Nanohmics, Inc.

Austin, TX, United States

Nanohmics, Inc.

Austin, TX, United States
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Methods and sensors for the detection, identification, and quantification of one or more gas species, including volatile organic compounds, in a test sample are described. Methods employ gas sensors comprising a diffusion matrix present on the sensor surface. A gas analyte in a test sample diffuses through the matrix and is detected upon interaction of the analyte with the sensor. A response profile of a gas sensor to a gas analyte in the test sample is compared to a control gas sensor response profile determined in a similar manner for a known gas species. Comparisons of test sample and control sample sensor response profiles enable detection, identification, and quantification of a gas species analyte in a test sample.


Methods and sensors for detection and quantification of one or more analyte in a test sample are described. A response profile of an ion sensor to a control sample of a known interrogator ion is determined. The ion sensor is exposed to a test sample then to a second sample comprising the known interrogator ion, and a test sample response profile of the ion sensor is determined. One or more test sample sensor response profiles are compared with one or more control sensor response profiles for detecting, identifying, and quantifying one or more analytes in the test sample.


Methods and sensors for detection and quantification of one or more analyte in a test sample are described. A response profile of a gas sensor to a control sample of a known interrogator gas is determined. The gas sensor is exposed to a test sample then to a second sample comprising the known interrogator gas, and a test sample response profile of the gas sensor is determined. One or more test sample sensor response profiles are compared with one or more control sensor response profiles for detecting, identifying, and quantifying one or more analytes in the test sample.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2015

"ABSTRACT: Bioassays employed to evaluate the diverse range of biomarkers associated with organ injury are time-consuming, costly and require multiple instruments/testing formats to reach a diagnosis (i.e. fluorescence-based capture, ELISAs, PCR, etc.). Individually, these platforms are incapable of predicting the onset of irreversible organ tissue injury (e.g. kidney, liver, heart and lung). If a single multiplexed screening bioassay could be fabricated to assess multiple, pre-clinical biomarkers that are predictive indicators of systemic toxicity, it would significantly reduce the complexity, expense and turnaround time associated with injured soldier diagnostics. One barrier to transitioning microarray technology into multiplex medicinal diagnostics has been the limitations imposed by fluorescence/optical-based labeling and endpoint detection. To overcome these limitations, Nanohmics Inc., an early-stage biotechnology and sensor development company (Austin, TX), working in collaboration with commercial and University partners is proposing the continued development of a multiplexed diagnostic platform based on direct electrical detection of pre-clinical and eventually clinical toxicity biomarkers for predictive organ tissue injury. The overall goal of the program is to develop a tissue injury diagnostic platform that can assess biomarkers originating from diverse biospecimens (e.g. urine, blood plasma) in a single compact detection system. "


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2016

Next generations of scanning probe microscopy tools will have enhanced operational capabilities, such as improved variable pressure/temperature/atmosphere systems, including reactive cells. Several technologies exist to enable components of these next-gen capabilities, but most rely on optical detection of probe deflection. In many situations, providing optical access to the sample is not readily achieved—scanning probe microscopy systems would benefit from next-generation deflection sensors. Project approach: We propose to develop and demonstrate an integrated deflection sensor based on an inductive measurement technique. These integrated sensors will enable high-speed measurements, including MHz-capable video microscopy, without requiring optical access. Phase I tasks: During the Phase I program, we will model the proposed sensor to determine optical engineering parameters. Micromachining techniques will be used to prepare test coupons for feedback into the models. A breadboard device will be demonstrated to validate the concept. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Performance enhancements for materials important to energy generation, transmission, storage, and conversion are being innovated at the nanoscale more and more often—scanning probe microscopy tools are most powerful in the nanoscale regime and are being used to great effect to reveal secrets about these energy technology materials. The development of advanced scanning probe tools will open the door to the study of additional materials under new conditions and with greater ease.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2016

