Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Scalable high performance magnetoelastic tags for electronic article surveillance

Technology #5924

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Researchers
Yogesh B. Gianchandani
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734.764.8202
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

An electrical engineering research team has developed a discrete and low-cost magnetoelastic-tagging platform with a footprint 100 times smaller than conventional tags. Magnetoelastic tags are ubiquitously used in electronic article surveillance (EAS) where they offer low-cost, reliability and ease-of-use for inhibiting retail thefts. Developing smaller form factors to enable their use in other industries has been difficult to achieve due to the decreased signal strength, stronger dependence on orientation and increased cost of manufacture as the size of the tag decreases. Unlike radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, magnetoelastic systems are insusceptible to metallic interference. This advantage coupled with the reduced size and superior performance of the researchers tags, could enable their use in applications inaccessible to conventional magnetoelastic tags.

Compact, orientation insensitive magnetoelastic tag system

The researchers have experimentally demonstrated prototypes and confirmed the response computationally of their magnetoelastic tags. They have addressed the orientation dependence, manufacturing cost and decreased signal strength with judicious use of materials and a structure design that enables low-cost manufacturing processes. Their tag geometry is insensitive to field orientation and the signal strength can be tailored using compact arrays of individual tags. The small size resonates in the megahertz regime increasing the signal-to-noise ratio, which reduces the signal required for reliable detection. Their technology has potential to enhance anti-theft systems through tagging of individual items, enable surgical equipment monitoring, and provide a robust sensor platform, among other applications.

Applications

  • Electronic article surveillance (EAS)
  • Surgical equipment monitoring
  • Temperature sensing
  • Viscosity sensing
  • Bio-film growth monitoring

Advantages

  • 100X smaller than conventional tags
  • Low-cost manufacturing
  • Orientation independent