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Special Issue, October 2007, pp.10-20




New Trends on MEMS Sensor Technology for Harsh Environment Applications


Patricia M. NIEVA

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering,

University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, N2L 3G1

E-mail: pnieva@uwaterloo.ca




Received: 7 September 2007   /Accepted: 19 September 2007   /Published: 8 October 2007


Abstract: MEMS and NEMS sensor systems that can operate in the presence of high temperatures, corrosive media, and/or high radiation hold great promise for harsh environment applications. They would reduce weight, improve machine reliability and reduce cost in strategic market sectors such as automotive, avionics, oil well logging, and nuclear power. This paper presents a review of the recent advances in harsh-environment MEMS and NEMS sensors focusing on materials and devices. Special emphasis is put on high-temperature operation. Wide-bandgap semiconductor materials for high temperature applications are discussed from the device point of view. Micro-opto mechanical systems (MOEMS) are presented as a new trend for high temperature applications. As an example of a harsh environment MOEMS sensor, a vibration sensor is presented.


Keywords: MEMS, NEMS, MOEMS, Sensors, Harsh Environments, Fabry-Perot Interferometry


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