University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Novel Systems for Improved Backscatter Tag Communications
A new fully asymmetric backscatter communication protocol where nodes blindly transmit data as and when they sense. This model enables fully flexible node designs, from extraordinarily power efficient backscatter radios that consume barely a few micro-watts to high-throughput radios that can stream at hundreds of Kbps while consuming a paltry tens of micro-watts.

 

 

Published: 8/11/2017   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pan Hu, Pengyu Zhang
Category(s): Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology
Graphene-Based Microfluidic Devices
This invention is the first example where large-area graphene has been harnessed as an architectural material in microfluidic devices. Incorporation of single-layer graphene enables a drastic reduction in device thickness. The resulting ultra-thin architecture facilitates on chip X-ray diffraction analysis. Graphene layers serve as a diffusion barrier to protect sample against evaporative losses and from external contaminants, e.g. such as oxygen for anaerobic work.

 

These devices have tremendous utility for applications in X-ray science, such as X-ray diffraction for structural biology and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) as well as other lab- on- a- chip applications. 

 

Published: 8/10/2017   |   Inventor(s): Sarah Perry, Christos Dimitrakopoulos, Shuo Sui, Yuxi (Nancy) Wang
Category(s): Devices & sensors, Research tools
Patterning of 1-D, 2-D and 3-D Nanostructures
This invention provides methods of manufacturing a nanotextured surface comprising disposing a nanoparticulate ink on a substrate.
Published: 8/9/2017   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, Rohit Kothari
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Physical Science, Devices & sensors
FS Backscatter Communication
The Frequency-Shifted (FS) Backscatter invention promotes practical backscatter communication for ultra-low power on-body sensors by leveraging radios on existing smart phones and wearables. This invention addresses the self-interference from the wireless carrier without relying on built-in capability to cancel or reject the carrier interference.  Utilizing this invention, the tag shifts the carrier signal to an adjacent non-overlapping frequency band and isolates the spectrum of the backscatter signal from the spectrum of the primary signal to enable more robust decoding.
Published: 9/14/2016   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pengyu Zhang
Category(s): Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology
Braidio - Assymetric Transceiver for Mobile Devices
 
Published: 9/14/2016   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pan Hu
Category(s): Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology
Efficient Thermoelectric Converters
The invention provides thermoelectric devices similar to conventional Peltier-elements based on folded, multi-layered nanomembranes prepared from 2-dimensional (2D) van der Waals materials. These van der Waals materials (e.g. graphene, hexagonal boron nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides) have both single atomic layers with strong in-plane covalent bonding and weak bonding across atomic mononolayers. When devices are fabricated by folding monolayers onto themselves and into layered structures (figure). In this configuration, the electric path is shorter and the thermal path is suppressed. Moreover, multiple elements can be combined in series and parallel configurations to produce a useful amount of electricity. Thus, these devices can be used to convert waste-heat into electricity and can also serve a thermoelectric cooler. Some information about different applications here.
Published: 3/8/2016   |   Inventor(s): Zlatan Aksamija, Robert Blick
Category(s): Clean Energy, Devices, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Material science, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
Rapid, Sensitive and Selective Sensors for Ionic Mercury
The ability to rapidly and selectively detect and quantify chemicals has profound implications for human and environmental health. As poisonous chemicals, such as mercury (from solid-waste incineration and fossil-fuel combustion), continue to contaminate land and/or water, the development of portable, convenient “in the field” chemosensors becomes critically important. This invention provides novel colorimetric sensors for rapid, sensitive and selective detection of ionic mercury (Hg2+). The detection can be implemented using paper strip, dipstick or solution based sensors that are easy and inexpensive to manufacture and convenient to use for “in the field” measurements.
Published: 6/25/2015   |   Inventor(s): Raja Shunmugam, Gregory Tew
Category(s): Chemicals, Devices & sensors
COLORIMETRIC RADIATION SENSORS
Researchers at UMass Amherst have developed sensors for detection of ionizing radiation (e.g. X-ray, gamma ray, and electron beam radiation) based on polymer multilayer films. A radiation sensor includes a substrate and a polymer multilayer film including alternating layers of a high refractive index polymer and a low refractive index polymer that give rise to reflected structural color in the visible region of the spectrum. The high refractive index polymer and the low refractive index polymer each comprise repeat units derived from a photo-crosslinkable monomer. A variety of rigid and flexible substrates can be used to fabricate sensors (for example, Figure 1 shows a multilayer polymer fabricated on a Mylar sheet), and polymer multilayer films can be designed to undergo either a blue or red shift (see Figure 2) in response to ionizing radiation. The radiation sensors are useful in preparing various articles, including wearable patches, packaging materials, labels, and window panes.
Published: 6/19/2015   |   Inventor(s): Ryan Hayward, Maria Chiappelli
Category(s): Healthcare, Devices & sensors, Material science
EXTREMELY SMALL AND FAST RADIO FREQUENCY SWITCHES
Memristive devices are characterized by their present resistance being dependent on the current that last passed through them.  In this invention, a memristive RF switch is created by having two micro-electrodes with a small air gap, e.g., 50nm or less, between them.  When in the “off” state, the air gap between the electrodes gives the device a very high resistance.  When a “setting voltage” is applied between the electrodes, a conductive filament is self-created from one electrode, which bridges the air gap and contacts the other electrode.  The device in now the “on” state, and resistance is very low.  To turn the device off again, a “resetting voltage” having opposite polarity is applied, and the conductive filament’s connection to the other electrode is broken.

Published: 6/8/2015   |   Inventor(s): Qiangfei Xia, Joseph Bardin, Shuang Pi
Category(s): Electronics, Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Computers
Economical Surface Treatment for Harvesting Epithelial Cells from Biological Fluids
This invention provides economical, bio-interactive surfaces and surface treatment methods for selective capture of targeted epithelial cells or other cell types from cell mixtures or complex biological fluids. Preparation or fabrication of the engineered surfaces provided by this technology does not require the use of expensive and unstable biomolecular materials, and the resulting surfaces can distinguish different cell types or cells that express different levels of the same surface adhesion marker. Such engineered surfaces can be used as economical tools for assessment of cancer risk, cancer diagnosis, and tracking of the effectiveness of cancer treatments, among other potential applications.
Published: 6/3/2015   |   Inventor(s): Maria Santore, Kathleen Arcaro, Surachate Kalasin
Category(s): Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Diagnostic technology, Devices & sensors, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Research tools
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