafer bonding is used for 3D integration of opto-electronic devices like lasers or photo-detectors, thick silicon dark matter detector, bio-sensors, and tandem solar cells manufacturing. Low temperature direct wafer bonding for dissimilar materials is needed to fabricating new functional optical devices and for overcoming difficulties of lattice mismatches and thermal coefficient of dissimilar materials. Several techniques are reported that achieve a high bond energy at low temperature such as surface activated bonding (SAB) and ultra-high vacuum (UHV) bonding. However, both bonding techniques shows shortfall in manufacturing of high throughput bonding. SAB shows high defect and thick inter-phase layer between wafers resulting non-ohmic nature of bonding. UHV bonding, a sophisticated system with a long duration to reach vacuum levels low enough (10 e-8) to obtain absorbates-free bonding surfaces, is impractical. We develop a novel bonding technology to overcome challenges for heterogenous wafer bonding by a) enabling bonding without UHV hence less time required for bonding cycle and faster throughput; b) processing at short duration of low temperature <220C; c) practically no mechanical forces needed while bonding instead a patented technology of inter-atomic nanobonding and d) finally bonding large wafers for truly commercialization of this technology for III-V materials integration.
Hong Kong, Kowloong
Smart Battery Diagnostic Technology
The traditional full discharge approach until a battery’s terminal voltage has reached the cutoff value is direct and accurate for determining state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) but the entire process is time-intensive (typically, a few hours), and causes energy wastage and impact on battery’s life cycle. It is more suitable for conducting offline measurements. This technology makes use of an energy-recycling technology to charge and discharge battery under test to extract intrinsic parameters with a machine learning technology to determine SOC and SOH. By controlling the power flow between the battery and a supercapacitor through a bidirectional DC-DC converter, the battery current profile and operating mode are controlled. Ideally, it is non-dissipative and allows testing large-signal battery behaviors over a long period of time. More importantly, instead of acquiring the discharging behaviors of batteries, as in traditional approach, this technology can conduct online measurements of both charging and discharging behaviors to characterize real battery performance and condition. The whole process takes three minutes only, giving a good balance between accuracy and computational speed, suitable for life expectancy estimation.
Laser Zigzag Interaction Cavity
The technology consists of a set of highly reflective parallel mirrors in a vacuum vessel installed in an H- ion beam vacuum system. The laser pulse is injected into the cavity transversely at the upstream end at a precise angle and travels in the direction of the ions intersecting the ion bunch many times as the ions travel down the axis of the cavity. The cavity geometry is designed such that the path of the laser light injected into the cavity matches the ion velocity traveling down the axis of the cavity. With the correct timing the laser will interact with the ion bunch some number of times depending on the length of the cavity. This effectively reduces the required laser power for photo-neutralizing entire H- ion bunches. This technique makes possible new accelerator applications of lasers.
High Speed High Voltage Driver
This technology is composed of multiple transistors connected in series, each turned on and off simultaneously by identical transistor gate-driver circuits. These circuits can drive the individual transistor gates on and off in less than 2 nanoseconds at repetition rates up to 100 MHz, comprising design part 1. A separate design part 2 is a photonic trigger system that comprises a laser, electro-optical modulator, optical splitters, and opto-electronic receivers interconnected with fibers that precisely synchronizes the turn-on and turn-off each of the series-connected transistors. The combination of parts 1 and 2 comprise a high-speed driver capable of producing arbitrary pulse patterns that drive, but not exclusively, particle beam deflectors.
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) consists of a fiber-reinforced epoxy resin substrate covered by copper patterns as connections and electronic components. Once an electronic device is obsolete, the PCB becomes e-waste. Given the nature of epoxy resin, that is a thermoset, it does not degrade or decompose easily, making recovery of the copper and electronic components very challenging. Grinding and acid corroding are common methods used to decompose e-waste and recover the valuables yet the methods involve harsh chemicals and are not cost effective due to low yields. Other approach, not allowed in developed countries, is to burn the e-waste to decompose epoxy resin and obtain valuables. The method is a disaster for the environment and people due to polluting effects on water, soil, and air. we have developed a unique PCB that, once obsolete, can be resolved in hot water in approximately four hours yielding high-purity metals and electronic components for easy recovery. The cost is considerably lower than any other recycling method, and precious materials can be recovered and reused at much lower cost that mining ore.
