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Deep Junction Low Gain Avalanche Detector

The development of Low-Gain Avalanche Detectors (LGADs) that make controlled use of impact ionization has led to an advancement in the use of silicon diode detectors in particle detection, particularly in the arena of ultrafast (~10 ps) timing. For what are today considered to be “conventional” LGADs, the high fields needed to induce the impact ionization process lead to breakdown between the separated n-p junctions that are used to simultaneously deplete the sensors and establish the readout segmentation. As a result, working devices have included a Junction Termination Extension (JTE) that provide electrostatic isolation between neighboring implants, but at a cost of introducing a dead region between the sensor segments that is insensitive to the deposited charge from an incident particle. The width of this dead region is 50 µm or more, making conventional LGAD sensors inefficient for granularity scales much below 1mm. On the other hand, demands from the particle physics (4D tracking) and photon science (high frame-rate X-Ray imaging) communities call for granularity at the 50 µm scale. Thus, there is great interest in overcoming the current granularity limits of LGAD sensors. There are several ideas, under various levels of development, that have been proposed to circumvent the JTE limitAC-coupled (“AC-LGAD”) LGADs eliminate the need for the JTE by making use of a completely planar (non-segmented) junction structure, and then establish the granularity entirely through the electrode structure, which is AC-coupled to the planar device through a thin layer of insulator. Since charge is not collected directly by the electrodes, there is a point-spread function that relates the signal location to the pad (electrode) response that is a property of the effective AC network formed by the highly doped gain layer just below the insulating layer and the electrode structure. Prototype devices exhibit good response and timing characteristics.Inverse (“ILGAD”) LGADs also eliminate the need for the JTE by making use of a planar junction structure. In this case, the electrode structure is placed on the side of the device opposite the junction. Prototypes with appealing signal characteristics have yet to be produced. In addition, the manufacture of these devices requires processing on both sides of the sensor, which is significantly more difficult than the single-sided processes used for conventional and AC LGADs.Trench-isolated (“TI-LGAD”) LGADs attempt to replace the JTE with a physical trench etched around the edge of the detector segment, which is then filled with insulator. This approach is very new, and its proponents hope to be able to use it to reduce the dead area between segments to as little as 5 µm. First prototypes are just recently available and are under study. Much work remains to be done to show that this approach will produce a stable sensor, and to see how small the dead region can be made.

Neuro-Swarm3: System-On-A-Nanoparticle For Wireless Recording Of Brain Activity

A fundamental limitation for the implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMI) is the wiring requirements for power transfer and signal transmission. Microelectrode arrays (MEAs), the workhorse technology in neuroscience, offer multiplexed electrophysiological recordings with high temporal resolution. However, their use is inherently limited to a few hundred electrodes as direct electronic measurements suffer from complex wiring requirements and inherent bandwidth (spatial multiplexing) limitations due to electron-electron interactions within conductors. Moreover, electrode arrays can only record from small sections of the brain and require invasive cranial surgical operations. The recent discovery of genetically encoded voltage sensitive fluorescence indicators (GEVI) has created tremendous excitement as light offers unparalleled multiplexing and information carrying capabilities. However, GEVI cannot be used in humans as it requires expression of voltage sensitive molecules by neurons and therefore genetic manipulation. In addition, attenuation of visible light in biological tissue renders much of the brain inaccessable to fluorescence based techniques.  


Understanding of biophysical processes in marine mammals, like elephant seals, is limited by our ability to monitor wild behavior. Elephant seals spend the majority of their life at sea, reaching depths of over 1500 m that challenge even the most recent advances in biometric monitoring devices. Many existing devices for monitoring electrophysical signals in seals are also invasive and require skin or skull perforation for electrode implantation. A UC Santa Cruz researcher has designed a water-resistant, non-invasive device that can withstand pressures of 3000 psi and is capable of monitoring over twenty electrophysiological signals in wild elephant seals.


Target biomarkers are often found at low levels (e.g., attomolar to picomolar scale) in the early stages of disease. Current biosensor technologies are limited by their ability to simply and precisely detect target biomarkers at very low concentrations though. Typical biomedical samples, like blood or urine, can also compromise the specificity and sensitivity of common diagnostic platforms without extensive sample processing to remove background contaminants.

Magnetometer Based On Spin Wave Interferometer

Brief description not available

Templated Synthesis Of Metal Nanorods

Brief description not available

Magneto-Optic Modulator

Brief description not available

Digital Microfluidic Plasmonic Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Device

This technology automates the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) process using digital microfluidics for droplet manipulation. The invention also increases PCR speed and efficiency by combining electrowetting and plasmonic heating in a single device.PCR tests have a wide variety of applications, including the diagnosis of infectious organisms such as viruses and bacterias, as well as cloning, mutagenesis, sequencing, gene expression, and more. The test has become a gold standard for detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In the PCR process, a gene or part of the DNA of the infecting organism is amplified exponentially to the extent that it can be detected using conventional methods like gel electrophoresis. This invention addresses the following challenges in current PCR methods: a long sample to answer time; and manual manipulation by humans, which increases the error rate in the tests.  

