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Sensor escalable para medir fuerzas muy pequeñas basado en osciladores no lineales que vence las limitaciones convencionales de rango dinámico

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOCH20170509001
Publicado:
23/05/2017
Caducidad:
23/05/2018
Resumen:
Una universidad suiza ofrece un sensor para medir fuerzas pequeñas. Este sensor se basa en un oscilador paramétrico no lineal característico y su función de respuesta. Las ventajas de la tecnología incluyen la medición de fuerzas pequeñas de 10^-21 Newton, calibración lineal del sensor y diferentes tipos de implementación. El sensor encuentra aplicación en detección de masa, caracterización de circuitos eléctricos y detección de umbrales de energía. La universidad busca socios con el fin de establecer acuerdos de licencia para lanzar la tecnología al mercado.

Details

Tittle:
Licensing a scalable sensor for measuring very small forces, using non-linear oscillators to overcome traditional dynamic range limitations.
Summary:
A Swiss university of technology offers a sensor for measurement of small forces based on a non-linear parametric oscillator characteristic and its response function.
Benefits of the invention are measurement of small forces down to 10^-21 Newton, linear calibration of the sensor, various types of implementation.
Applications include mass sensing, electric circuit characterization -Y- energy threshold detection.
Licensing agreement partners for introduction to market are sought.
Description:
Background:
The detection limits of force meters have been pushed further by advances in the fabrication of sensors based on tiny mechanical resonators. As a rule, smaller resonators provide improved sensitivity. However, miniaturization can be problematic because it leads to increased non-linearities which limit the dynamic range of a sensor.

Invention:
To overcome these non-linearities, a model for the response function of a non-linear parametric oscillator was studied and developed. The response function is the amplitude to which the parametric oscillator is excited by an oscillating driving force. In this case the driving force is the unknown physical quantity which is measured.
It is a peculiarity of the nonlinear parametric oscillator to produce instabilities in its response function, visible as a dip in its amplitude (see Fig.1), when the frequency of the driving force is close to the natural frequency of the oscillator (unlike a normal harmonic oscillator). The model presented here predicts that the frequency at which the dip occurs moves linearly with the size of the driving force. In practice, this technology allows a measurement by sweeping the driving frequency over a small frequency window as shown in fig. 1. The sensor is easily calibrated with known driving forces.

Proof-of-concept was established with a 1-m-sized parametric oscillator consisting of a guitar string. The parametric force is a piezo crystal pulling at one end of the string, keeping the string in vibration. The unkown driving force is applied to the side of the string, like striking the string of a guitar, but in the form of a magnetic field which periodically switches on and off.
The theory behind the system is applicable to smaller dimensions, which means that the system itself can theoretically be scaled down to the size of nanotubes without encountering any dynamic range limitation allowing the measurement of subatto- (10^-18) and zepto (10^-21) Newton forces.

An industrial partner is sought, who has an R-Y-D facility and is interested in licensing the technology. It is the task of the industrial partner to develop a market-ready product.

In order to grasp the full potential of the technology a research collaboration could be envisioned with the industrial partner. In this way the inventors can help with the knowledge transfer and potentially with the customization of the product.

In Figure1: Experimental demonstration of the force sensing method. A small force (black) is applied to a non-linear parametric oscillator (the sensor) and swept over the shown frequency window. The sharp dip feature is a manifestation of the sensor´s non-linearities and applied force. Decreasing the force (red) results in a shifted dip position.
Advantages and Innovations:
- overcomes traditional dynamic range limitations
- high sensitivity, down to subatto Newton
- linear calibration
- can be implemented with various sensor systems
- scalable system and method
Stage of Development:
Available for demonstration
IPs:
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
EU

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The specific area of activity of the partner:
Manufacturer of sensing devices for small forces, which can be AC force sensing, electric circuit characterization, mass sensing, energy threshold detection and other.

The tasks to be performed by the partner sought:
The industrial partner will license the technology, develop a market-ready product and introduce the product to the market.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
University
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
No
Languages Spoken:
English
German

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
05003 Física
01002007 Nanotechnologies related to electronics & microelectronics
09001009 Tecnología de sensores relacionada con la realización de medidas
09001004 Tecnología eléctrica relacionada con la realización de medidas
09001005 Tecnología mecánica relacionada con la realización de medidas