Sensor-Based Technology for Home Security in Resource Poor Settings
M-Kulinda (‘Kulinda’ is Swahili word for security) is a sensor-based home security system for home protection in rural Kenya where the theft of personal property is widespread. M-Kulinda’s design was influenced by formative research I conducted in 2016 that suggested that burglary is a problem in rural Kenya. The solar powered system detects movements on peoples’ compounds and sends household members an alert SMS/text message. Thus taking advantage of widespread mobile phones ownership in the region (nearly 85% of rural Kenyans have mobile phones). Based on pilot evaluation of my prototype with 20 households in rural Kenya, I learned that the system is useful for detecting home intruders and most participants used the system for home surveillance. I conclude that M-Kulinda has the potential help to reduce theft of personal property in rural Kenyan households. More about the design of the system and its impact can be found on this link: http://www.hopechidziwisano.com/pub/m-kulinda.pdf.
Local Market Sensor Based System and App for Tax Collection
According to research by MSU’s Global Center for Food systems Innovation, market fee that is manually collected in sub-Saharan Africa’s local markets is mostly abused by tax collectors who use it for personal reasons. Thus, collected market fees are not used for an intended purpose of renovating markets like installing electricity and water pipes. MarPall is a mobile phone system that allow sellers in sub-Saharan Africa’s market-places to pay their market fee electronically with the aim of ending corrupt practices by tax collectors. Sellers will choose to pay market fee either through a mobile application that can be accessed on any phone or a sensor-based system that is installed in market places. The mobile application which will be integrated with mobile banking can be used by permanent market sellers who have permanent point of sales. The sensor-based system is to be used by temporally sellers who do not have permanent point of sales in the markets and it will be accepting cash.
Next generation low energy transistors
Monash is developing and patenting new topological 2D materials for use as the next generation transistors. We have developed a method of forming a topological Dirac semimetal layer on a substrate. Using this 2D material we have developed an electric field-effect structure which can be used to alter the charge carrier density and band gap in a topological Dirac semimetal film. In an ultrathin topological Dirac semimetal we can tune the bandgap by over 400 meV, from conventional insulator to topological insulator, realizing a platform suitable for a topological transistor. IBM in 2016 released their 7nm chip. The problem with current technology even though the focus has been on smaller and faster, it is still consuming the same amount of energy. Data centres and server farms are a growing industry. Unfortunately, they now represent 5% of the world energy a significant and rapidly growing source of global emissions. This has been 2020 projected to reach 320 metric tonnes of CO2 per year and is growing >7% per year (faster than any other sector). A further 10% gain in energy efficiency can have a large impact on energy usage and CO2 emissions.
In Transit Visibility (ITV)/Total Asset Visibility (TAV) Solution for Cold Chain Logistics
Myconi Technologies has developed a proprietary wireless, ad hoc, peer-to-peer, self-healing mesh network protocol that operates on internationally license-free frequencies (IEEE 802.15.4 ISM Standard). Myconi has incorporated this wireless technology with multiple environmental and material condition sensors. This secure Technology Readiness Level 8 (TRL 8) system is comprised of 5 different wireless monitoring devices and 3 wireless gateway configurations that includes a secure internet-based data management platform. Implementation of the patented Myconi monitoring solution allows users to wirelessly configure threshold parameters for temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, light, harsh handling (shock) and tilt angle of products or equipment transported and/or stored in boxes, pallets or containers. The mesh network communication architecture is robust, highly scalable with built-in redundancy and ensures secure connectivity (256 bit AES encryption). While there is no GPS in the sensor tags, location is derived from the GPS within the gateway devices and Inertial Navigation Algorithms (patented). Myconi capability far exceeds other cargo tracking/data logging technologies with the self-healing, secure, mobile ad hoc network (MANET) mesh networking capability and the extended battery life. Myconi has invested $1.4m in research and development to productize this capability; has been awarded 7 patents for this system.
Ultra-Sensitive Lab-on-Chip Sensor
There is an increasing demand for accurate and rapid on-site detection and identification of a variety of chemical and biological targets in many applications. For example, ultra-sensitive detection of toxins and contaminants is important for health care, food safety, and security. Although techniques like high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry are accurate and reliable, they are also expensive, time consuming, require skilled personnel, and are typically performed on a laboratory bench. Coupled with a separation technique, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has gained considerable interest as a highly sensitive detection method, able to offer detection and identification comparable to or superior to alternative techniques, at a lower cost. On this sensor chip, a diatomite biosilica material functions as both the stationary phase for thin layer chromatography (TLC) and also provides Raman enhancement. Formed into discrete microchannels, this sensor can separate compounds in a mixed sample and achieve detection sensitivity on the order of 1 part per billion (ppb).
