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(SD2021-377) Pressure-stabilized dual inlet gas mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometers for high precision gas isotope measurements (e.g., noble gases, carbon, nitrogen) are typically equipped with a dual inlet system in which one side contains the unknown sample gas and the second side contains a known standard. Repeated comparisons of the two gases allows precise determination of differences in the gas composition. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Nanopore Sensor to Characterize Nano and Microscale Particles and Cells

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside can discriminate between mixed populations of cells and particles in solution using pressure to displace objects across a nanopore multiple times.  Ionic current flow through the nanopore indicates the pressure required to translocate the object in the pore, which correlates to the object’s mass and volume.  Key to these results is that a nanopore sensor allows pressure oscillations to capture and release repeatedly the same object to learn about its inertia and morphology.  Such data can provide details about the size and shape of analytes, their morphologies and structural constraints, or even pathological conditions of living cells. Fig. 1 Nanopore sensing of differently sized cells in a mixed bacterial culture.  

Automated Tip Conditioning ML-Based Software For Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy

Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) techniques and associated spectroscopic (STS) methods, such as dI/dV point spectroscopy, have been widely used to measure electronic structures and local density of states of molecules and materials with unprecedented spatial and energy resolutions. However, the quality of dI/dV spectra highly depends on the shape of the probe tips, and atomically sharp tips with well-defined apex structures are required for obtaining reliable spectra. In most cases, STS measurements are performed in ultra-high vacuum  and low temperature (4 K) to minimize disturbances. Advance tip preparation and constant in situ tip conditioning are required before and during the characterization of target molecules and materials. A common way to prepare STM tips is to repetitively poke them on known and bare substrates (i.e. coinage metals or silicon) to remove contaminations and to potentially coat the tip with substrate atoms. The standard dI/dV spectra of the substrate is then used as a reference to determine whether the tip is available for further experiments. However, tip geometry changes during the poking process are unpredictable, and consequently tip conditioning is typically slow and needs to be constantly monitored. Therefore, it restricts the speed of high-quality STM spectroscopic studies. In order to make efficient use of instrument idle time and minimize the research time wasted on tip conditioning, UC Berkeley researchers developed software based on Python and machine learning that can automate the time-consuming tip conditioning processes. The program is designed to do tip conditioning on Au(111) surfaces that are clean or with low molecular coverage with little human intervention. By just one click, the program is capable of continued poking until the tip can generate near-publication quality spectroscopic data on gold surfaces. It can control the operation of a Scienta Omicron STM and automatically analyze the collected topographic images to find bare Au areas that are large enough for tip conditioning. It will then collect dI/dV spectra at selected positions and use machine learning models to determine their quality compared to standard dI/dV spectra for Au20 and determine if the tip is good enough for further STS measurements. If the tip condition is not ideal, the program will control the STM to poke at the identified positions until the machine learning model predicts the tip to be in good condition.

Non Intrusive Workflow Assessment (NIWA) for Manufacturing Optimization

The invention is a smart non-intrusive workflow assessment platform for monitoring and optimizing manufacturing environments. The platform monitors environmental and energy metrics, and provides learning models to classify workers’ activities and relate them to the equipment utilization and performance. Correlating both stream of data enables both workers and supervisors to improve the efficiency of the whole manufacturing process and at an affordable price.

Microfluidic Dispenser for Automated, High-Precision, Liquids Handling

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a robotic dispensing interface that uses a microfluidic-embedded container cap – often referred to as a microfluidic Cap-to-Dispense or μCD - to seamlessly integrate robotic operations into precision liquids handling.

