1 - Introduction

1.1 - Course overview and outcome

This course emphasizes theoretical and practical information for the successful design, production and application of sensors in the practice. After a short introduction with a summary of the basic definitions, one can begin with a brief overview of three fundamental areas: sensor technologies, transducer structures, and operation principles of various structures. Then the applications of the various sensor types are described. The viewer will find a strong emphasis not only on "what" and "how" but also on "why". The latest developments in materials, structures and application possibilities are also discussed. The reader can learn:

  • Which sensor and transducer types are most appropriate for a given application;
  • What kind of requirements should be fulfilled at the particular application;
  • How the transducers can be connected and operated in various application fields;

The course provides the participants with an overview of sensors, i.e. miniature devices for measuring physical and chemical quantities such as pressure, acceleration, speed chemical concentration, etc. Sensors fabricated by solid-state and MEMS technology, from ceramics, thin and thick films, polymer films, by optical fibre technology are described and characterized. The different sensor structures, the most important sensing effects and the principles of sensing various parameters are presented. The overview of application fields includes industrial process control, automotive and household case studies, with a special focus on environmental monitoring and biomedical applications. Advances in sensor packaging, modelling, design and fabrication are also described shortly.

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