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3D Microscale Anisotropic Metamaterials for Rotation Sensing

Technology #20170300

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3D InclinometerAnisotropicSplit Ring ResonatorTriaxial
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Researchers
Jeong-Hyun Cho, PhD
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
External Link (ece.umn.edu)
Managed By
Kevin Nickels
Technology Licensing Officer 612-625-7289
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed
Publications
Three-Dimensional Anisotropic Metamaterials as Triaxial Optical Inclinometers
Nature.com Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 2680; 02 June 2017, Vol 7, Article number: 2680; 02 June 2017

Senses Rotations along Three Axes Simultaneously

A 3-dimensional metamaterial for orientation sensing features a perfectly anisotropic transmission response and can sense rotations along all three axes simultaneously. The technology, made from biocompatible materials, consists of micro-cubes patterned with split-ring resonators (SRRs). The sensor consists of a polymer cube with a gold patterned array of split ring resonators patterned on each side. The resonators on each face of the 3D microscale cube are patterned in different sizes and at a tilt, so the arrays do not couple to each other. This intentional patterning achieves unique optical properties. The three-axis micro inclinometer (or gyro) could be integrated into a sensor package and used as an attitude sensor for micro-robotics or nanosatellites. It may sense rotation rates far exceeding limitations of current MEMs IMUs.

3D Split-Ring Resonator Senses Rotations from 0° to 360°

Traditional split-ring resonators (SRRs) are semi-isotropic, leading to 180 degree ambiguity in sensor orientation. Moreover, 2D resonators require three separate sensors for measuring rotation about the x, y, and z axes, which can create interference in their waveform. This technology is an optical inclinometer with 3D anisotropic SRR structures defined on a polymeric cube. The anisotropic 3D design overcomes the limited range of 2D SRR structures and enables the SRR to remotely sense rotations from 0° to 360° along all three axes. Adding a different tilt angle to the patterning of the resonators on each axis suppresses interference between x, y, and z resonators.

BENEFITS AND FEATURES:

  • Perfectly anisotropic transmission response
  • Senses rotations from 0° to 360°
  • Faster speed: Rotation rates far exceed limitations of current MEMs IMUs
  • Easy, scalable and inexpensive fabrication
  • Small size and remote detection
  • Triaxial measurements

APPLICATIONS:

  • Small, lightweight rotation sensors
  • Low on-chip power or remotely monitored sensors
  • Angular sensor for micro-robot
  • Nanosat attitude sensor for satellite or drones
  • Magnetometer
  • Star tracker
  • GPS
  • Inclinometer
  • Rotation sensor
  • Gyroscope
  • Navigation systems or small scale devices
  • Micro-robotics or nanosatellites
  • Medical microbot guidance systems
  • On-chip power saving
  • Measuring extremely high and low angular velocity

Phase of Development – Prototype device fabricated; isotropic resonant response measured

Interested in Licensing?
The University relies on industry partners to scale up technologies to large enough production capacity for commercial purposes. The license is available for this technology and would be for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the issued patents. Please contact Kevin Nickels to share your business needs and technical interest in this technology and if you are interested in licensing the technology for further research and development.