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FY2019 Patents

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) places emphasis on Lab-to-market (L2M) or transfer of NIST intellectual property - original technologies, inventions, and methods (IP) to business and industry. Below is a list of FY 19 patents. A complete list of NIST patents is available for review at the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC):

Please contact our Senior Patent Officer, donald.archer [at] (Dr. Donald Archer), to inquire about licensing NIST patents.


Patent Number: 10,174,981

Description: The primary function of a domestic refrigerating appliance is to maintain a low temperature within a cabinet.  The desired set temperature is generally maintained by cycling the appliance's refrigeration system (compressor, fans, etc.) on and off.  Automatic icemakers are commonly installed in low temperature compartments or sub-compartments of domestic refrigerating appliances in the United States.  They are directly connected to a source of water from which they produce ice and store it in a low temperature bin.  Their operation consists of cycling a series of steps and they operate independently from the refrigerating appliance's cycle.  Our invention provides a process for synchronizing these cycles in a way that maximizes the efficiency of these systems when they operate simultaneously.

FLC Link:

Inventor: David Yashar

Expiration Date: 7/31/2036



Patent Number: 10,152,666

Description: This invention provides for a new and useful metrology to enable counterfeit detection system capable of uniquely marking items by encoding information in their physical structure at the nanoscale. The system depends on rapidly encoding information in the physical structure of an object and to rapidly read such information with arrays of near-field coupled probes. Core to this invention are the techniques to create nanoscale quick-read codes through deterministic placement of electromagnetically active dopant clusters, and methods to measure the size and electrical activity of each cluster. The Initial demonstrations are on silicon wafers, but such techniques will be applicable to all manufactured products including pharmaceuticals.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Yaw S. Obeng, Joseph J. Kopanski, and Jung-Joon Ahn

Expiration Date: 1/17/2036



Patent Number: 10,261,032

Description: A noncontact resonameter includes: a resonator to: produce an excitation signal including a field; subject a sample to the excitation signal; produce a first resonator signal in a presence of the sample and the excitation signal, the first resonator signal including: a first quality factor of the resonator; a first resonance frequency of the resonator; or a combination thereof, the first resonator signal occurring in an absence of contact between the sample and the resonator; and produce a second resonator signal in a presence of the excitation signal and an absence of the sample, the second resonator signal including: a second quality factor of the resonator; a second resonance frequency of the resonator; or a combination thereof; a circuit in electrical communication with the resonator to receive the first resonator signal and the second resonator signal; and a continuous feeder to: provide the sample proximate to the resonator; dispose the sample intermediately in the field of the excitation signal during production of the first resonator signal; remove the sample from the resonator; and manipulate a position of the sample relative to the resonator in a continuous motion and in an absence of contact between the sample and the resonator.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Jan Obrzut, Nathan D. Orloff, Christian J. Long

Expiration Date: 1/19/2037



Patent Number: 10,247,814


The new NIST detector senses very small phase shifts in a highly balanced microwave bridge.  An electric field optimized microwave probe, in close proximity to a sample, serves to perturb the degree of bridge balance due to a change in effective dielectric constant of the sample.  The major innovation associated with the detector centers on the ability to balance the bridge to an extremely fine degree.  The detector can be used to greatly increase the sensitivity of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).  The detector can be used to greatly increase the sensitivity and temporal resolution of thermometry measurements.  In all cases, the probe dimensions define the spatial resolution and can be essentially arbitrary in geometry.  For example, the probe can be made longer to increase the overall sensitivity.  If spatial resolution is desired, the probe can be made smaller.  Since the measurement is non-contact, the high sensitivity lends itself quite nicely to scanned probe measurements.  The probe can be fabricated using standard silicon processing technology to produce low cost disposable probes and can greatly improve the repeatability of the measurement and reduce cross contamination.

In general, the strength of this detector invention is its ability to detect extremely minute changes in microwave phase shift.  Since this phase shift is directly proportional to sample temperature change, the detector can be used to greatly improve the sensitivity and utility of a wide variety of conventional measurement techniques.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Kin P. Cheung, Jason T Ryan and Jason Campbell

Expiration Date: 8/26/2037



Patent Number: 10,127,393

Description: The Policy Machine is an access control framework that served as the basis for the development of an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS – the central U.S. forum dedicated to creating technology standards for the next generation of innovation) standards call the Next Generation Access Control (NGAC). 

