Machine Manufacturing

Kyma Licenses Advanced Electromagnetic Field Sensor Tech

May 30, 2013

The novel sensor technology, developed at UNLV, supports simultaneous, wide-bandwidth detection of electric and magnetic field variations at a single point in space.

RALEIGH, NC -- Kyma Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of advanced materials solutions that promote safety and energy efficiency, announced that they have signed an exclusive license to a patented innovative electric and magnetic field sensor technology invented by scientists at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

Invented by UNLV professor Robert Schill and research scientist Marc Popek, US patent 7,482,814 is entitled "ELECTRIC/MAGNETIC SENSOR" and describes a novel sensor that supports simultaneous and wide bandwidth detection of the temporal variation of both the electric field and the magnetic field at a single point in space.

Kyma is calling the sensor the EM Dot and notes that it is easily calibrated and can be used to rapidly extract detailed equivalent circuit information associated with the sensor surroundings. Kyma plans to launch an EM Dot product line this year.

Kyma representatives were introduced to the UNLV sensor technology during their first visit with Schill, who founded UNLV's Energy Materials Interaction Technology Initiative of Nevada (EMITION) Center in December of 2005 and serves as its director.

Kyma's CEO Keith Evans and CTO Bob Metzger were introduced to professor Schill in early 2012 by Rama Venkat, the dean of UNLV's engineering college, to foster discussions of how Kyma's high-speed, high-power photoconductive switch technology might be exploited in UNLV's research programs. Subsequently, Evans and Metzger visited Schill's impressive pulsed power physics laboratory, and noticed several probes with a 'made in the lab' look. They inquired and learned that professor Schill and his research team had figured out a way to make sensors that were twice as efficient and about 10 times less costly than equivalent commercially available sensors.

Recognizing a unique opportunity that is aligned with Kyma's growing interest in novel sensor technology, Kyma began pursuing the license immediately.

"From the day that Dean Venkat introduced Kyma Technologies to the UNLV EMITION Center, magic sparked," said Schill. "We are excited and honored to be a part of Kyma's new product line. Although in the initial stage, we anticipate merging Kyma's high-speed, high-voltage, high-current photoconductive semiconductor switch technologies with the EM-dot. Our goal will be developing a robust autonomous system that will provide feedback in monitoring and controlling the performance of their switch."

Schill added that Kyma Technologies and the EMITION Center are embarking on a number of innovative applications of Kyma's GaN switch that will enable revolutionary advances solving difficult problems of interest to government and industrial sectors.

The sensor is an important tool in characterizing a variety of electromagnetic phenomena, including rapidly changing electric and magnetic fields associated with pulsed-power phenomena. Further, the tool senses fast open circuit to short circuit and fast short circuit to open circuit transitions of interest, in part, to examining fault conditions, circuit degradation, and switching properties.

This license represents the next step by Kyma to grow its relatively new Sensors Division. Other sensor activity recently announced by the company includes its partnership withDukeUniversityin advanced chemical sensor technology development and its participation in the North Carolina State University (NCSU) led NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC) for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST).

"UNLV is a wonderful resource and a great collaboration partner for Kyma on three separate projects," said Kyma CEO Keith Evans. "Our collaboration with professor Schill in the characterization and application of our KO-Switch is an important part of our technology roadmap for that product line. An advanced computer modeling experiment performed by professor Rama Venkat's group has already benefited Kyma's GaN crystal growth effort. And our growing collaboration with professor Ke-Xun (Kevin) Sun, who is building a Center of Excellence for Security Science and Engineering at UNLV is quite exciting to us due to several advanced materials-related synergies."

About Kyma Technologies
Kyma's mission is to provide advanced materials solutions that promote safety and energy efficiency. Kyma's products include a diverse portfolio of crystalline nitride semiconductor materials, crystal growth and fabrication equipment, and power switching electronics. Additionally, the company is developing a suite of novel chemical and electromagnetic field sensor technologies.

About UNLV
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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