An Integrated WiFi and Free-space Optic Communication System (WiFIFO)
Typical WIFI networks can theoretically operate at a rate of 54 Mbps, but realistically their speed is only a fraction of that number, usually somewhere between 5 and 15 Mbps. Slower WiFi often comes down to one problem: overload. Limited wireless capacities cannot provide adequate bandwith for many scenarios, particularly when there are multiple users. Researchers at Oregon State University have designed a way to enhance wireless capacity using complementary FSO technology which does not interfere with the WiFi transmission bands. This combination solution is called WiFiFO. When combined with the existing high-speed Ethernet infrastructure, current FSO technology combined with WiFi could provide a typical bandwidth of 50 Mbps per user via local transmissions. In addition to normal WiFi transmission, a network of FSO transmitters can be placed appropriately indoors to provide local high-rate FSO transmissions. The system monitors and manages the connections based on the FSO and WiFi channel conditions. The movement patterns and locations of a user, relative to the transmitters, determine the amount of additional FSO bandwidth for the user. This alleviates the stress of how much bandwidth is going over the WiFi transmission, leading to faster WiFi speeds for all users.
Suspended Undersea Raw Fiber (SURF)
The Suspended Undersea Raw Fiber (SURF) technology allows for the deployment and suspension of raw fiber at a desired depth in the ocean water column. Suspended fiber utilizes the water as a protective sheath, avoiding breakage threats near the surface and near the bottom of the ocean, dispensing extremely low cost raw fiber directly into ocean without modifying or handling fiber/spools. The SURF fiber can be payed-out at underway speeds without link failure with a highly reliable, unpowered, non-mechanical dispenser (minimal cost & SWaP). Costs are negligible to install (carry-on); integrate (plug & play Gig-E and/or WiFi); operate (passive unmonitored/unmanned payout); and logistically update. SURF deploys to/from any platform/craft/vehicle/sensor (surface, air, or submerged).
Memristor - Resistive RAM
RMIT have developed a memory device comprised of an amorphous strontium titanate (SrTiO3) layer stacked between thin film metal electrodes. The oxide layer can be doped to enable energy efficiency and achieve different forms of electronic switching. The most recent work shows the ability to use these cells to mimic brain/neuron function. The accuracy of this biomimicry is exceptional, being within 10% of biological measurements from the human hippocampus. Key advantages of the memristor technology include: CMOS compatible synthesis and fabrication process at room temperature. This results in a cost effective process that is compatible with all major industrial electronic materials processes; The forming-free low energy operation and consistent operation of the devices makes them one of the few examples of high performance metal-oxide memristors; Multiple information states can be stored in a single cell, which is not possible with other RAM technologies; Desired performance of the memristor can be attained through tuning of the oxide and cell structure.
Smart Mobile Data Collection
The StreetSense system is the next generation location specific mobile transportation data collection system. The system is affordable & portable and it can be mounted to existing vehicle. The system includes set of sensor modules connected with each other to collect transportation system and infrastructure data at any location while the vehicle is moving and/or stationary. At present most of the transportation data collection is done by sensors fixed at certain location. Our system has a potential to convert existing vehicle into mobile data collection unit. This unique characteristic can enable any departments of transportation (DOTs), county and/or local municipalities to collect high resolution location specific data for various current and future transportation system applications. This system can become the backbone for current and future transportation system management and operations (TSM&O) centers. The TSM&O center is and will be essential component for any smart city.
Silicon photonics - High-performance resonator
This technology is the first and, to date, the only high-performance optical filter (resonator) that can be mass-manufactured at low cost, using silicon photonics (SiPh) technology. The RMIT resonator is based on a new effect, discovered at RMIT is fundamentally unlike any other known optical filter. The resonator is a true “platform technology” with a wide range of applications, including in optical fibre communications, the core of the internet; biosensors for human disease diagnosis; quantum computing and other “quantum machines;” optical sensors for smart buildings, infrastructure and factories, and for climate, atmospheric and pollution monitoring; aerospace and defence; and in displays and computing for consumer electronics. Laboratory prototypes have been tested confirming the validity of the technology and designs have been developed compatible with foundry fabrication. Industry standard design frameworks predict that our designs will meet customer requirements in terms of performance within manufacture and environmental tolerance. To establish beyond doubt that our resonator based design meets customers’ requirements, we are in the process of realising and testing prototypes of our CWDM demux using a high-volume foundry fabrication service.