NGAC consists of:

  • A standard set of data elements and relations that can be configured to express arbitrary access control policies in support of a wide variety of data services and applications;
  • A generic set of operations that include read, write, operations that can be performed on resource data, and administrative operations for configuring (creating and deleting) the data elements and relations that represent policies; and
  • A standard set of functions for computing access control decisions and enforcing policy over user access requests to perform read/write and its administrative operations

NGAC is a flexible access control framework in that it can be molded in support of combinations of diverse access control policies.  NGAC can often provide much of the same data service functionality that is provided by existing application products and system utilities, such as file management, workflow, and internal messaging and with similar performance.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Joshua Roberts, Gopi Katwala, David Ferraiolo, Serban Gavrila

Expiration Date: 4/28/2037



Patent Number: 10,241,149

Description: The massively parallel reliability (MPR) system is a measurement platform where thousands of semiconductor devices are tested for long term reliability.  The system is designed to perform some of the standard reliability tests for certain degradation mechanisms in semiconductor devices.  Conventionally, these tests require specific equipment dedicated for certain measurement conditions, which makes the reliability testing costly, space and time consuming, and often lacking the statistical accuracy needed for rigorous reliability predictions.  The MPR system provides a new compact solution for several aspects of semiconductor device reliability testing.  The system itself (Figure 1 below) is a rotating circular tray (lazy Suzan) that contains thirty testing stations, each with independent control.  The center of the system is a fixed platform where the center command computer is placed.  Attached to the fixed platform is a microscope that focuses on the loading position.  Thus, the operation is such that the silicon wafers are mounted onto the test station under the microscope in the loading position.  The silicon wafer is then put on electrical contact with the probe card placed on the top of its testing station.  The probe card is attached to electronic cards that control the experiment conditions and send the collected data to the central computer.  Once the given station is running, the user rotates the outer ring of the platform to put the next station under the loading position where a second set of conditions can be run.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Kin Cheung

Expiration Date: 1/16/2037



Patent Number: 10,228,490

Description: The current practice for detecting methane leaks is still in its infancy. There are several environmental regulations that have driven the development of Forward-looking Infrared (FLIR) camercas, thermographic cameras that sense infrared radiation, for detection of Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), a category that includes methane. These FLIR camericas are the principle means for detecting leaks but suffer from several problems. FLIR cameras are expensive, require a human operator, and don't provide quantitative data on leak rate. This last point is critical since it means that no one knows how much methane is escaping. Managers aren't clear on how much company resources to dedicate to leak reduction since they don't know how much revenue they are losing.

Dual frequency comb spectrometers (DCS) are a new and unique measurement tool recently demonstrated over kilometer-scale outdoor paths for sensitive, accurate measurements of multiple trace gases, including methane. By measuring the unique absorption signature of many gas species simultaneously and with no distortion, these devices can determine the individual gas concentrations with high precision, stability, and without calibration between instruments or over time. DCS enables leak detection in gas fields by monitoring multiple beam paths across the field from a single centralized instrument. Leaks create small differences in the measured methane enhancement between the different beam paths,which are detected and coupled with high resolution meteorological simulations to locate and quantify the leak.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Gregory Rieker, Ian Coddingtion, Nathan R. Newbury, Kuldeep R. Prasad, Anna Karion

Expiration Date: 5/20/2036



Patent Number: 10,156,771

Description: This invention is a light source that provides high-power (1W to 5W), narrow line-width (<1 nm), quasi-continuous wave (80 MHz) light that can be tuned in wavelength from 340 nm to 2300 nm. See figure below. The light source is fully automated, solid state, and fits on a transportable table top.  The light source is an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based on a lithium triborate (LBO) crystal pumped by a high power (20 W), 532 nm laser.  By adjusting the temperature of the LBO crystal, the length of the optical cavity and the angle of prisms in the cavity, a wide range of wavelengths is obtained. The wavelength range is extended by using a bismuth borate (BiBO) frequency doubling crystal. We developed the system to enable the spectral responsivity calibration of large aperture optical instruments, in particular earth-observing satellite sensors. This system allows replacement of a suite of lasers used to span the spectral range (only some of which are automated) with a single fully automated system.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Keith R. Lykke, Steven W. Brown, John T. Woodward