Planetary missions (e.g., Pioneer, Cassini, or Voyager) and applications with moderate power draw and increased mobility requirements (e.g., Curiosity) have successfully employed radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) as thermal-to-electric power converters. While ~100 We-class radioisotope power sources continue to be in demand, new higher power electric generators (≥500 We) will enable, and enhance, numerous robotic space applications and are ideally suited for upcoming Discovery- through Flagship-class missions. These ≥500 We generators will require both increased source power and increased conversion efficiencies. State-of-the-art thermoelectric generators, for instance, achieve ~7% efficiency, and recent laboratory results are paving a route toward ~15% efficiency. Alternatively, promising results from Lee et al1 and other groups have shown that thermionic thermal-to-electric (TTEC) generators are capable of achieving high conversion efficiency (>25%) at temperatures ≥1200 ?C by leveraging modern microfabrication techniques. An additional benefit is that the high-quality ?waste heat? from these thermionic systems is rejected at ~800 ?C, which opens the door to its use as a topping stage for more traditional converters, including thermoelectrics, dramatically raising the ceiling on total system conversion efficiency. To further advance NASA?s high-power solid-state thermal-to-electric conversion capabilities, Nanohmics Inc., working in collaboration with The Boeing Company (Huntington Beach, CA) and Sandia National Labs? Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) proposes to demonstrate a high-efficiency thermionic thermal-to-electric converter (TTEC) module based on nanostructured, high survivability emission materials. TTEC realization will open up new opportunities for deep space planetary science missions, and future manned spaceflight voyages that are no longer tethered to the sun by photovoltaics.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 155.00K | Year: 2016

Plasma fusion promises safer, lower cost, power generation with no carbon emissions. Of concern in all plasma fusion systems is the ability of reduced activation ferritic martensitic (RAFM) structural materials to not only withstand operating conditions but to limit the amount of tritium permeation. Tritium retention/transmission not only creates a safety hazard but also increases operational costs of the reactor. Statement of how this problem or situation is being addressed Incorporating a thin hydrogen isotope permeation barrier within RAFM structures provides an optimal solution for limiting tritium permeation. Specifically the barrier is shielded from the worst of the environment and experiences limited erosion allowing it to maintain a high permeation reduction factor (PRF) over the life of the structure. In a recent effort we constructed and tested a W plate with a thin sputtered SiC diffusion layer topped with a sputtered W layer. Tests demonstrated the SiC barrier provided an excellent permeation barrier to Hydrogen isotopes. Further the close match in thermal expansion coefficients between SiC and W allowed multiple thermal cycles to be performed with no delamination. A similar structure involving RAFM and sputtered SiC would provide the same benefits. The mismatch in thermal conductivities may be mitigated by a thermal buffer layer, a gradient composite from RAFM to pure SiC or tungsten. Phase I/II effort In the proposed Phase I, samples consisting of a RAFM base, thermal buffer layer, sputtered SiC permeation barrier and tungsten topcoat will be constructed and specific tests will be performed to provide metrics for optimization of the construction. These test will include multiple (100’s) of thermal cycles, thermal conductivity measurements of the SiC layer and the ability of the stack to withstand the irradiation environment and maintain an adequate PRF. Further a fully dense tungsten topcoat for protecting SiC permeation barrier layer must be constructed that will survive an operating fusion environment. In Phase II optimizing the deposition parameters will be continued and a means to commercially manufacture large numbers of RAFM components will be developed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The reliable manufacture of RAFM structural components with low tritium permeation is a critical challenge to the development of successful fusion power facilities. Materials R&D will play a major role in the successful deployment of fusion technology for the benefit of the public energy needs. Key Words: RAFM steels, hydrogen permeation barrier, tritium