Palo Alto, CA
Ultrathin, stackable, low power non-volatile memory for 3D integration
Engineers in Prof. H.-S. Philip Wong’s laboratory have developed a lower power, three-dimensional resistive random access memory (RRAM) device using an atomically thin graphene edge electrode. RRAM is an emerging non-volatile memory technology with better endurance, retention and speed combined with lower programming voltages and higher device density than Flash memory. This invention improves the performance of RRAM by employing ultrathin graphene instead of traditional metal electrodes to assemble a stacked three-dimensional structure. The resulting memory provides extremely high storage potential in a small volume with low current, low power and low energy consumption. This bit-cost-effective 3D architecture could be a significant step towards a highly efficient, next generation computing system, particularly for mobile applications which require long battery life.
Palo Alto, CA
Scalable Process for High Performance Polymer Transparent Conductors
Researchers in Prof. Zhenan Bao’s laboratory have developed a scalable solution shearing process for fabricating low cost, high performance, flexible polymer film for transparent conductors (TCs) in optoelectronic devices. The film formed from highly conductive poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) that is fabricated with specific control over deposition conditions. This enables tunable phase separation and preferential PEDOT backbone alignment resulting in record-high electrical conductivities with high optical transparency. This film offers a low cost, mechanically robust alternative to traditional TC materials for applications such as displays, touch screens, solar cells and flexible electronics.
Palo Alto, CA
3D Printed Optics with Nanometer Scale Surface Roughness
Stanford researchers have developed a method to fabricate high quality optical components using commercially available 3D printing materials, first by printing the intended optical device (mirrors, lens molds), and then coating with a gel. After curing, the optically smooth surface can be coated or used directly as a mold. The method can be used to print mirrors, solar concentrators, lenses and optical elements of microscopes at low cost. This gel smoothing technique can be used with commercial 3D printers (resolution of tens of microns), yielding finished surfaces with an rms (root mean square) surface roughness of around 2 nm. The entire process is very fast, making it possible to go from a conceptual design to a working, high optical quality prototype reflector or mold in less than a day.
Wearable IoT device that can be used to predict 3-axis of ground reaction force using insole type sensor which can be replace a high cost of 3-axis force plate measurement system
We made a wearable insole type device which can be place on the shoes to measuring foot pressure of real-time in our daily life. Then we restored pressure distribution using interpolation to the foot pressure that obtained from the insole sensor and developed algorithm which can predict central of pressure of 3-axis ground reaction forces. Pressure distribution, 3-axis ground reaction force, and central of pressure are the information that can be obtained from the foot motions and related to the human motion, balance, and fatigability. Such kinematic information provides more than 20% of accuracy for the improved activity tracking compared to other companies and it also make possible for the monitoring of the real-time in balance monitoring. Such kinematic information has been used to the studies of checking individual physical status, disorders, rehabilitation level, and it can apply to the medical research fields of U-Health and U-Medical in the future.
Ultra-thin, focus-tunable and high-speed microlenses for miniaturized optical systems
Microlenses are assuming an increasingly important role in optical devices. With the miniaturisation of optical elements, microlens sizes have correspondingly decreased, and this ‘scaling down’ represents a major problem for focus-tunable systems which require bulky lenses or mechanical components that are difficult to integrate into highly-compact optical devices. We have developed a miniature, focus-tunable, high-speed microlens system suitable for integration into very-compact optical devices. We have established a method to fabricate the world’s thinnest microlens (< 6.3 nm) consisting of a few layers of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) and have demonstrated that the focus of our microlens can be tuned by an electrical voltage signal, removing the need for bulky mechanical components. Our system can (I) be made on a nano- to micro-metre scale, (II) be electronically tunable using either a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) device or a solid polymer electrolyte-gating device, (III) be tunable at a very high speed (in the range of milli- to nano-seconds), and (IV) have a flexible and transparent polymer substrate. This system is tailorable to specific demands in terms of size, tuning range, transmission range and transmission speed.
