Electronics & Sensors

electronics and sensors
Low-Cost, Disposable Device for Manufacture Car T-Cells for Cancer Therapy (RFT-538)

Scientists at NDSU have developed a new device for a scalable, biomanufacturing platform for the production of CAR-modified T-cells while eliminating on-target/off-tumor toxicity and decreasing the current production cost by 500 times (per treatment).  The technology relates to a device to produce modified T-cells comprising a first chamber for proliferating a population of T-cells and a second chamber for modifying the T-cells to express a desired T-cell receptor antigen.  The modified CAR T-cells can be used to treat cancer.

Identification of Weeds, Herbicide Resistance and Herbicide Injury with UAS_Based Remote Sensing (RFT-535)

Scientists at NDSU have developed a method for determining the glyphosate sensitivity of plants in a plot comprising obtaining a thermal image of the plot to determine the amount of heat emission at a time after application of glyphosate and correlating the heat emission to the level of glyphosate sensitivity. Combined with visible imaging, the species identification of the weeds as well as their response to glyphosate treatment can be determined. The method allows determination of glyphosate susceptibility much earlier than visual determination of actual glyphosate injury to the weeds. Imaging can be completed using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for rapid and frequent determination of the glyphosate effect, diagnosis and retreatment.

Double Extra-Aortic Counterpropulsion Device (RFT-532)

Scientists at NDSU have developed a double extra-aortic cuff to treat heart failure.  Counterpulsation devices (CPDs) have been the most widely used mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices for treating heart failure (HF) patients. However, these CPDs provide insufficient cardiac output (CO) to meet the needs of New York Health Association (NYHA) ambulatory class IV HF patients. During extra-aortic CPD deflation, retrograde flow may result that reduces the forward kinetic energy (KE) of the aortic flow (AOF) which reduces the potential improvement in CO. To enhance the physiological benefits extra-aortic CPDs we have designed a non-blood contacting extra-aortic two-segmented CPD that can optimize the KE of the AOF and provide additional increase CO to patients’ lives. 

Photoinitiators that Trigger Extremely Rapid and Efficient Polymer Synthesis using UV or Visible Light (RFT-530)

NDSU researchers have developed a range of Type I, Type II, and acidic photoinitiators, which provide polymerization of polyacrylate with good efficiency at low concentrations.  The synthesis of photoinitiators is efficient using routine chemistry, and their structures are easily manipulated to tune for low energy (including visible) light wavelengths.  These photoinitiators are each triggered by a very narrow and easily defined wavelength, making timing of polymerization easy to control (and avoiding inadvertent triggering of the reaction).  The photoinitiators may be produced from either bio-based or petroleum-based starting materials, including such readily available materials as vanillin.

Renewable and Sustainable Biomass Derived Photodegradable Polymers (RFT-529)

Worldwide efforts have been devoted to converting biomass into chemicals due to the high abundance, low cost, and renewability. Carbohydrates are of particular interest as one of its derivatives, FDCA, is one of the top 14 bio-based chemicals that can be used as a replacement in the synthesis of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Though made from renewable resources, recyclability of the polymers has remained an issue. Sivaguru et al addressed this through the use of a nitrobenzyl phototrigger unit backbone which allows for controlled photodegradation, via UV irradiation, of biomass-derived polymers. 

Smart Coating for Corrosion Mitigation in Metallic Structures (RFT-509)

Though corrosion is well understood in terms of mechanisms and methods of control, it still accounts for a notable number of failures in pipelines buried or on the ground. This is due to a large number of potential complications such as varying soil properties along the pipeline and over time, local cracks on the soft coating surface, separation of coating from the pipeline surface, and corrosive environments. To address this, Azarmi et al developed smart coatings which can both prevent and monitor corrosion of steel through the use of a hard coating deposited by thermal spraying with embedded Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors.

