Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - 20

Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabricating Superconducting Circuitry on Both Sides of an
Ultrathin Silicon Layer
Applications are computer hardware, sensors, and THz receivers.
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
A
new fabrication methodology ad -
dresses the need for a thin, doublesided
circuitry board capable of low
crosstalk between sensors and low loss in
transmission lines.
The fabrication method allows for a
minimalistic silicon wafer to be used as a
circuit board while reducing space and
increasing efficiency by depositing su -
perconducting material on both sides.
Due to the thin nature of the silicon wafer,
an additional backing handle wafer is
required during the fabrication of this circuitry
to allow for deposition of metal thin
film on a hot substrate on one side of the
wafer. In addition, a metallic and polymeric
sacrificial layer is used to protect the silicon
substrate and superconducting metallic
layers during removal of the unwanted
silicon, buried oxide, and epoxy layers.
This process introduces the fabrication
methodology required to realize
the ultra-low-loss transmission lines and
ultra-low crosstalk between superconducting
sensors.
NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize
this technology. Please contact
NASA's Licensing Concierge at AgencyPatent-Licensing@mail.nasa.gov
or call at
202-358-7432 to initiate licensing discussions.
Follow this link for more information:
https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/GSCTOPS-99.
Sound
Waves Transport Droplets for Rewritable Lab-on-aChip
Devices
Vibrating transducers create tunnels in a thin layer of oil to transport droplets across a chip
without leaving a trace behind.
Duke University, Durham, NC
E
ngineers have demonstrated a versatile
microfluidic lab-on-a-chip that
uses sound waves to create tunnels in oil
to manipulate and transport droplets
touch-free. The technology could form
the basis of a small-scale, programmable,
rewritable biomedical chip that is completely
reusable to enable on-site diagnostics
or laboratory research. The system
achieves rewritable routing, sorting, and
gating of droplets with minimal external
control, which are essential functions for
the digital logic control of droplets.
Automated fluid handling has driven
the development of many scientific fields,
such as clinical diagnostics and largescale
compound screening. While ubiquitous
in the modern biomedical research
and pharmaceutical industries, these systems
are bulky, expensive, and do not
handle small volumes of liquids well.
Lab-on-a-chip systems have been able
to fill this space to some extent but most
are hindered by one major drawback:
surface absorption. Because these de -
vices rely on solid surfaces, the samples
being transported inevitably leave traces
of themselves behind that can lead to
20
Cov
Virtual Droplet
Channel
Vortices
iƒ
Fluid jet
Inflow
ƒi
B
IDTi
Z
Droplets of different sizes sit on grids of transducers that vibrate to create tunnels in a thin layer
of oil, which can transport the droplets in multiple directions. (Photo: Duke University)
contamination. The new lab-on-a-chip
platform uses a thin layer of inert,
immiscible oil to stop droplets from leaving
behind any trace of themselves. Just
below the oil, a grid of piezoelectric
transducers vibrates when electricity is
www.techbriefs.com
ToC
passed through them. Just like the surface
of a subwoofer, these vibrations create
sound waves in the thin layer of oil
above them.
These sound waves
form complex
patterns when they bounce off the top
Tech Briefs, February 2022
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A
https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/GSC-TOPS-99 http://www.techbriefs.com http://info.hotims.com/82318-800

Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022

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