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 155.00K | Year: 2016

The future of the fuel cell market depends on developing new infrastructure for the preparation, transportation, and storage of hydrogen. Liquefaction maximizes storage and transport efficiency, but is particularly challenging in distributed systems because of the extremely low temperatures required. While fuel reformer technology is constantly improving, storing and transporting the fuels for on-demand use remains a problem. Project approach: Nanohmics proposes to develop a novel magnetocaloric metamaterial for hydrogen liquefaction. The innovation is to drive the cooling effect using a controlled micromechanical structure rather than tailoring intrinsic materials properties. By introducing an artificial phase transition in the metamaterial, it’s possible to use ferromagnetic materials like nickel to accomplish the cooling, or alternatively to enhance the efficiency of Gd-based alloys. Phase I tasks: A modeling effort will provide performance bounds and guidance on the metamaterial geometry. Microfabricated test coupons will provide reduce the development risk. Measurements of magnetocaloric enhancement will provide proof-of-concept. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: An enhanced magnetic refrigeration technology will reduce dependence on fossil fuels by making hydrogen a more viable fuel technology. Improving the liquefaction process will increase the international distribution and storage potential, allowing hydrogen to be used more readily in fuel cells and generator applications. Additionally, improvements in magnetic refrigeration technology will enhance research and laboratory facilities that require low-temperature instruments. As a solid-state refrigerant, it does not require ozone-depleting gases and may find application in commercial refrigerators. Key Words: Magnetocaloric materials, magnetic refrigeration, metamaterials


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 155.00K | Year: 2016

Planetary missions (e.g., Pioneer, Cassini, or Voyager) and applications with moderate power draw and increased mobility requirements (e.g., Curiosity) demand ~100s We-class continuous power sources with high reliability and robustness. To avoid the risks and challenges associated with mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion, including the use of working fluids and bearings, solid-state converters are preferred in many power generation applications as they can achieve reliable, high power-densities with moderate efficiency. State-of-the-art thermoelectric generators, for instance, achieve ~7% efficiency, and recent laboratory results are paving a route towards ~15% efficiency. To achieve higher efficiencies that can compete more directly with mechanical energy converters, however, higher operating temperatures are required, which essentially requires fundamental materials-discovery research for thermoelectrics. Project approach: Nanohmics Inc. proposes to develop a high-efficiency thermionic thermal-to-electric converter (TTEC) module based on nanostructured, high survivability emission materials. The TTEC device will offer higher energy conversion efficiency (greater than 25%), total power output of 500 We, and better resistance to high temperature and harsh environments (stable to about 2500 degrees F). Phase I tasks: Primary efforts under Phase I will be directed toward prototyping the proposed vacuum diode thermionic converter based on low-work-function thermally-stable emitter (hafnium carbide, zirconium carbide) and collector (lanthanum boride) materials, quantifying prototype device efficiency, and maturing emitter and standoff processing protocols to maximize operational lifetimes with an ultimate goal of multi-decade stability. Modeling and experimental efforts will lead to a wafer-scale thermionic device that will be evaluated at the end of the program. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Nanohmics Inc. is developing a novel high efficiency TTEC product that uses innovative nanostructured low-work-function emitters capable of high current thermionic electron emission. The primary application of this innovation is for radioisotope power systems (RPSs). There are other applications of this technology that present a more substantial commercial opportunity. These include applications within the combined cycle power generation market (topping cycles) and microwave vacuum electronics market. Key Words: Radioisotope power system, thermionic emission, thermal-to-electric converter.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Health Program | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2015

Bioassays employed to evaluate the diverse range of biomarkers associated with organ injury are time-consuming, costly and require multiple instruments/testing formats to reach a diagnosis (i.e. fluorescence-based capture, ELISAs, PCR, etc.). Individually, these platforms are incapable of predicting the onset of irreversible organ tissue injury (e.g. kidney, liver, heart and lung). If a single multiplexed screening bioassay could be fabricated to assess multiple, pre-clinical biomarkers that are predictive indicators of systemic toxicity, it would significantly reduce the complexity, expense and turnaround time associated with injured soldier diagnostics. One barrier to transitioning microarray technology into multiplex medicinal diagnostics has been the limitations imposed by fluorescence/optical-based labeling and endpoint detection. To overcome these limitations, Nanohmics Inc., an early-stage biotechnology and sensor development company (Austin, TX), working in collaboration with commercial and University partners is proposing the continued development of a multiplexed diagnostic platform based on direct electrical detection of pre-clinical and eventually clinical toxicity biomarkers for predictive organ tissue injury. The overall goal of the program is to develop a tissue injury diagnostic platform that can assess biomarkers originating from diverse biospecimens (e.g. urine, blood plasma) in a single compact detection system.

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