Continuous Synthesis of Si Nano-Crystals using Liquid Silanes (RFT-454)

Tunable band-gap of silicon nano-crystals (Si-NCs) presents applications such as light emitting diodes, broad-band absorber in solar cells and many more. By engineering the size, crystallinity, surface state (functionalized group) the properties of Si-NCs can be designed to offer variety of opto-electronic properties. Syntheses of freestanding Si-NCs adopt either a low-pressure plasma process with mono-silane or cumbersome chemical reduction processes; these have limited throughput and require additional processing to make them stable. Injection of liquid hydrosilane composition and subsequent pyrolysis allows continuous synthesis of few nm to sub-micron sized particles, with the ability to design the morphology (amorphous, intermediate to crystalline) and surface chemistry (passivation). In addition, by sequential injection of the liquid hydrosilane composition synthesis of core-shell nanoparticles of Si is possible. Synthesis of organic-inorganic photoluminescent hybrid nanomaterials with tunable emission is feasible with this technology.

Silicon Thin Films with Embedded Heteroatoms (RFT-449)

Scientists at NDSU have discovered methods for forming silicon thin films and structures with incorporated metals, non-metals, and combinations thereof. The precursor compositions useful in such methods are generally liquid at ambient temperature and are comprised of liquid silane(s) and metal and/or non-metal source(s). The compositions may be processed by printing, coating, or spraying onto a substrate and subjected to UV, thermal, IR, and/or laser treatment to form silicon films or structures with embedded heteroatom(s). These compositions allow for the control of dopant level prior to film processing allowing for very high doping levels with minimal out-diffusion. The available dopants are not highly toxic (as is the case for phosphine and diborane) and provide a means for film deposition without the use of expensive vacuum chambers.

Roll-to-Roll Synthesis of Silicon Thin Films from Liquid Silanes (RFT-447)

Silicon thin films are fundamental in solar and microelectronic industries, and are presently obtained using expensive low-pressure plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using gaseous silanes despite of its low precursor utilization efficiency. Instability and low vapor-pressure of liquid hydrosilanes have limited their use in the semiconductor industries for longtime. Researchers at NDSU have developed a process to synthesis silicon thin films from liquid hydrosilane (Si6H12) at ambient pressure in a roll-to-roll method using atmospheric pressure aerosol assisted chemical vapor deposition (AA-APCVD) that has higher deposition rates compared to the state-of-the-art PECVD. Solubility of solid dopants in the liquid hydrosilane facilitate the deposition of degenerately doped (n & p –type) Si thin films opposed to compressed toxic phosphine and borane gases used in other techniques. Low decomposition temperature (higher activation energy) of cyclohexasilane (Si6H12), a liquid hydrosilane, benefits for a new plasma-free process for the synthesis of silicon nitride films and Si nanowires (with suitable catalyst) at temperatures as low as 350 oC using the AA-APCVD, readily adoptable for large-scale roll-to-roll continuous manufacturing. Liquid hydrosilane compositions consisting of nanomaterials enable hybrid Si films with embedded nanomaterials that have applications in energy harvesting and light emitting devices.

Biodegradable Soil Sensors that can be "Planted" with a Seed Mixture (RFT-428)

Scientists working at NDSU are developing biodegradable sensors capable of directly monitoring and reporting the soil environment in which they are placed. The sensors are constructed by using NDSU’s patent-pending “direct write” electronic printing techniques to print circuit and antenna patterns directly onto renewable, bio-based materials. The circuit patterns are printed with trace amounts of metallic materials such as aluminum that are safe for the soil when the sensors naturally biodegrade over time.

Contactless Laser-Assisted Placement of Discrete Electronic Components (RFT-370)

Scientists working at North Dakota State University (NDSU) have discovered a method for the contactless laser-assisted assembly of discrete components such as ultra-thin, ultra-small semiconductor dies and MEMS components onto rigid and flexible substrates. Laser-direct write techniques are an enabling technology for the ever-decreasing scale of microelectronic devices. Specifically, Laser Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) techniques show promise as a disruptive technology which will enable the placement of components smaller than what conventional pick-and-place techniques are capable of today. NDSU’s Thermo-Mechanical Selective Laser Assisted Die Transfer (tmSLADT) process is an application of the unique blistering behavior of polyimide film when irradiated by low energy focused ultraviolet laser pulses. The tmSLADT process has the potential to take its place as the next generation LIFT technique, with distinct advantages over previously studied ablative and thermal releasing techniques. Experimental results studying transfer precision indicate this non-optimized die transfer process compares with, and may exceed, the placement precision of current assembly techniques.