Inexpensive Wobbe Index Sensor to Measure Gaseous Fuel Quality

UCR researchers have developed an inexpensive sensor to measure the energy content and fuel quality of gaseous combustible fuel. This sensor estimates the Wobbe Index in real time time and costs about $10. The sensor is confirmed to operate between -20°and 70°Celsius under pressures of -3600 Psi, with an accuracy of ±1%.  Fig. 1 shows the predicted Wobbe Index vs Actual Wobble Index, showing the accuracy of the sensor

Multiplexed Sweat Extraction And Sensing Wearable Interface For Normalized And Periodic Analysis

UCLA researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a novel sweat induction and sensing platform to achieve personalized physiological monitoring non-invasively.

Microfluidic Device: Optics-Free, Non-Contact Measurements of Fluids, Bubbles, and Particles in Microchannels

Microfluidic devices have long been touted as a powerful analytical tool with which to characterize a wide range of analytes, including particles, and cells. Despite the apparent convenience of microfluidic technologies for applications in healthcare, such devices often rely on capital-intensive optics and other peripheral equipment that limit throughput, perhaps because the majority of microfluidic devices operate using optics-based principles, which typically require high-speed or sensitive cameras, sophisticated confocal microscopes, vibration isolation tables, and laser excitation systems.

Multiplex Charge Detection Mass Spectrometry

Native mass spectrometry (MS), in which electrospray ionization (ESI) is used to transfer large macromolecules and macromolecular complexes directly from solution into the gas phase, is a powerful tool in structural biology.  However, charge-state distributions of individual components in mixtures of macromolecular complexes or synthetic polymers are often unresolved making it impossible to obtain mass information directly from an ESI mass spectrum. Other conventional methods can provide accurate masses of individual ions, but often at the expense of analysis time.     Weighing ions individually with charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) has the advantage that fast measurements are possible depending on the accuracy and sensitivity required. However, a limitation of trapping CDMS technology is the need to weigh single ions individually in order to eliminate potential interferences between the signals of multiple ions or ion-ion interactions that can potentially interfere with these measurements. UC researchers have created multiplex charge detection mass spectroscopy, particularly for high throughput single ion analysis of large molecules and measuring the masses of large molecules, macromolecular complexes and synthetic polymers that are too large or heterogeneous for conventional mass spectrometry measurements.  The new multiplexing method makes it possible to measure the masses of many ions simultaneously.  

Label-Free Digital Bright Field Analysis of DNA Amplification

UCLA researchers in the department of Bioengineering have developed a novel method for quantitative analysis of DNA amplification products.

Accelerating palladium nanowire hydrogen sensors using engineered nanofiltration layers

Researchers at UCI have developed a method for enhancing existing hydrogen gas sensors, leading to as much as a 20-fold improvement in sensor response and recovery times.

Hydrogen Gas Sensors Based On Patterned Carbon Nanotube Ropes

This is a fabrication method for hydrogen gas sensors; these sensors have more rapid response times and are more sensitive than current detection techniques.

Rapid, Portable And Cost-Effective Yeast Cell Viability And Concentration Analysis Using Lensfree On-Chip Microscopy And Machine Learning

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new portable device to rapidly measure yeast cell viability and concentration using a lab-on-chip design.

Mechanical Process For Creating Particles Using Two Plates

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Physics and Astronomy have developed a novel method to lithograph two polished solid surfaces by using a simple mechanical alignment jig with piezoelectric control and a method of pressing them together and solidifying a material.

Digital Droplet Microflowmetry Enabled by Interfacial Instability

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a non-thermal, digital microfluidic flowmeter with the ability to measure ultralow flow rates.

Micro-Glassblown 3-D Coriolis Vibratory MEMS Gyroscope

Micro-glassblowing batch fabrication process for 3-D MEMS gyroscope

Continuous, enhanced detection of droplet contents in electrical impedance spectroscopy

The inventors at UCI have developed a method and system to make enhanced electrical impedance spectroscopy measurements in a continuously flowing train of microfluidic droplets. The technique increases the sensitivity of the electrical impedance spectroscopy measurements, lowering detection limits and increasing the frequency of continuous measurements.

Patterning Silica Islands Onto Thermoplastic Shrink Film

Researchers at UCI have developed a quick and inexpensive method for the controllable patterning of silica onto polymer films, for use in biosensing applications.

