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NeoVision developed the Impedance Resonance Technology (IRT): a breakthrough technology that enables applications far and away from the existing sensing technologies on the market today. A desire to improve sensitivity of traditional Eddy Current technique in order to measure cooper films with Angstrom level of accuracy led to the invention of IRT.

In a standard eddy current testing a circular coil carrying current is placed in proximity to the test specimen (which must be electrically conductive). The alternating current in the coil generates changing magnetic field which interacts with test specimen and generates eddy current. Variations in the phase and magnitude of these eddy currents can be monitored using a second ´receiver´ coil, or by measuring changes to the current flowing in the primary ´excitation´ coil. Variations in the electrical conductivity or magnetic permeability of the test object, or the presence of any flaws, will cause a change in eddy current and a corresponding change in the phase and amplitude of the measured current (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy-current_testing).

There are two basic ways to increase the sensitivity of Eddy current sensors. The first method is to use all kinds of bridge schematics. The second way is to use an oscillating resonant circuit as a sensing element. In fact, Eddy current sensor that uses resonant oscillatory circuit as the sensitive element is the closest predecessor of the Impedance Resonance Technology (IRT). However, IRT has considerably wider diapason of applications. It is capable to measure all sorts of solid and liquid materials: conductive, semi-conductive as well as non-conductive (with some limitations). The core of the technology is unique Impedance Resonance Sensor (IR-sensor) that operates at resonant frequency being electromagnetically coupled with a measured or controlled object.

The technology is based on the principles of Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) (sometimes called Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy) with implementation of sensing element(s) that operate(s) at resonant frequency. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) is a well-known method that is used for examination of materials. It could be used to measure and monitor simple mono-component objects as well as complex composite objects. For measuring complex objects IRT uses system of IR-sensors, each of which works at individual frequency or within range of frequencies that could be found by using the impedance spectroscopy (IS). Methodology of IS allows measurement of conductive and dielectric properties of a medium as a function of frequency and amplitude. The spectroscopy explores an interaction of an external electromagnetic field with eddy currents and electric dipole moment of the sample. This technique consists in measuring of objectís impedance, notably eddy currents, energy storage and dissipation properties within the wide range of frequencies. Results of impedance spectra analysis are used for building system of IR-sensors (IRS-system).

The IRS-system principle of operation consist in non-contact probing of a object under test with harmonic electromagnetic field at specific operating frequencies beforehand defined in accordance with results of impedance spectra analysis. To achieve the highest sensitivity, the operating frequencies should be optimal. Selected operating frequencies are those at which the electromagnetic impedance of the objectís areas that are under the impact of electromagnetic probing has strongest dependence on its target chemical or physical properties (i.e. eddy current, resistance, etc.).

The major disadvantages of the classical EIS are very high cost of equipment, some limitation in sensitivity, and the long test time (minutes and hours). Nevertheless, the EIS method has been effectively exploited for exploring constituents of composite objects. But such explorations have only been carried out in the laboratory environment, and usually take a long time to complete. The IRT method allows EIS-like achievements to be applied at a relatively low cost, at significantly higher sensitivity (at least 10 times higher compare to any sensor technology on the market today), in almost any laboratory, manufacturing or the field environment, in real-time with no contact to examined materials.

The technology excels in all categories required for a dependable sensor:
  • It is sensitive to the measured property - significantly more sensitive than any other electrical sensor technology available on the market today
  • It is insensitive or less sensitive to any other property - it is designed and calibrated to identify only the "electronic signature" of the subject to be measured, that could be in solid or liquid state, conductive or non-conductive
  • It is highly accurate
In addition, most measurements could be done in real-time and in-situ with the most complex sampling and analysis taking only milliseconds enabling immediate applications that fill in the market void for instruments for advanced automated control of most production processes.

IRT, which is at the heart of the sensor design, overcomes problems that plague competitive technologies. IRT-sensor can be calibrated to measure virtually any object's "electronic fingerprint", something many other technologies cannot do well or at all, and is not affected by the surface porosity, transparency or lack of uniformity.

NeoVision´s Impedance Resonance Technology is a truly enabling technology where real-time non-contact measurement and monitoring are a must. The applications of the IRT covers wide field: from Semiconductor, FTP and Photovoltaic fabrication to manufacturing drugs, medical diagnostic devices, liquids control, water purification, petro-chemical industry, etc. The IRT provides the ability to push the manufacturing process limits, and significantly reduces the Cost of Operations.

Technical specifications available upon request
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