Sensory Systems for IoT

Photo of John Wager with Apple monitor
Apple’s New Retina Display: A case study in university-industrial collaboration (Video) (Slides)
John F. Wager

The transparent transistor was invented at OSU late 2001, and HP licensed this technology from Oregon State University in 2002. Joint development between HP and OSU led to a large number of patents related to the use of amorphous oxide semiconductors for flat-panel display applications. These developments are key to the success of Apple’s new Retina display.

Graphic of network sensors in the field
Building and Environment Networked Sensing (Video) (Overview slide)
Karti Mayaram

This research addresses reliable and maintenance-free sensing of building and environment conditions. Present day wireless sensors are costly and many potential sensing applications are limited by battery life. Our approach has a comprehensive focus that combines low power circuitry with specialized network protocols. The resulting system-level design improves robustness and enhances battery lifetime.

Image of a bee with sensors on it
RF-energy powered sensors for area-constrained localization and asset tracking (Video) (Overview slide)
Arun Natarajan

We are building extremely small (max. dimension < 1cm) battery-less sensor tags that harvest energy from dedicated or ambient RF transmitters. We’ve already demonstrated state-of-the-art rectifier sensitivity in sensor tag SoC, with tag operation at > 10m at 2.4GHz. The sensor tag SoC includes a low-power 6Ghz-10GHz UWB transmitter that can provide sub-10cm spatial resolution and/or 28Mb/s data transmission with a payload of ~ 1000 bits. Our goal is to build a tag that can be used to track insects such as bumblebees without affecting their flight.

Photo of electronics on a flexible surface
Energy-Efficient Microsystems for Wearables (Video) (Overview slide)
Patrick Chiang

Energy-efficiency is one of the most critical constraints for next-generation wearables, as the battery size, cost, weight, and capacity determine user acceptability. We are developing both circuits and systems that attempt to minimize the power consumption for various building blocks of a futuristic micro-powered sensor-on-a-chip: low-noise amplifiers, ADCs, CPUs, radios, and energy harvesting. Finally, we are incorporating our technical prototypes into real-world clinical applications, such as a vitamin clinical trial with the Linus Pauling Institute, and a USDA-funded project for addressing adolescent obesity.

Picture of blood analysis tools
Bi-hormonal Artificial Endocrine Pancreas (Video) (Overview slide)
John Conley

Control of blood sugar remains a challenge for those who suffer from type 1 diabetes. Continuous monitoring of glucose levels can reduce the risk of common complications of this disease. Working in collaboration with Pacific Diabetes Technologies, we have developed a flexible glucose sensing strip that has been integrated with an insulin delivery catheter. These devices are currently being tested in pigs. The goal of future work is to develop an artificial endocrine pancreas by additionally incorporating the delivery of glucagon into this device. It is hoped that this technology will one day enhance the lifestyle and reduce the risks of those living with type 1 diabetes.

Photo of a 3D printer
Inkjet Printed 3-D Magnetic Devices (Overview slide)
Pallavi Dhagat

The Applied Magnetics Laboratory at Oregon State University, in collaboration with Hewlett Packard Company and University of Oregon, is investigating processes to inkjet print 3-dimensional magnetic components that may be customized and integrated during manufacturing to enable smart systems capable of sensing, actuation, transaction, communication and computation.

Screen shot of oscilloscope screen
Performance and Efficiency in Communications Interface (Overview slide)
Un-Ku Moon

Pushing the limits of targeted performance and power efficiency in a communications interface, such as the analog-to-digital converter (ADC), routinely presents itself as the design bottleneck in advanced applications. Present day and future mobile communication systems, for example, increasingly demand higher data rates while being forced to scale back power consumption due to limited battery life. Our research is paving a new path where performance and efficiency would jointly find success through architectural and topological innovations.

Photo of diatoms
Bioenabled Nano-Photonic Sensors for Biological and Chemical Detection (Overview slide)
Alan Wang

Many sensor devices rely on rationally designed structures to enhance the detection sensitivity, which requires expensive top-down semiconductor fabrication processes. In this research, we explored bioenabled nanophotonic sensors using diatoms, which are photosynthetic marine micro-organisms that create their own skeletal shells of hydrated amorphous silica, called frustules, which possess photonic crystal-like hierarchical micro- nano-scale features. Our research shows that such bioenabled sensors formed by low-cost and eco-friendly bottom-up processes can improve the detection limit by several orders of magnitude. We expect this technology to offer significant engineering potentials for biological and chemical applications, including cancer diagnostics, early disease detection, defense threat reduction, homeland security, pollution monitoring, and environmental protection.

Photo of diatoms
Integrated Sensor Platforms for Ubiquitous Monitoring (Overview slide)
Matthew Johnston

Merging chemical and biological sensors with modern integrated circuits has the potential to push complex electronics into low-cost, point-of-care detection applications. We are building non-optical sensor platforms through monolithic fabrication of MEMS sensors on integrated circuits substrates. Recent work includes integrated piezoelectric sensors for handheld environmental monitoring – quantifying organic solvents and other industrial byproducts in air. We are also developing sensor platforms for antibody mediated medical diagnostics and exploring applications in wearable, implantable, and broadly deployable sensor platforms.

Graphic depicting how biosensors work
Low-Cost Integrated Circuit Biosensors (Overview slide)
Albrecht Jander

We are developing technologies for low cost sensors using magnetic nanoparticles to detect biological molecules. At sufficiently low cost, such sensors will become ubiquitous, monitoring our homes, offices, bodies, food and the environment for pathogens, pollutants or terror agents. In our approach, the inductive sensor is built using only established integrated circuit processing techniques. The biological molecules are labeled with microscopic magnetic nanoparticles, functionalized to attach to specific biomolecular targets, to give them a unique and easily detected magnetic signature. By taking advantage of the low cost of integrated circuit manufacturing, we hope to endow a wide range of devices with a chemical sense.

A sensor diagram
Sensor Interface Electronics (Overview slide)
Gabor Temes

Our group develops novel algorithms and circuitry for the interface between sensors and the digital signal processors. We specialize in micro-power and high-accuracy circuits for biomedical applications. Our most recent results are a continuous-time ΔΣ modulator for ultrasound beamforming receiver, and a micro-power multiplexed incremental data converter for multi-channel sensor systems.

Photo of a circuit board
Advanced Modeling of Integrated Passive Components and Interconnections for IoT Devices (Overview slide)
Andreas Weisshaar

Advanced semiconductor technologies are key enabling technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) for realizing cost-effective future generation electronic IoT devices, such as wearables, with higher integration density, increased functionality and performance, and ultra-low power wireless connectivity. Our research addresses the need for modeling and design of on-chip interconnections and passives in advanced semiconductor technologies to support first-pass design of future IoT devices with reduced time-to-market, and cost. Examples include broadband modeling of spiral inductors and compact modeling of micro-fluxgates for integrated eCompass applications.