The Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm announced plans to make this simple, cost-effective, platform technology available to industry and education. The device is based on the electronic phenomenon that occurs between two conductors positioned in extreme proximity.
“The key to this technology lies in the transducer’s ability to monitor discrete, monotonic movement steps, each step being in the sub-angstrom range,” explained Ludwik F. Zon, general manager and president of A Metrics, LLC. “Unlike devices currently available, the movement of the conductor is not substantially limited in its range. This is a huge advantage for sensors and actuators, because the device remains accurate throughout a relatively large range of motion — in the order of millimetres,” Zon said.
Tests designed to calibrate the device and to verify the patent claims of angstrom-level sensitivity were conducted in the UK at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The results validate the claims of both sensitivity and linearity. They also prompted NPL scientists to develop a new method by which to measure accuracy at the sub-angstrom level.
Myriad uses of the A-Metrics technology are both envisioned and planned. One significant application is the field of sensors where exceptionally high sensitivity is desired over a large measurement range. Sensors could be readily adapted to detect variables in distance, force, pressure, temperature, magnetic fields, electric fields, gravitational waves, sound waves, solitons, and seismic waves.
The technology began with an electro-mechanical device that detected minute changes of pressure in sealed objects in space. The core A-Metrics team now includes the device’s inventors plus other research scientists at the University of Exeter, Exeter Advanced Technologies and NPL. This team has identified other applications in the areas of pressure sensors, geophysical exploration, thermal sensors, accelerometers, gravity field measurement, gravity wave sensors, life sciences, microelectronics, optics, precision mechanics, magnetic field sensors, and nano-indentation measurement. Their ongoing research is focused on quantifying applications across all industries and sciences.
A-Metrics, LLC (a-metrics.net) was established in the United States for the purpose of making this patented technology available to companies and institutions worldwide that are interested in licensing, purchasing or entering joint ventures. A US patent for this technology was granted in 2005. Further patents in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim have been granted, with others pending.