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Almasri awarded patents for harvesting energy; improving imaging; producing sensors

July 12, 2022

metasurfaceMizzou Engineering’s Mahmoud Almasri was recently awarded three patents for work around harvesting energy, improving camera imaging and coming up with a better way to produce microscopic sensors.

The first patent (No. 11,118,981) improves the performance of thermal cameras. These use microbolometers to transduce infrared radiation. Microbolometers absorb infrared radiation, heating a material with a temperature-dependent resistance and changing its voltage. Integrating a metasurface into the microbolometer provides wavelength and polarization selective absorption. In addition, the metasurface can improve the electrical performance of the microbolometer. The spectral and polarization response can be specified pixel by pixel by adjusting the geometry of the metasurface. The resulting infrared arrays have a broad range of commercial and military applications such as material identification, discrimination between natural and manmade surfaces, industrial monitoring, medical diagnostics and emergency services.


Mahmoud Almasri

The second patent (No. 10,989,867) is for optical fiber-based sensors including applications around measuring refractive index and using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Using self-assembled microspheres as an optical element to pattern photoresist facilitates a significant reduction in the fabrication cost of the sensors. This allows for the definition of arrays of nanoantennas on the cleaved tip of fibers. The nanoantenna patterned fibers have chemical and biological sensing applications. The sensors can be combined for persistent monitoring networks or low-cost diagnostics.

The third patent (No. 11,005,352) is for wideband electrostatic and electromagnetic based energy harvesters for power generation from low frequency energy sources. The device uses the wasted energy associated with undesirable mechanical vibrations to power wireless sensors and actuators widely found in structures, buildings, and that associated with various modes of transportation with frequencies lower than 100 Hz.

Almasri is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science whose research focuses on optical and electrical based sensors and detectors, biomedical microsystems, micro/Nanoelectromechanical systems and microfabrication.

“These patents affirm these discoveries will have value when it comes to national defense, security, health care and other areas,” he said. “I’m excited to continue to build upon this work.”

Work alongside researchers who are inventing new technologies. Learn more about electrical engineering and computer science at Mizzou!