Highly wrinkled metal thin films using lift-off layers

Wearable electronics are becoming a popular way of integrating personal healthcare with continuous, remote health monitoring, yet current devices are bulky and exhibit poor electronic performance. Wrinkled metal thin films can be utilized for their thin, flexible profiles, which conform well to the skin. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel method using specialized materials that results in wrinkled metal thin films that have enhanced mechanical and electrical performance.

Energy Efficient Trigger Word Detection via Accelerometer Data

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an energy-efficient voice monitoring technique for smart devices, such as smartphones and wearables, based on accelerometer data.

An Optical System for Parallel Acquisition of Raman Spectra from a 2-Dimensional Laser Beam Array

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method for acquiring Raman spectra from a plurality of laser interrogation spots in a two-dimensional array. This method can be used for parallel analysis of individual cells or for fast chemical imaging of specimens.

MyShake: Earth Quake Early Warning System Based on Smartphones

Earthquakes are unpredictable disasters. Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems have the potential to mitigate this unpredictability by providing seconds to minutes of warning. This warning could enable people to move to safe zones, and machinery (such as mass transit trains) to be slowed or shutdown. The several EEW systems operating around the world use conventional seismic and geodetic network infrastructure – that only exist in a few nations. However, the proliferation of smartphones – which contain accelerometers that could potentially detect earthquakes – offers an opportunity to create EEW systems without the need to build expensive infrastructure. To take advantage of this smartphone opportunity, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a technology to allow earthquake alerts to be issued based on detecting earthquakes underway using the sensors in smartphones. Called MyShake, this EEW system has been shown to record magnitude 5 earthquakes at distances of 10 km or less. MyShake incorporates an on-phone detection capability to distinguish earthquakes from every-day shakes. The UC Berkeley technology also collects earthquake data at a central site where a network detection algorithm confirms that an earthquake is underway as well as estimates the location and magnitude in real-time. This information can then be used to issue an alert of forthcoming ground shaking. Additionally, the seismic waveforms recorded by MyShake could be used to deliver rapid microseism maps, study impacts on buildings, and possibly image shallow earth structure and earthquake rupture kinematics.

An Ultra-Sensitive Method for Detecting Molecules

To-date, plasmon detection methods have been utilized in the life sciences, electrochemistry, chemical vapor detection, and food safety. While passive surface plasmon resonators have lead to high-sensitivity detection in real time without further contaminating the environment with labels. Unfortunately, because these systems are passively excited, they are intrinsically limited by a loss of metal, which leads to decreased sensitivity. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a novel method to detect distinct molecules in air under normal conditions to achieve sub-parts per billion detection limits, the lowest limit reported. This device can be used detecting a wide array of molecules including explosives or bio molecular diagnostics utilizing the first instance of active plasmon sensor, free of metal losses and operating deep below the diffraction limit for visible light.  This novel detection method has been shown to have superior performance than monitoring the wavelength shift, which is widely used in passive surface plasmon sensors. 

Methods for Fabrication of Electric Propulsion Tips

The technology is a method for fabrication of silicon microfabricated emitter tips.This process has two-step etching process which utilizes field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) and indium propellant.

Mechanical Linear Actuator That is Low Cost and High Performance

Linear motion is an essential mechanical property used in huge variety of applications. There are multiple ways to create linear motion, including screws, cams, pulleys, pneumatic and hydraulic actuation. Overall performance of these linear actuators can be defined in terms of cost, scale, speed, and efficiency. Current actuators are strong in one or two of these performance categories, which limits their use to specific applications.   UC Berkeley researchers have designed a novel linear actuator that is strong across all four performance categories. The clever Berkeley design provides fast and efficient actuation, and its unique structure is scalable for multiple applications. It is especially conducive to applications that have tight space confines, need a large degree of displacement at a high rate, and are cost constrained.

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