Expiration Date: 11/22/2036



Patent Number: 10,247,536

Description: A new method has been developed for estimating the thermal expansion of a measurement cable (metallic wire or ceramic fiber thread) that is placed in a high temperature environment with an unknown temperature profile and connected to a moving target. This method is to deploy a second measurement cable with a different thermal expansion coefficient in close proximity to the first cable (i.e. through the same thermal environment) and connected to the same target. If the thermal expansion coefficients of the materials are each linear with respect to temperature,
then the difference between the measured motion of each wire may be used to compensate for the thermal induced expansion of the wires. This method has provided a significant (>90%) reduction in the  uncertainty of measurements made with mechanical sensors (e.g. linear potentiometers) through high temperature environments.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Matthew S. Hoehler and Christopher Smith

Expiration Date: 11/16/2037



Patent Number: 10,175,150

Description: A new method has been developed for estimating the thermal expansion of an electrically conductive wire that is placed in a high temperature environment with an unknown temperature profile; i.e. a temperatme distribution that varies in location and time. The method is based on a simultaneous measurement of the elongation and electrical resistance in the wire. For selected materials, the electrical resistivity and the thermal expansion are nearly linearly dependent on temperature, aud can be related to each other without specific knowledge of the temperature profile to which the wire is exposed. This method has provided a significant (>90%) reduction in the uncertainty of displacement measurements made with mechanical sensors (e.g. linear potentiometers) through high temperature environments.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Matthew S. Hoehler and Christopher Smith

Expiration Date: 6/1/2037



Patent Number: 10,247,860

Description: Two parallel gold surfaces are separated by a thin gap filled with a compliant dielectric, air or vacuum. The lateral extent (less than about 500nm) and the shape of the gap, form a plasmonic resonator with frequency sensitive to the gap change resulting from mechanical deformation. This nanoscale device allows remote optical interrogation of local strain and mechanical motion, more sensitive and localized than Doppler vibrometry. When incorporated in MEMS, NEMS and composite materials, local strain or motion can be quantified in situ. The measurement of static as well as highly dynamic deformations (ultrasound and shock waves) is enabled.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Brian J. Roxworthy, Alexander J. Liddle, Vladimir Aksyuk

Expiration Date: 10/9/2037



Patent Number: 10,151,681


Optofluidics is the marriage of microfluidics and optical technology. The NIST optical flow meter provides on chip assessment of flow and heat transfer resulting in improvement in fluid metrology and advances in biological sensing. Most current pressure measurements rely on external pressure transducers. However, due to pressure dissipation and delays in transmission, it is difficult to accurately measure local pressure in a microfluidic chip using that approach. Our invention integrates the pressure sensor into the microfluidic chip and provides measurement of microscale forces (pressure). Accurately measuring flow rates is critical to various microfluidic applications such as droplet formation, particle sorting, flow cytometry and mixing.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Zeeshan Ahmed, Gregory A Cooksey

Expiration Date: 8/9/2037



Patent Number: 102,656,99

Description: Disclosed is a system, comprising a series of devices, for encapsulating and obtaining high­ resolution imaging and spectroscopic measurements of samples in a fluid (gas or liquid) environment in the transmission electron microscope (TEM).  The system comprises a nanofabricated chip which enables the fluid environment of interest to be separated from the vacuum of the TEM, and, in various embodiments, allows for fluid flow, mixing, heating, and the application of voltages for, e.g. electrochemical studies, and a holder, compatible with the TEM, that allows for the various inputs from the exterior of the TEM to be applied to the holder.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Glenn Emerson Holland, Martin Samuel Stavis, Alexander J. Liddle

