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MORGaN topic
Harsh environments applications


In general for electronic sensors and devices, conditions that cannot be met by Si may be called harsh. As electronics becomes ubiquitous the demands from industry require operation in increasingly harsh environments, for instance: extreme heat, high pressure, large electric fields or contact with chemically aggressive substances.

Application area for sensors include:

  • Aerospace
  • Down-hole (oil well)
  • Power generation
  • Automotive

Moreover, high power electronics generates internal harsh environments as a consequence of high power dissipation under high current flow at high bias.

Devices and sensors designed to operate in such environments need new semiconductor materials which are stable, especially at high temperature, and have substrate and package combinations that enable rapid heat extraction or capability to withstand high temperature. Chemical inertness is also an advantage, especially if one wants to monitor highly corrosive chemical agents. For example, Si MOSFET operation is restricted to 450C due to its low energy band gap.

Finite element analysis modeling and microscope images of MEMS cantilever structures which may be used in sensor devices in harsh environment applications (e.g. as part of a pressure or temperature sensor).
(NB The deflection is exaggerated in the FEM model.)

MORGaN is supported by the European Commission under FP7