Self-sustainable Electrical Sensors and Condition Monitors for Smart Safe Electrified Cities and Living
Electricity is the lifeblood of modern cities and people living to power up everything ranging from personal and home appliances to industrial facilities, public utilities, and national infrastructures. The electricity transport and utilization activities can now be loyally, safely, smartly, and continuously guarded by our “Self-sustainable Electrical Sensors (SsESs)” and their “Energy-harvesting Self-powered Wireless Condition Monitors (EhSpWCMs)” without the needs of external power supplies, signal conditioners, and/or other active/sensitive auxiliaries to sustain their operations. The real-life and critical problems in wiring power cords and signal cables as well as in shutting down all powers during installation, commissioning, and maintenance of traditional electrical sensors (e.g.,Hall sensors, current transformers) can be readily resolved, which improving the safety, reliability, and availability of electrical assets and systems. These critically challenging jobs are enabled by a masterpiece of passive-sensing and energy-harvesting chip made from rare-earth-multiferroic smart materials with giant magnetoelectric properties in SsESs. Our SsESs can be simply placed on any sensing point of interest (e.g.,cables, conductors, busbars) to detect electrical currents and temperatures while harvesting and converting wasted environmental energies into useful electrical energy for local storage and powering microcontroller, memory, display, wireless transmitter, associated with EhSpWCMs.
An intelligent technological framework with mobile robots for agricultural activities
This technological framework pertains to use mobile sensors and robotic platforms to facilitate everyday agricultural activities. With the framework,farming practitioners are virtually endorsed with full control of quantity,quality,and consistency of their produce. Apart from ordinary automation systems,the framework provides around-the-clock supervisions to farms of different scales with minimum expenses on infrastructure.The mobile robotic platforms collectively gather information from the environment,which is then aggregated and analyzed to generate profiles of the farm on regular basis. Based on the up-to-date profile,mobile robotic platforms dynamically allocate themselves to provide treatments to regions that require extra attentions. With decentralized localization modules,they are capable of performing indoor and outdoor navigation in autonomous fashions. Via exchanging information with neighboring peer platforms within their proximities,robotic platforms can adjust their behaviors adaptively to cope with changing environment and system parameters. Control of the platforms does not rely on a centralized unit, which provides the framework with extra robustness to single-point-failures. The complete history of every single food product under the monitoring of framework can be accessed by consumers in a transparent manner,which provide a silver bullet to the surge of public concerns on food safety in recent years.
Multispectral plasmonic pixel
The technology is an imaging pixel comprised of plasmonic nanoantenna structures, which act as filters that can be tuned specifically to certain polarisation sensitivities. Incorporating the filters into a single pixel enables the intensity of light across multiple wavelengths to be captured. Existing pixels, particularly pixels used in consumer digital cameras, rely on pixels that only detects the intensity of light. Color information is derived from the use of a mosaic color filter (such as the Bayer filter) that sits above the pixel array in order that the intensity of specific wavelengths can be accurately captured. The multispectral plasmonic pixel design is fully CMOS compatible and would remove the need for a color filter. This would reduce the thickness of pixel designs and would particularly impact on smartphone designs, as the camera sensing unit is currently the limiting factor of a smartphone’s thickness. The multispectral plasmonic pixel can be tailored for applications that rely on multispectral imaging. This includes point of care devices for diagnosis and monitoring (such as optical coherence tomography), biometric recognition systems, autonomous vehicles, and drone imaging scans for detection and identification.
Extruded electrode array
The technology describes an extrusion process for fabricating an array of high-density flexible electrodes for active biomedical implants that communicate with the nervous system. Devices such as cochlear implants, retinal prostheses, deep brain stimulators, and brain-machine interfaces are examples of such devices. The method enables the manufacture of an array of high-density flexible electrodes using materials based on nanocarbon and conductive polymer composites that have been shown to be more successful in integrating with (neural) tissue. The technology is transformational in the higher density of the electrode array that has flexible and ultra-thin electrodes. The multielectrode array consists of 1000, 7 μm diameter flexible carbon fibre electrodes, each capable of communicating with individual neurons Currently, there are no commercially available products for a high-density array of soft, flexible electrodes. Blackrock Systems, manufacturer of the UTAH electrode array, is currently researching and developing methods for manufacturing such electrode arrays. This technology has the potential to greatly impact the neuroprosthesis market ($18B by 2028) and neural interface market by providing high resolution access to processes in the cortex and other brain structures. A fully implantable system capable of single neuron recordings over a long period promises to yield significant health improvements.
