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Two-Sensor System for Absolute Age and Temperature History

Sandia National Laboratories

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PDF Document PublicationMarket Sheet  (718 KB)

Technology Marketing Summary

Numerous commercial and military applications require knowing the absolute age and/or temperature history of a device or system starting from the time it is assembled or commissioned. Ideally this information could be obtained simply and without power. The Sandia-developed age and temperature history sensor is a physical materials system solution to address this need.


Sandia’s passive sensor is based on diffusion of one metal into another, or into a semiconductor, as a function of time and temperature. This new technology leverages two similar sensors with different activation energies, as illustrated in Figure 1. Sensors can be conductive, capacitive, optical, visual or crystalline. Devices can be created using standard metal deposition techniques on common semiconductor and micro-device substrates, including sputter coating, chemical vapor deposition and electrochemical methods.

  • Does not require power during the aging period
  • Can determine absolute age independently of temperature history
  • Suitable for emplacement on circuit boards
Applications and Industries
  • Removal/Replacement of Systems Exposed to Extreme Environments
  • Verification/Invalidation of Warranty Claims
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Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 9,182,436
Passive absolute age and temperature history sensor
A passive sensor for historic age and temperature sensing, including a first member formed of a first material, the first material being either a metal or a semiconductor material and a second member formed of a second material, the second material being either a metal or a semiconductor material. A surface of the second member is in contact with a surface of the first member such that, over time, the second material of the second member diffuses into the first material of the first member. The rate of diffusion for the second material to diffuse into the first material depends on a temperature of the passive sensor. One of the electrical conductance, the electrical capacitance, the electrical inductance, the optical transmission, the optical reflectance, or the crystalline structure of the passive sensor depends on the amount of the second material that has diffused into the first member.
Sandia National Laboratories 11/10/2015
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
SD 11622Development - Sandia estimates this technology at TRL 3. The basic concepts have been demonstrated analytically.Available10/14/201310/14/2013

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