Expiration Date: 7/22/2037



Patent Number: 10,379,038

Description: Providing a sample that includes nucleic-acid molecules of unknown size and concentration• Labeling the sample with a fluorescent dye such that the amount of dye labeling each nucleic-acid molecule is reliably proportional to the size of the moleculeo Measuring the unknown concentration of nucleic acid in the sampleo Passivating the surface of the reactor that will be used for labeling t1cie sample o Incubating the sample with fluorescent dye for an amount of time and at atemrerature that results i n homogeneous labeling of all nucleic-acid molecules inthe sample• Dispersing the sample in a suspension of fluorescent nanoparticles that have a negative surface charge and a distinct fluorescence spectrum from the dye-labeled nucleic-acid molecules• Placing the nucleic-acid molecules onto a charge-selective surface for wide-field imaging o A coverglass substrate with a high surface density of positive charge toselectively attract and bind the nucleic-acid molecules and nanoparticles and repel free dye molecules into solution• Orienting and positioning the imaging surface within the depth of field of the imaging system without perturbing the dye molecules labeling the nucleic-acidso Using a substrate holder that enables tip and tilt adjustment of the imaging surface with respect to the focal plane of the objective lenso Positioning the imaging surface within the focal plane of the objective lens using the fluorescence signal from the nanoparticles as feedback• Using a light-emitting diode to supply exciting radiation to many nanoparticles simultaneously over a wide field• Irradiating the sample to excite the fluorescent dye labeling the nucleic-acid moleculeso Using a light-emitting diode to supply exciting radiation to many single nucleic­ acid molecules simultaneously over a wide field• Detecting the radiation emitted by many single nucleic-acid molecules i n the sample with a wide-field imaging sensoro Using a complimentary-metal-oxide-semiconductor  imaging sensor to detect the radiationMoving the sample holder to detect emitted radiation from additional regions of the imaging surface that have not been exposed to exciting radiation• Determining the size of single nucleic-acid molecules in the sample based on a quantitative calibration between the intensity of detected radiation in arbitrary units and nucleic acid size in bases.o Image correction to account for non-uniformity  in the imaging sensor and the spatial distribution of the exciting radiation from the light-emitting diodeo Measuring the intensity of detected radiation from single nucleic-acid molecules in the acquired imageso Establishing a calibration between the intensity of detected radiation and nucleic­ acid molecule size using pure samples of single known sizes of nucleic-acid moleculeso Fitting an appropriate function to model the dependence of the coefficient of variation of the intensity of emitted radiation on nucleic-acid molecule sizeo Taking as an input to this model the measured size of single nucleic-acid molecules in the sample of nucleic-acid molecules of unknown sizeo Taking as the uncertainty on the measured size of single nucleic-acid molecules the output of the model functionMeasuring the size of nucleic-acid molecules is important in a variety of applications ra nging from criminal forensics to clinical diagnostics. The invention disclosed herein advances conventional methods and instruments used to size single nucleic-acid molecules and provides an unprecedented combination of limit of detection, throughput,  accuracy, precision, and repeatability.   The methods and apparatus can be used in clinical diagnostics. A more detailed discussion of the invention is provided in the Detailed Description.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Robert Craig Copeland, Martin Samuel Stavis

Expiration Date: 9/26/2037



Patent Number: 10381107

Description: A water-immersed nucleobase-functionalized  suspended atomically thin nanoribbon as an intrinsically selective device for ultra-fast and accurate nucleotide detection is proposed . The proposed device combines Watson-Crick selective base pairing with the ability of atomically thin membranes to flex and deflect substantially in response to sub­ nanonewton forces. The deflection events can be detected in several ways, including capacitive effect, conversion of anisotropic lattice strain to changes in an electricalcurrent at the nanoscale (e.g. in graphene), or via nanoscale piezoelectric effect (_e.g. in molybdenum disulfide or graphene oxide). The proposed approach can be applied to a variety of atomicall y thin materials, including non-covalently coated graphene and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).

FLC Link:

Inventor:  Alexander Smolyanitsky

Expiration Date: 10/26/2037



Patent Number: 10345249

Description: We describe a hardware and software system that allows pulses from one or more x-ray microcalorimeter x-ray detectors to be converted into a histogram of x-ray energies in real time. The system identifies and rejects pileup and other corrupted pulses to an arbitrary degree, filters the pulses for noise in an optimal way, and determines the pulse heights. Pulses from multiple absorbers are processed in parallel and combined to provide a single histogram of counts vs x-ray energy.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Stephen M. Thurgate, Terrance Jach

Expiration Date: 12/15/2037



Patent Number: 10161961

Description: Integrated photonics research and manufacturing requires a probe for in-line nondestructive optical testing of devices. Current optical probes require dedicated and large coupling areas in the photonic circuit, cannot provide sufficient control over the degree, location and direction of optical coupling, and/or are difficult to manufacture and suffer from sensitivity to mechanical vibration, making precision in-line testing of photonics difficult. We have invented and demonstrated a microfabricated optical probe for photonic devices overcoming these limitations and enabling such testing. The new probe can be batch fabricated at wafer scale and can be used with existing highly developed scanning probe testing instruments. 

