Sensors and actuators
The integration of sensors and actuators into larger systems can lead to new functionalities and more efficient production in many high-tech systems. The integration of these sensors allows for innovations in the fields of security and logistics. Similar solutions can also be used to monitor patients, to advance preventive healthcare, and to reduce costs in the medical field.
10. Sensors and actuators
The concepts of sensors and actuators have evolved rapidly over the past few years. This has been driven by the need to gather information and automate intervention, especially for high‐tech systems, a very important domain in the Dutch economy.
In industry, the implementation of additional sensors can improve performance by predicting essential maintenance and accurate condition monitoring. In the chemical industry this will allow production on a micro scale with macro output. And in printing, it will enable high throughput and high quality. Further innovation of components, such as sensors and actuators, and their integration into larger systems will lead to an increasing level of functionality and more efficient production.
Dr. ir. M.G.M. de Kroon (TNO)
This theme contains the following programmes:
10A Systems and packaging
10B Micro nozzles
10C Microdevices for chemical processing
The integration of sensors and actuators into larger systems can lead to new functionalities and more efficient production in many high-tech systems. The forming of networks is a key element in this. The integration of these sensors allows for innovations in the fields of security and logistics. Similar solutions can also be used to monitor patients, to advance preventive healthcare, and to reduce costs in the medical field. In industry, the implementation of additional sensors can improve performance by predicting essential maintenance and accurate condition monitoring. In the chemical industry this will allow production on a micro scale with macro output. Finally, in printing, it will enable high throughput and high quality.
10A Systems and packaging
Sensors are essential tools for monitoring the environment and controlling processes in public areas, industrial manufacturing, and health care. It is therefore of socio-economic interest to have available the most performing, robust, and error tolerant sensors. We address this requirement in a first line of attack by implementing thousands of identical sensors, so called ‘sensor swarms’, which inherently can be error tolerant and due to large number effects achieve unsurpassed system stability. The second strategy focuses on the interface between the sensor and its environment, our everyday world. This contact is provided through the so-called ‘package’ of the sensor.
A thorough understanding of these interfaces will also allow making individual sensors more robust and reliable . The fabrication process of such packaged sensors is called ‘heterogenous integrations’, because different elements and materials are assembled in one package.
A better understanding of the systems architecture and the heterogeneous integration, assembly and packaging technology enables faster developments with less iterations. Hence less energy will be consumed and less waste produced, in other words, the work contributes to a more sustainable economy. With the overarching goal of industrialisation, the programme aims at delivering:
- Experimental evidence of the robustness of sensor colonies
- Models for describing multi-scale multi-physics interfaces
- An assembly and packaging technique, for soft systems
- A robust, integrated micro Coriolis flow sensor, controlling a micro-valve
- An imbedded gas-sensing system for harsh environments
- Packaged self calibrating nano-cantilever sensor system
Prof. dr. Urs Staufer (Delft University of Technology)
10B Micro Nozzles
The behaviour of fluids on micro scales is very different from that on large scales, offering both new technological opportunities and new scientific challenges. The formation and precise control of large numbers of miniature fluid volumes enables the production of highly‐uniform microspheres for drug delivery, precisely controlled sprayed and atomized pharmaceuticals and aerosols, deposition of minute amounts of biofluids for medical analyses, high‐throughput high‐resolution inkjet printing, etc.
On the other hand, severe complications can arise from uncontrolled behavior of thin‐liquid films: contact‐line instabilities and nanobubbles compromise the reliability of immersion‐lithography processes and cause excessive wetting of inkjet‐nozzle plates, leading to malfunction. The inherent multiphysics and multiscale character of microfluids necessitate an aggregation of disparate knowledge and close public (knowledge) and private (application) cooperation. This programme focuses on two essential phenomena:
- Formation of microdroplets: This process is relevant for spray and jetting applications, the production of microspheres, and micro‐etching techniques.
- Control of thin liquid films: This process is relevant for all jetting and immersionlithography applications.
The programme connects expert scientific knowledge of microfluidic phenomena and modelling and simulation techniques to device and process development. The programme focuses on a selection of applications with direct relevance for the Dutch high‐tech industry.
Prof. dr. ir. Herman Wijshoff (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Nano4Society applies nanotechnology within the ecosystem to develop solutions for major social transitions and creating social impact and economic value.
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