UNM Rainforest Innovations

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued eleven U.S. patents to UNM Rainforest Innovations during the months of July, August, and September for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico. The patents, issued during UNM Rainforest Innovations’ 2022 fiscal first quarter, are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the Departments of Chemistry; Biology; Emergency Medicine; Chemical & Biological Engineering; Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering; Electrical & Computer Engineering; Physics & Astronomy; the UNM Institute for Space & Nuclear Power Studies; the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials; and the Center for High Technology Materials

Issued Patent for “Microneedle-based electrical impedance sensor to monitor plant water status in real time
Patent No. 11,060,989, issue date July 13, 2021
Inventors: David Hanson, Philip Rocco Miller, Patrick J. Hudson, Ronen Polsky, Kaitlyn J.H. Read

Described here is a sensor that uses microneedle electrodes and multi-frequency electrical impedance spectroscopy to monitor plant water status in real time. The microneedle can be between 10 and 1000 microns in length, enabling precise placement in a variety of plant tissues. The impedance behavior can distinguish electrical properties and physiological functions of different plant tissue types. Therefore, impedance measurements can be used to monitor water stress to prevent irreversible damage to a plant and to enable improvement of plant biomass or fruit yield.

Issued Patent for “Engineered nano-modified methyl methacrylate polymer for repair of 30 µM microcracks”
Patent No. 11,066,592, issue date July 20, 2021
This technology is currently optioned.
Inventors: Mahmoud R. Taha, Michael S. Stenko, John Stormont, Edward N. Matteo, Moneeb Genedy, Thomas Dewers

The present invention includes a method and sealant to seal microcracks as small as 30 µm by causing methyl methacrylate combined with one or more nanoparticles to flow into the microcrack to be sealed.

Issued Patent for “Long-life, portable reactor for terrestrial power systems (LPORTS)
Patent No. 11,069,453, issue date July 20, 2021
Inventor: Mohamed S. El-Genk

Described here is a modular and transportable nuclear reactor system comprising a transportation module including a housing. A cask and a radiation shielding section are located in the housing with the shielding surrounding the cask. A high temperature sodium cooled reactor is located in the cask and the reactor is cooled by the natural circulation of in-vessel sodium. The reactor powers at least one thermal-to-electric conversion unit.

Issued Patent for “System and methods for joint and adaptive control of rate, quality, and computational complexity for video coding and video delivery
Patent No. 11,076,153, issue date July 27, 2021
Inventors: Marios S. Pattichis, Yuebing Jiang, Cong Zong, Venkatesh Gangadharan Jatla, Andreas Panayides

System and methods for the joint control of reconstructed video quality, computational complexity and compression rate for intra-mode and inter-mode video encoding in HEVC have been described. The invention provides effective methods for (i) generating a Pareto front for intra-coding by varying CTU parameters and the QP, (ii) generating a Pareto front for inter-coding by varying GOP configurations and the QP, (iii) real-time and offline Pareto model front estimation using regression methods, (iv) determining the optimal encoding configurations based on the Pareto model by root finding and local search, and (v) robust adaptation of the constraints and model updates at both the CTU and GOP levels.

Issued Patent for “Colorimetric radiation detector
Patent No. 11,086,028, issue date August 10, 2021
Inventors: Fernando Garzon, Timothy J. Boyle

Described here is a low cost, rapid, flexible radiation detector that uses inorganic metal halide precursors and dyes that respond to self-quenching hybrid scintillation. Remote, high-contrast, laser sensing can be used to determine when exposure of the detector to radiation occurs (even temporally).

Issued Patent for “Method and apparatus for fabrication of large area 3D photonic crystals with embedded waveguides
Patent No. 11,086,218, issue date August 10, 2021
Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Alexander K. Raub

In accordance with some aspects of the present disclosure, a maskless interferometric lithography system for fabricating a three-dimensional (3D) photonic crystal using a multiple two-beam-exposures is disclosed. The system can comprise an illumination system comprising an optical arrangement operable to receive radiation from a radiation source and provide three or more tilted two-beam interference pattern exposures to be combined into a three-dimensional pattern; and a substrate operable to be supported by a substrate table, wherein the substrate comprises a photoresist formed on a top surface of the substrate and operable to receive the three-dimensional pattern and wherein means are provided to adjust the position of the substrate in all six mechanical degrees of freedom.

Issued Patent for “CTE-matched textured heatlinks for optical refrigeration
Patent No. 11,088,506, issue date August 10, 2021
Inventors: Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, Alexander Robert Albrecht, Junwei Meng

The present invention provides an optical refrigeration system that includes a heatlink that is formed by textured crystals that are matched in coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) to the yttrium lithium fluoride (YLF) cooling crystal, and shaped in geometries that result in very low heat producing losses (HPL). The optical refrigeration system may further include a mirror that is made of a semiconductor-material.

Issued Patent for “System and methods for entropy and statistical quality metrics in physical unclonable function generated bitstrings”
Patent No. 11,095,461, issue date August 17, 2021
This technology is currently licensed.
Inventors: James Plusquellic, Wenjie Che

The Distribution Effect is proposed for the HELP PUF that is based on purposely introducing biases in the mean and range parameters of path delay distributions to enhance entropy. The biased distributions are then used in the bitstring construction process to introduce differences in the bit values associated with path delays that would normally remain fixed. Offsets are computed to fine tune a token’s digitized path delays as a means of maximizing entropy and reproducibility in the generated bitstrings: a first population-based offset method computes median values using data from multiple tokens (i.e., the population) and a second chip-specific technique is proposed which fine tunes path delays using enrollment data from the authenticating token.

Issued Patent for “Active catalysts synthesized by hydrothermal methods
Patent No. 11,103,863, issue date August 31, 2021
Inventors: Plamen Atanassov, Rohan Gokhale

Described here are methods for the synthesis of active M-N–C catalysts utilizing thermo-chemical synthesis of chemically defined precursors and materials made thereby.

Issued Patent for “Detector system for targeted analysis by distance-of-flight mass spectrometry”
Patent No. 11,127,580, issue date September 21, 2021
This technology is currently optioned.
Inventor: Christie Enke

Described here is a detector system for targeted analysis and/or sample collection by distance-of-flight mass spectrometry (tDOF-MS).

Issued Patent for “System and methods for analyzing stability using metal resistance variations”
Patent No. 11,132,178, issue date September 28, 2021
This technology is currently optioned.
Inventor: James Plusquellic

This disclosure describes techniques for analyzing statistical quality of bitstrings produced by a physical unclonable function (PUF). The PUF leverages resistance variations in the power grid wires of an integrated circuit. Temperature and voltage stability of the bitstrings are analyzed. The disclosure also describes converting a voltage drop into a digital code, wherein the conversion is resilient to simple and differential side-channel attacks.

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