Light-Driven Ultrafast Electric Gating

The inventors have discovered a new way to generate ultrafast back-gating, by leveraging the surface band bending inherent to many semiconductor materials. This new architecture consists of a standard bulk semiconductor material and a layered material on the surface. Optical pulses generate picosecond time-varying electric fields on the surface material. The inventors have successfully applied this method to a quantum well Rashba system, as this is considered today one of the most promising candidates for spin-based devices, such as the Datta Das spin-transistor. The technology can induce an ultrafast gate and drive time-dependent Rashba and quantum well dynamics never observed before, with switching faster than 10GHz. This approach minimizes lithography and will enable light-driven electronic and spintronics devices such as transistors, spin-transistors, and photo-controlled Rashba circuitry. This method can be applied with minimal effort to any two-dimensional material, for both exfoliated and molecular beam epitaxy grown samples. Electric field gating is one of the most fundamental tuning knobs for all modern solid-state technology, and is the foundation for many solid-state devices such as transistors. Current methods for in-situ back-gated devices are difficult to fabricate, introduce unwanted contaminants, and are unsuited for picosecond time-resolved electric field studies.  

(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;}

Scalable High Intensity Ultrashort Pulse Compressor And Cleaner

This invention is a high intensity ultrashort pulse compressor that filters out low intensity artifacts and is made with commercially available low-cost components. This integrated system also provides scalability and can therefore be used for a range of laser intensities.

Electric Ratchet Based Ion Pumps

UCI researchers developed a new device that uses electricity to drive ion separation across a membrane. This device can increase the energy efficiency of various applications such as artificial photosynthesis, water desalination, and chemical separations.

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.

Software Defined Pulse Processing (SDPP) for Radiation Detection

Radiation detectors are typically instrumented with low noise preamplifiers that generate voltage pulses in response to energy deposits from particles (x-rays, gamma-rays, neutrons, protons, muons, etc.). This preamplifier signal must be further processed in order to improve the signal to noise ratio, and then subsequently estimate various properties of the pulse such as the pulse amplitude, timing, and shape. Historically, this “pulse processing” was carried out with complex, purpose-built analog electronics. With the advent of digital computing and fast analog to digital converters, this type of processing can be carried out in the digital domain.There are a number of commercial products that perform “hardware” digital pulse processing. The common element among these offerings is that the pulse processing algorithms are implemented in hardware (typically an FPGA or high performance DSP chip). However this hardware approach is expensive, and it's hard to tailor for a specific detector and application.To address these issues, researchers at UC Berkeley developed a solution that performs the pulse processing in software on a general purpose computer, using digital signal processing techniques. The only required hardware is a general purpose, high speed analog to digital converter that's capable of streaming the digitized detector preamplifier signal into computer memory without gaps. The Berkeley approach is agnostic to the hardware, and is implemented in such a way as to accommodate various hardware front-ends. For example, a Berkeley implementation uses the PicoScope 3000 and 5000 series USB3 oscilloscopes as the hardware front-end. That setup has been used to process the signal from a number of semiconductor and scintillator detectors, with results that are comparable to analog and hardware digital pulse processors.In comparison to current hardware solutions, this new software solution is much less expensive, and much more easily configurable. More specifically, the properties of the digital pulse shaping filter, trigger criteria, methods for estimating the pulse parameters, and formatting/filtering of the output data can be adjusted and tuned by writing simple C/C++ code.

Compositions and Methods of Isothermal Nucleic Acid Detection

An improved method for isothermal nucleic acid detection based on a loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique that can be broadly applied for nucleic acid diagnostics.LAMP is an isothermal amplification method that amplifies DNA or RNA. This iteration of LAMP allows for the integration of any short DNA sequence, including tags, restriction enzyme sites, or promoters, into an isothermally amplified amplicon. The technique presented by the inventors allows for the insertion of sequence tags up to 35 nt into the flanking regions of the LAMP amplicon using the forward and backward inner primers (FIP and BIP), and loop primers. The inventors have demonstrated insertion of sequence fragments into the 5’ and middle regions of the FIP and BIP primers, and the 5’ region of the loop primers. In some embodiments, the sequence tag comprises a T7 RNA polymerase promoter, which is then incorporated into the LAMP amplicon (termed RT-LAMP/T7). With the addition of T7 polymerase, the amplicon can be in vitro transcribed, leading to additional amplification of the target molecule into an RNA substrate. This improves the efficiency of the amplification reaction and enables substrate conversion into different nucleic acid types.In other embodiments, the amplified RNA sequence can be detected by CRISPR enzymes, such as RNA-targeting Cas13 systems. 

Novel Reflective Microscope Objective Lens For All Colors

The researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have developed a microscopic lens, made entirely of reflective curved surface, where all the light wavelengths are focused at the same time for better resolution and larger field view of the image.

Composition and Methods of a Nuclease Chain Reaction for Nucleic Acid Detection

This invention leverages the nuclease activity of CRISPR proteins for the direct, sensitive detection of specific nucleic acid sequences. This all-in-one detection modality includes an internal Nuclease Chain Reaction (NCR), which possesses an amplifying, feed-forward loop to generate an exponential signal upon detection of a target nucleic acid.Cas13 or Cas12 enzymes can be programmed with a guide RNA that recognizes a desired target sequence, activating a non-specific RNase or DNase activity. This can be used to release a detectable label. On its own, this approach is inherently limited in sensitivity and current methods require an amplification of genetic material before CRISPR-base detection. 

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

A Wearable Platform for In-Situ Analysis of Hormones

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a highly sensitive, wearable hormone monitoring platform.

Crosslinkable Polymer Coating Prevents Bacterial Infection on Implant Surface

UCLA researchers in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery have developed a polymer implant coating that mitigates bacterial infections on the implant surface.

Method and Apparatus for Movement Therapy Gaming System

Rehabilitation therapy, while an important tool for the long term recovery of patients affected by brain injury or disease, is expensive and requires one-on-one attention from a certified healthcare professional. UCI researchers have developed a computer-based system that provides arm movement therapy for patients. The system allows patients to independently practice hand and arm movements, improving therapeutic outcomes, while reducing hospital visits and cost for both patients and healthcare providers.

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