Mobile Phone-Based Fluorescence Multi-Well Plate Reader
Researchers led by Professor Aydogan Ozcan have developed a field-portable mobile phone based-readout platform that images a field of view of ~18 cm2 with no mechanical scanning required. The device is broadly compatible with any fluorescence-based assay that can be run in a 96-well microplate format, making it especially valuable for point-of-care (POC) and resource-limited settings. The compact and lightweight reader does not require any bulky optical or mechanical components, as the large field of view negates the need for mechanical scanning. Instead, a fluorescence microplate reader is integrated onto the optical camera interface of a mobile phone. A fiber optic bundle connects the 96-well plate to the plate reader and utilizes the mobile phone as the readout platform. An inexpensive 3D printed opto-mechanical interface houses a small array of LEDs used as the light source. The entire platform weighs <600g and costs under $100.
Vital signs detection while in motion using doppler radar
This invention presents a Doppler radar system for vital signs detection from a mobile radar platform. Thanks to the innovative architecture of the receiver, the system is capable of extracting human vital signs in the presence of large radar platform motion. The proposed radar system works in see-through-wall vital signs detection applications from a mobile platform without using any additional sensors.
Optical filter anti-counterfeiting security devices
We have put together a complete portfolio of security devices using optical filters made of thin layers, similar to those already present on our banknotes, but with more advanced functionalities. A first device takes advantage of the effect of metamerism: using interference effects we can produce different colors that appear identical under one angle and different under another. This allows creating images that can only be viewed when the product is tilted in some way and that are otherwise invisible. Another design adds an extra level of complexity by adding an electrochromic layer that changes color under the application of an electric current that can be supplied to the device by an integrated solar cell. Beyond this, it is also possible to increase the level of complexity by multiplying the colors (we have demonstrated a tricolor device) or by creating devices behaving differently depending on whether they are observed in reflection or transmission (on a transparent substrate). Our devices are particularly interesting because they cannot be reproduced by printing (the main method used by counterfeiters) since they require specialized vacuum deposition equipment. Moreover, the devices are easy to use for the consumer who can confirm authenticity at a glance.
Electronic Nose: Nano Gas Sensor Array with functionalized carbon nanotubes
UCR researchers have developed nano gas sensors that are small (mm), low power (mA), sensitive (parts-per-billion), responsive (seconds), and have a wide range of applications including in agriculture (detecting pesticide levels), industrial sites (detecting gas leaks, combustion emissions), security (bio-terrorism warning), military (detecting chemical agents), as well as consumer (air conditioning and purifier appliances and detectors), biomedical (smell and taste disorders: anosmia and dysgeusia), etc. By assembling functionalized carbon nanotubes on microelectrodes by MEMS-based microfabrication techniques such as electrochemical deposition, the morphology, size, and density of nanoparticles are tuned to optimize sensing performance by controlling electrodeposition potential and time. Chemical sensing instruments have traditionally been large, heavy, bulky, expensive, and generally been impractical to be ubiquitously integrated with different products under different environments for different applications. The nano gas sensors developed by UCR researchers have the potential to become ubiqitous for enabling airborne chemical detection capabilites.
Hybrid Integrated Optical Amplifier
Rare-earth optical amplifiers have a number of desirable features including low noise and the ability to amplify high peak power signals. In the past, the inability to integrate a rare-earth amplifier with an optical pump on-chip limited applications. This new technology for a hybrid integrated optical amplifier allows for on-chip integration of a rare-earth optical amplifier and optical pump resulting in a smaller and lighter form factor and easier packaging. This hybrid integrated optical amplifier is created by bonding a group III-V semiconductor pump laser and a rare-earth-doped waveguide amplifier and the bonded structure provides an integrated optical pump for the rare-earth-doped amplifier, eliminating the need for an external pump. This hybrid optical amplifier allows for efficient combination with additional active components such as lasers, modulators, and photodetectors as well as passive components such as splitters, couplers, multiplexers, demultiplexers, polarization control elements, and spot-size converters. The pump laser structure can be modified to produce distributed feedback lasers, distributed Bragg reflector lasers, and super structure grating distributed Bragg reflector lasers. This hybrid integrated optical amplifier enables the smaller, lighter components necessary for space science and exploration. This hybrid integrated optical amplifier also supports the efficient use of telecommunication bandwidth.