Micro Cold Spray Enables Fine Features without the Heat (RFT-336)

Scientists working at NDSU have designed a novel cold spray tool and process that is able to direct write metallic lines using metallic powder precursors in small, well defined areas. This can be done at high deposition rates with features as small as 10 microns possible.

Electrospinning Process and Compositions for High Volume Silicon Nanowire Production (RFT-311)

North Dakota State University (NDSU) has developed unique synthetic routes to a novel liquid silicon precursor, cyclohexasilane (Si6H12), which is converted to silicon nanowires by electrospinning. Readily purified by distillation, the liquid nature of Si6H12 allows the development of a high-volume electrospinning route for silicon nanowire production. Because the spun wires convert to amorphous silicon at relatively low temperatures, formation of excessive surface oxide and carbide phases can be avoided which would otherwise negatively affect capacity and rate capabilities. The technology can be used in the development of anodes for use in next-generation lithium ion batteries, in which the traditional carbon-based anode is replaced with a silicon-based anode for a dramatic increase in capacity (theoretically over 1100% increase in capacity).

Asynchronous Cellular Automaton Provides Benefits Over Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (RFT-256)

North Dakota State University scientists have created a unique asynchronous cellular automaton which is believed to have several distinct advantages over currently available field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These cellular automata are easily scaled from small circuits to large computing arrays.

Novel "Carrier Gas" Sensitizers for Improved Laser Ablation Performance of Coating Films (RFT-178)

NDSU inventors have developed polymer films and additives that can be used in polymer films such as polyol photosensitizers, carrier gas UV laser ablation sensitizers and other additives that can be used in preparation of such carrier films.

Chromophore and Polymer Capable of Detecting the Presence of Various Neurotoxins (RFT-160/161)

This is a dual-use technology that was initially reported under the spin electronics program funded by Department of Defense. The "spintronics" polymer is being tested for use in applications such as increased electronic or computer memory. However, this same material was also used by CNSE in sensor tests. The material provides an optical alert when it comes in contact with metallic poison such as insecticides that are in the same family as nerve gas and neurotoxins.

Radiation-Curable Sensitizers for Improved Laser Ablation Performance (RFT-153)

These inventions pertain to unsaturated polyester polymer compositions containing monomer molecules that sensitize the resulting polymer coating/film to ablation (i.e., removal of film material) by exposure to laser radiation. This technology is of potential value to parties in the semi-conductor and electronic manufacturing industries.

Organometallic Single Source Precursors for Aluminum Oxide & Inorganic Coatings (RFT-65)

A new family of organometallic compounds was developed. These compounds contain a metal such as aluminum and a group 16 element such as oxygen in a stoichiometric ratio of 2:3 and can be decomposed to produce an inorganic compound such as A1203 (aluminum oxide), eliminating the organic portion of the original compound. Aluminum oxide is the only material developed to date under this program, although it may be expanded to other very useful compounds.

On-The-Go Sensor Reads Sugar Content During Harvest (RFT-44)

Fast, reliable, nondestructive means of measuring sugar content of sugar beets during harvest.

Deposition of Amorphous Silicon Films and Printed, Flexible Electronic Circuits (RFT-39)

This technology involves a process of producing compounds containing a tetra-dedachloro-cyclohexa-silane dianion. They are prepared by contacting trichlorosilane with a reagent composition comprising a tertiary polyamine. The resulting tetradecachlorocyclohexasilane dianion can be chemically reduced to cyclohexasilane, a compound useful in the deposition of amorphous silicon films. One potential application involves use as a feedstock material for semiconductor wafers and photovoltaics.

Optical Sensor for Analyzing a Stream of an Agricultural Product to Determine its Makeup (RFT-30)

An optical sensor for use in measuring constituents of an agricultural product. An optical sensing window passes a stream of the agricultural product, and a radiation source irradiates the stream as it passes through the optical sensing window. A receiver receives radiation transmitted through the stream and converts it into a corresponding electrical signal using a spectrometer. The electrical signal is digitized to produce a series of data points corresponding to particular wavelengths. A processor normalizes the data points using a reference value in order to generate processed data points that can be used to predict a constituent content of the agricultural product.