Licensing agreement will improve chemical detection

By Alyssa Patrick, Office of Commercialization

Hill-80PULLMAN, Wash. – A new licensing partnership between Washington State University and Excellims Corp. will improve chemical detection tools used to identify everything from dangerous chemicals to human disease.

“I am very happy to see our research achievements being implemented into a commercial instrument,” said Herbert Hill, a WSU Regents professor in chemistry who developed the licensed technology. “This will allow researchers in a variety of academic research and industrial research fields to have a more powerful tool based on ion mobility spectrometry.”

Hill has more than 40 years of experience researching and improving the ion mobility spectrometers (IMS) that are the core of Excellims’ business. IMS devices detect chemicals in the air or biological systems by analyzing the size and speed of their molecules.

The license agreement is for an advancement to IMS technology that increases the resolution and sensitivity of spectrometry readings. Through basic research, Hill discovers and tests what is possible in the IMS field, resulting in knowledge that Excellims can implement in devices to sell to health care agencies, security companies and more.

Hill’s research has explored the detection of everything from cancer biomarkers to cannabis on the breath of drivers. He holds several patents for advancements in the technology, two of which are now licensed to Excellims.

Ching Wu, president and CEO of Excellims, is a former student of Hill. Wu graduated from WSU in 1997 and launched Excellims in 2005.

Learn more about licensing and other commercialization activities at WSU at


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