FLC Link:

Inventor: Vladimir Aksyuk, Kartik Srinivasan and Thomas Michels

Expiration Date: 11/9/2037



Patent Number: 10261106

Description: A photonic probe for atomic force microscopy includes:  a cantilever including:  a tip; a wing in mechanical communication with the tip; an extension interposed between the tip and the wing to synchronously communicate motion of the tip with the wing; an optical resonator disposed proximate to the cantilever and that:  receives input light; and produces output light,  such that:  the cantilever is spaced by a gap distance from the optical resonator, wherein the gap distance varies as the cantilever moves relative to the optical resonator, and the output light differs from the input light in response to movement of the cantilever relative to the optical resonator; an optical waveguide in optical communication with the optical resonator and that:  provides the input light to the optical resonator; and receives the output light from the optical resonator.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Marcelo Davanco, Vladimir Aksyuk

Expiration Date: 10/31/2037



Patent Number: 10352837

Description: A mechanical sensor incorporating an optical cavity is used to provide a mass and/or force reference from a known or characterized circulating optical power in the optical cavity. The radiation pressure force in the optical cavity is used to actuate the mechanical sensor. The optical cavity in put laser power can be multiplied by a factor equal to the cavity finesse to determine the cavity circulating power, with the photon pressure force also increasing by a factor equal to the cavity finesse. The sensor is compact with all optics designed to be self­-aligning and optical mode selective. The sensor mechanics are designed to yield a highly directional mechanical force for mass or force calibration over a wide frequency range, allowing for both dynamic and static force measurement.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Felipe Guzman, Ryan B. Wagner, Jacob M. Taylor, and Gordon A. Shaw

Expiration Date: 12/21/2037



Patent Number: 10319556

Description: An ElectroMagnetic-Mechanical Pulser (“EMMP”) generates electron pulses at a continuously tunable rate between 100 MHz and 20-50 GHz, with energies up to 0.5 MeV, duty cycles up to 20%, and pulse widths between 100 fs and 10 ps. A dielectric-filled Traveling Wave Transmission Stripline (“TWTS”) that is terminated by an impedance-matching load such as a 50 ohm load imposes a transverse modulation on a continuous electron beam. The dielectric is configured such that the phase velocity of RF propagated through the TWTS matches a desired electron energy, which can be between 100 and 500 keV, thereby transferring electromagnetic energy to the electrons. The beam is then chopped into pulses by an adjustable aperture. Pulse dispersion arising from the modulation is minimized by a suppressing section that includes a mirror demodulating TWTS, so that the spatial and temporal coherence of the pulses is substantially identical to the input beam.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Jiaqi Qiu, Sergey Baryshev, June W Lau, Yimei Zhu

Expiration Date: 11/29/2037



Patent Number: 10382141

Description: A communication linker includes: a classical encoder; an optical transmitter; a receiver; a local oscillator in communication with the receiver and that: receives a feedback signal; and produces a displacement frequency, based on the feedback signal; a single photon detector in communication with the receiver and that: receives an optical signal from the receiver; and produces a single photon detector signal, based on the optical signal; a signal processor in communication with the single photon detector and that: receives the single photon detector signal from the single photon detector; produces the feedback signal, based on the single photon detector signal; and produces a decoded signal, based on the single photon detector signal, the decoded signal comprising a frequency of the feedback signal.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Sergey Vladimirovich Polyakov, Ivan Burenkov

Expiration Date: 7/12/2038



Patent Number: 10312568

Description: Coplanar waveguides (CPWs) with a continuous, self-aligned gap between the center trace and the ground plane are described with the additional functionality that a bridge between the two grounds is left as a crossover. The width of the gap can be made in the lOO's of nm range using optical lithograpy, resulting in a high capacitance/unit length. This can significantly counteract the effect of high impedance due to the kinetic inductance of thin, narrow superconducting center traces. This improves yield, lowers the total impedance of the CPW, thereby making it easier to fabricate and impedance match. Furthermore, a crossover that connects the ground planes on either side of the center trace can be made at the same time as ground plane is defined and the sacrificial, self-aligned mask is removed. The centerline of the CPW is first defined using a a sacrificial, self­ aligned hard mask, typically SiOx. There is a small undercut at the edges of the mask.The mask is left in place while the ground plane is deposited. The ground plane is then opened up, except where a ground plane crossover of the center trace is desired, above the mask with an etch process. The mask is removed, leaving only the centerline and the ground plane material with the self-aligned gap between them. Crossovers are formed by leaving the ground plane metal above the centerline where the crossover is desired.

