Non-Contact, High Resolution Microwave Sensing in Air, Liquid or Solid


Microwave sensors have various applications in chemical & materials sensing, biomedical sensing, environmental monitoring and food industry monitoring. However, microwave sensors suffer from low sensitivity and resolution especially in non-contact sensing.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a microwave resonance sensing technology with an ultra-high quality factor compared to conventional counterparts resulting in high resolution and high sensitivity. This is the first report of a non-contact measurement technique with an improvement of five orders of magnitudes in quality factor. This technology has demonstrated real-time, non-contact sensing capability in both air and water environments and can distinguish material size and density through narrow ranges. The non-invasive nature of this sensing makes it attractive for use in harsh and unreachable environments. The low cost and simple structure of the technology allows for easy production and miniaturization. With this technology, significant improvements in sensitivity, resolution, precision, and depth-of-view sensing in both air and water settings can be achieved.



Figure: Experimental setup for non-contact sensing using the microwave resonator sensor for detecting samples in a quartz tube


  • High resolution sensing (0.1ppb).
  • Non-contact sensing over gaps 1mm-40cm.
  • Ultra-high quality factor and sensitivity.
  • Low cost, simple structure and flexible design.

Potential Markets

The invention represents a valuable opportunity for the oil and gas, implantable biosensors and environmental monitoring industries.

Protection Status

Patent Issued

Product Number


Contact Information

Mandira Das
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-9123