Accurate & Enhanced 3D Imaging Through Walls Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Typically, imaging uses light waves which do not pass through opaque structures. Instead of light waves, this technology uses radio-frequency (e.g. Bluetooth, wifi) signals to generate 3D images. As radio-frequency signals pass through walls, images can be generated to describe the interior and exterior of structures. The use of radio-frequency imaging combined with an algorithm to optimally sample space using unmanned vehicles or drones enables 3D imaging of hidden spaces. The 3D images generated provide robots with important tools for navigation. This approach to remote imaging allows for health assessment of infrastructure, such as bridges, by providing a see-through assessment with safe radio-frequency signals. This technology has numerous applications including improving disaster management, refining search and rescue efforts, tracking building occupancy, and gesture recognition and surveillance.
Environmental and Point-of-Care Testing in the Palm of Your Hand
This technology portfolio uses inert polymers for the consistent packaging of an electrode layer, microbial layer, and microfluidic inlet and outlet ports. Additionally, this technology seeks to overcome standardization problems by introducing a method to mass produce interconnecting microfluidic chips. The design incorporates standard size tubing and an injection molding process that readily allows for leakproof interlocking between the chips for reliable and cost-effective production. One example device is a disposable microsensor for continuous monitoring of free chlorine in water. For the chlorine sensor, gold, gold and silver/silver chloride comprise working, counter, and reference electrodes respectively. A transparent Cyclic Olefin Copolymer (COC) substrate is used for sensor fabrication by standard lithographic procedures. Another possible device is a disposable microbial sensor for rapid Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) measurement. Here, a microbial strain is immobilized over one pair of sensor electrodes while the other is retained as a reference. The sensor layer is attached to an injection molded passive microfluidic channel on top. This sensing circuitry is further connected to the display monitor showing the output data.
Transparent Conducting Oxide Film – Indium Tin Oxide Alternative
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a novel growth approach for the synthesis of doped barium tin stannate (BSO) for use as a transparent conductive oxide (TCO). The material produced has high room-temperature conductivity and mobility when the dopant is lanthanum. The value of conductivity achieved is comparable to that of the best reported value for indium-tin-oxide (ITO), the industry standard for transparent conducting oxide. While other approaches have demonstrated the promise of Lanthanum-doped BSO as a replacement for ITO, these approaches lack reproducibility and the material produced has lower conductivity and transparency. The novel synthesis approach involves using a chemical precursor for tin as a substitute for a solid tin source in a hybrid molecular beam epitaxy system. The advantages include better structural quality of the films, scalable growth rates and high reproducibility. A variety of dopants can be used including lanthanum, neodymium, and gadolinium.
IOT enabled imagery system for crop management
This technology has been harnessed for real-time monitoring and management of crops. The technology will aid growers mainly in site-specific crop water and (fruit) loss management. Specifically, this system allows growers to develop fully automatic crop monitoring and data acquisition system for moving irrigation systems based on their specific needs. The technology is able to successfully extract canopy/fruit surface temperature and coverage from a wide range of images captured during the crop growing season. This futuristic system will help growers to remotely monitor fruit surface characteristic (e.g. wetness, temperature, cuticle stress) and can be used to actuate preventative control measures that will avoid losses. It also allows for remote, indirect monitoring of crop water stress which can be used by farmers for irrigation scheduling of their crops. This technology separates itself from the rest by providing better accuracy via the thermal modules and the geo-referencing system, which shows an accuracy of ±2.4 ˚C on average over a range of 0 to 50 ˚C, and ±2.4 m in positioning, and ±1.6 m in altitude measurements.
Ultra-precise printing of conductive lines in nano-scale
Printing of nanomaterials is not new. The methods available on the market, which are continually being developed, include INKJET (printing using nano-ink), ESJET (electrostatic inkjet printing) and EHD (electrohydrodynamic printing). However, XTPL's new method represents a major breakthrough in this sector. Our company has patented and is commercialising a guided assembly of nanoparticles for creating (or, to put it simply, printing) conductive lines with a width of as little as 100 nm. XTPL's new comprehensive method for nano-scale printing of conductive lines is characterised by extraordinary flexibility, precision and low cost. During the process of line formation, the printing head deposits a properly formulated ink - nanoparticles in a mixture of solvents - on any non-conductive substrate (even one that is not flat). An external electric field (only ~1 V to ~10 V) causes nanoparticles to assemble in a clearly defined and controlled way to form a line (100 nm to 3 μm). The process takes place between a stationary and movable electrode, which guides the formation of the line. Printing in terms of XTPL's technology means composing nanoparticles on a substrate. The disruptive technology of XTPL is protected by an international patent application.