FLC Link:

Inventor: David Pappas

Expiration Date: 12/14/2037



Patent Number: 10126255

Description: A detection pixel includes a material that is chosen so that its (averaged) atomic number density leads to the Compton process being the dominant scattering mechanism in response to incident photons, leading to production of Compton electrons with sufficient number and kinetic energy to produce an electric or magnetic response in the material. The incident photon and Compton electrons each have a characteristic travel distance in the material, and the detection pixel has at least one dimension that is selected according to a range defined by these characteristic travel distances. The detection pixels may be arranged in an array for imaging.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Rachel Cannara, Fred Sharifi, Alex Smolyanitsky

Expiration Date: 1/27/2037



Patent Number: 10236433

Description: A thermal impedance amplifier includes: a resistive layer including: a resistance member; a first electrode in electrical communication with the resistance member; and a second electrode in electrical communication with the resistance member; a switch layer opposing the resistive layer and including: a switch member; a first switch electrode in electrical communication with the switch member; and a second switch electrode in electrical communication with the switch member, the switch member: switching from a first resistance to a second resistance in response to receiving phonons from the resistance member, being superconductive at the first resistance, and producing an amplified voltage in response to being at the second resistance; and a thermal conductor interposed between the resistance member and the switch member.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Adam McCaughan, Varun Verma, Sonia Buckley, Sae Woo Nam

Expiration Date: 1/23/2038



Patent Number: 10345226

Description: A spectrum adjuster produces a pure analyte spectrum and includes: a dynamic opacity optic that receives input light, receives an adjustment signal, produces primary adjusted light, and produces secondary adjusted light from the input light based on the adjustment signal; a light source in optical communication with the dynamic opacity optic; a detector in optical communication with the dynamic opacity optic and that receives transmitted light from the sample and produces a transmitted light signal based on an amount of transmitted light received; and an adjustment controller that receives the transmitted light signal, produces the adjustment signal, and communicates the adjustment signal to the dynamic opacity optic.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Young Jong Lee

Expiration Date: 10/19/2038



Patent Number: 10408672

Description: This invention de3scribes a device and method to help proctect and given avalanche photo diode (APD) from excessive light or photon counts without modification to the APD itself or the associated power for the APD.  High photon count rate to a reference frequency and rapidly shutting down the APD if a threshold is exceeded.  The design can also be interfaced with a laser interlock / labe warning system in which a laser shutter can isolate the APD from an excessive source.

FLC Link:

Inventor: David M. Rutter, Alan H. Band

Expiration Date: 4/27/2038



Patent Number: 10319556

Description: An ElectroMagnetic-Mechanical Pulser (“EMMP”) generates electron pulses at a continuously tunable rate between 100 MHz and 20-50 GHz, with energies up to 0.5 MeV, duty cycles up to 20%, and pulse widths between 100 fs and 10 ps. A dielectric-filled Traveling Wave Transmission Stripline (“TWTS”) that is terminated by an impedance-matching load such as a 50 ohm load imposes a transverse modulation on a continuous electron beam. The dielectric is configured such that the phase velocity of RF propagated through the TWTS matches a desired electron energy, which can be between 100 and 500 keV, thereby transferring electromagnetic energy to the electrons. The beam is then chopped into pulses by an adjustable aperture. Pulse dispersion arising from the modulation is minimized by a suppressing section that includes a mirror demodulating TWTS, so that the spatial and temporal coherence of the pulses is substantially identical to the input beam.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Jiaqi Qiu, Sergey V Baryshev, June W Lau, Yimei Zhu

Expiration Date: 11/29/2037



Patent Number: 10408741

Description: An optical phantom produces a time-resolved diffuse reflectance spectrum and includes: a light source; a spatial light modulator; and an optical delay line including optical fibers of different length that produce different time-of-flight distributions, such that different time-of-flight distributions are combined and produce phantom light having the time-resolved diffuse reflectance spectrum.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Jeeseong Hwang, Heidrun Wabnitz

Expiration Date: 5/31/2038



Patent Number: 10389514

Description: An optical time distributor includes: a master clock including: a master comb; a transfer comb; and a free-space optical terminal; and a remote clock in optical communication with the master clock via a free space link and including: a remote comb that produces: a remote clock coherent optical pulse train output; a remote coherent optical pulse train; a free-space optical terminal in optical communication: with the remote comb; and with the free-space optical terminal of the master clock via the free space link, and that: receives the remote coherent optical pulse train from the remote comb; receives the master optical signal from the free-space optical terminal of the master clock; produces the remote optical signal in response to receipt of the remote coherent optical pulse train; and communicates the remote optical signal to the free-space optical terminal of the master clock.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Laura Sinclair, Nathan R. Newbury, William C. Swann, Hugo Bergeron, Jean-Daniel Deschenes

