Entries with tag pressure sensors.

New Sensor Converts Pressure into Light

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have created a sensor able to convert mechanical pressure into light signals that could be captured and processed optically. This could be used for gathering signatures or fingerprints. The sensor could also be used, say researchers, in applications such as biological imaging and creating MEMS systems such as human-machine interfaces, although they offered no detail as to how these sensors might be used in these applications. The device consists of zinc oxide, light-emitting nanowires that act as tiny LEDs when under pressure, based on a concept called piezophotronics. Their output changes based on the pressure applied. When there is no pressure, there is no light. The differences in the strain on the device create different amounts of light. A sensor could send the resulting light signals within a system that includes photonic components, such as chips, for data transmission, processing, and recording, ultimately enabling the analysis and determination of the amount of pressure applied. The researchers published their work in the journal Nature Photonics. (EurekAlert)(Georgia Institute of Technology @ EurekAlert)

Stable MEMS Pressure Sensor Developed

An international research team has created a miniaturized MEMS pressure sensor that is both physically stable and sensitive. As device sizes shrink, it is difficult to produce sensors with both attributes because the components are typically fragile and the circuit sizes are much smaller and difficult to design. The Singapore and South Korean researchers – from National University of Singapore; Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research; and Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea -- solved the challenge by creating a sensor with a stable diaphragm able to deform under pressure. Their sensor also contains a piezoresistor—which experiences a change in electrical resistivity when mechanical stress is applied—made from silicon nanowires. The change in piezoresististance in this device is caused by small changes in pressure that are transferred by the diaphragm to the piezoresistor. It is critical that the diaphragm retain its shape for the sensor to continue functioning. MEMS pressure sensors are used in applications such as oil-well drilling and robot-driven surgery. The researchers, who are also exploring the sensor’s use in an implantable medical device, published their work in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. (PhysOrg)(Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering)

Japanese Researchers Create Material for Self-Powering Sensor Array

Researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Japanese R&D firm Ajinomoto have built a pressure sensor array with a new ferroelectric material that they made from polyamino acids. This would enable such arrays to be produced en masse at an affordable cost, say researchers. Typically, pressure sensors are costly to make and are not suited for production in arrays. This and the limitations of the sensor array size have prevented the technology’s adoption. The researchers are trying to develop a self-powering sensor array in which a battery would be used to store the energy generated by the material, which is also piezoelectric. The researchers are trying to enhance the sensor array’s performance and reduce its size. They presented their work at the 42nd International Electronic Circuits Exhibition in Tokyo. (PhysOrg)(National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)

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