Description:
Background
Recently, much attention has been paid to the development of compact and passive radio-frequency (RF) transponders, like RFID-tags, enabling the temperature monitoring of a steadily growing number of different goods. Such effort has been driven by the growing need to protect specialized equipment, such as those used in manufacturing warehouses and data-centers, from undesired increases in their operational temperature. Similarly, the availability of such RF systems can also be beneficial in cold-chain applications where passive temperature-threshold systems can enable the prompt identification of any perishables suddenly exposed to incompatible temperatures, such as food or medicine. While different types of passive transponders that enable either continuous or threshold‑temperature‑sensing have been demonstrated, none of them can address both functionalities and have design characteristics that enable the monitoring of thousands of different items.
 
Technology Overview
This invention reports on a completely new passive sensing architecture that addresses continuous and threshold sensing needs for a variety of applications for the first time. This architecture leverages the unique dynamic characteristics of parametric solid-state components and acoustic resonators to achieve sensing systems that surpass the sensitivity achieved by conventional linear sensing components and devices by orders of magnitude. It is achieved through CMOS-compatible (Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) components that can be potentially fabricated in a small form-factor and in large-scale production IC-facilities. Through the use of acoustic resonant components, it will be possible to create the required tool to generate a scalable solution that allows the simultaneous monitoring of thousands of devices. 
 
Benefits
- Can be fabricated through conventional IC-techniques in large scale production.
- Shows better sensitivity than existing counterparts using the same resonator technology.
- Permits simultaneous achievement of a continuous temperature sensing and threshold temperature sensing in the same device.
- Enables real-time exchange of data between the sensor and the reader. 
- Fully passive and potentially battery-free. Also, it is easily scalable to generate thousands of different sensors without adding fabrication complexity.
 
Applications
- Passive wireless-sensing (temperature, pressure, and other physical parameters) 
- RF-Identification (low-cost and large-signal contrast (i.e. noise-immune))
 
Opportunity
- License
- Partnering
- Research collaboration
Patent Information:
Category(s):
Sensors
-Communications
For Information, Contact:
Colin Sullivan
Commercialization Consultant
Northeastern University
col.sullivan@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Cristian Cassella
Hussein Hussein
Keywords:
Acoustic Filters
Circuits
IoT
MEMS
RF (Radio Frequency)
Sensor Technology