Expiration Date: 1/10/2038



Patent Number: 10,444,431

Description: Mechanical resonators are widely used in wireless receivers, bio sensors, and timing and frequency control. Besides industry, in recent years in academia there is also considerable interest for ultrahigh precision sensing and fundamental science. A mechanical resonator with the following three advantages is desirable for both industrial and academic applications:

1) high quality factor (Q)-frequency products

2) high stability, i.e. consistent performance over time

 3) easy to pack

The invented system has a Q- frequency product that is superior to high-stability quartz oscillators. Its performance is robust to aging and packaging. Specifically, the invented system has two components:

1) a high tensile stress resonator

2) a periodic supporting substrate that forms an acoustic metamaterial, i.e. phononic band gap

The entire structure - resonator and supporting substrate - can be made in a single microfabricated chip.  The figure below illustrates this structure where the parts are labeled as follows: membrane (102), membrane frame (104, photonic structure (106), substrate frame (108), aperture (110), wall (112), unit cells (114), reticulation gaps (116), reticulation aperture (118), reticulation protrusion (120), wall (122), unit member (124), and link (126).

FLC Link:

Inventor: Raymond Simmonds, Katarina Cicak, Cindy Regal, Pen-Li Yu, Yeghishe Tsaturyan, Thomas Purdy, Nir Kampel

Expiration Date: 5/22/2037



Patent Number: 10,168,309


Detection of chemical species in air, such as industrial pollutants, poisonous gases, chemical fumes, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), is vital for the health and safety of communities around the world.  The development of reliable, portable gas sensors that can detect harmful gases in real-time with high sensitivity and selectivity is therefore extremely important. 

Due to their small size, ease of deployment, and low-power operation, solid-state thin film sensors are favored over analytical techniques such as optical and mass spectroscopy, and gas chromatography for real-time environmental monitoring. Selectivity, which is a sensor's ability to discriminate between the components of a gas mixture and provide detection signal for the component of interest, is an important consideration for the sensor's real-life applicability. Conventional metal-oxide based thin film sensors, despite decades of research and development still lack selectivity for different species and typically require high working temperatures.  As such, the usability of such conventional sensors is severely limited and poses long-term reliability problems.

For a chemical sensor, the active surface area is an important factor for determining its detection limits or sensitivity. It is known that the electrical properties of nanowires (NWs) change significantly in response to their environments due to their high surface to volume ratio.  NWs are therefore well suited for direct measurement of changes in their electrical properties (e.g. conductance/resistance, impedance) when exposed to various analytes. Substantial research has demonstrated the enhanced sensitivity, reactivity, and catalytic efficiency of the nanoscale structures.

There have been attempts to demonstrate sensors based on nanotube/nanowire decorated with nanoparticles of metal and metal-oxides. Although such results demonstrate the potentials of the nanowire-nanocluster based hybrid sensors, fundamental challenges and deficiencies in such prior attempts remain. Most of the results provide for mats of nanowires. Although such mats may increase sensitivity, the complex nature of inter-wire conduction makes interpreting the results difficult. Also, room-temperature operation of such previous sensors has not been demonstrated, and the selectivity is shown for only a very limited number of chemicals. Conventional sensor devices require high operating temperatures (250°C.) and large response times (more than 5 minutes). Indeed, such temperature-assisted sensors typically provide for an integrated heater for the device. Further, the reported sensitivities of such conventional devices were quite low even with long response times. Further, such conventional devices typically do not provide for air as the carrier gas. However, the ability of a sensor to detect chemicals in air is what ultimately determines its usability in real-life.

Past demonstrations have resulted in poor selectivity of known chemical sensors, and therefore have not resulted in commercially viable gas sensors. For real-world applications, selectivity between different classes of compounds (such as between aromatic compounds and alcohols) is highly desirable. For example, the threat of terrorism and the need for homeland security call for advanced technologies to detect concealed explosives safely and efficiently. Detecting traces of explosives is challenging, however, because of the low vapor pressures of most explosives.  Moreover, the difficulty of explosive detection is aggravated by the noisy environment which masks the signal from the explosive, the potential for high false alarms, and the need to determine a threat quickly. As such, trained canine teams remain the most reliable means of detecting explosive vapors to date; however, dogs are expensive to train and tire easily.

An ideal chemical sensor would be able to distinguish between the individual analytes belonging to a particular class of compounds, e.g. detection of the presence of benzene or toluene in the presence of other aromatic compounds, detection of a particular explosive compound, detection of a particular alcohol, etc. This is extremely challenging as most semiconductor-based sensors use metal-oxides (such as SnO2, In2O3, ZnO) as the active elements, which are limited due to the non-selective nature of the surface adsorption sites. The surface/adsorbate interactions of conventional sensor structures are limited and non-specific. Thus, conventional sensor devices lack the same selectivity as their bulk-counterpart devices.

Accordingly, there is a need for a nanostructure sensor device that solves one or more of the deficiencies of conventional devices.  This invention does just that.

Description of the illustration below: Plates (a) and (b), are schematic representations of a GaN (Nanowire)-TiO(Nanocluster) hybrid sensor according to the present invention. FIG. 1, plate (a) shows the sensor in the dark showing surface depletion of the GaN nanowire, and FIG. 1, plate (b) shows the sensor under UV excitation with photodesorption of Odue to hole capture.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Abhishek Motayed, Geetha S. Aluri, Albert Davydov, Rao V. Mulpuri , Vladimir P. Oleshko, Ritu Bajpai, Mona E. Zaghloul

Expiration Date: 10/19/2036



Patent Number: 10390364

Description: NIST has invented a new laser-assisted atom probe tomography (L-APT). This tool uses photoionization at extreme ultra-violet (EUV) laser photon energies in the approximate range of l 0-100 eV to promote  photoionization and photo-disassociation  of atomic species and molecular complexes that comprise the nano-needle-shaped  specimen under examination.  This new approach employs a completely different means for ionizing atomic species than what is used in conventional L-APT tools. In conventional approaches, thermal pulses imparted on the specimen tip from a pulsed visible/near-ultra-violet laser decrease the activation energy barrier for field evaporation of ions while the specimen is subjected to a strong electric field.

Conventional L-APT is problematic since for a given applied field, evaporation efficiency under these conditions varies strongly depending upon the chemical composition of the specimen under examination as well as the location of an atom on the physical surface of the specimen.  The new NIST system represents a great improvement since it will employ an alternative pathway to field evaporation via direct photo-ionization of all chemical species.  

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Inventor: Timonthy A Hall, Anirudha Sahoo, Charles Hagwood, Sarah Streett

Expiration Date: 11/17/2037



Patent Number: 10,432,320

Description: NIST has developed a method to use quantum systems with long-range interactions to do the following two things faster (in some cases exponentially faster) than in systems with short-range interactions: (1) accomplish quantum state transfer across the system; (2) prepare a large variety of entangled states (including multi-particle GHZ states) with applications to metrology and quantum computing. The protocol makes use of individual control of all participating quantum bits and takes advantage of long-range interactions in such a way that many interaction pathways coherently and constructively interfere to provide the speed-up. To accomplish state transfer, the initial state is first encoded into a many-body-entangled state spread across the lattice, and then decoded back onto the desired final-destination qubit. The intermediate entangled state is GHZ-like state, which has a lot of sensor and clock applications.

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Inventor: Alexey V. Gorshkhov, Michael Foss-Feig, Zachary Eldredge, Ali Hamed Moosavian, Jeremy Young, Zhe-Xuan Gong

Expiration Date: 11/2/2037



Patent Number: 10,424,458

Description: It has been discovered that an electron reflectometer and process for performing shape metrology provide electron reflectometry (ER) for measurement or determination of nanoscale dimensions in three dimensions at a surface with small-angle electron reflection. According to Fresnel's law, electrons have a high reflectivity from a surface at an electron energy from 5 kiloelectron volts (keV) to 100 keV at a glancing angle of less than 1° with respect to a plane of the surface. Moreover, the electron reflectometer overcomes reliance by reflective high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) on diffraction spots to determine atomistic surface structure and similar reliance by reflective small angle electron scattering (RSAES) to determine nanoscale shape morphology.

FLC Link:

Inventor: Lawrence H. Friedman, Wen-Li Wu

Expiration Date: 5/13/2038

Created January 10, 2020, Updated August 23, 2023