The C10988MA-01 sensor from Hamamatsu Photonics is an ultra-compact spectrometer built with Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS) technology. Measuring only 27.6 x 13 x 16.8 mm and weighing just 9 grams, the device is intended to be used in portable and hand-held devices where a standard mini-spectrometer would be too large and consume too much power. [via]
The new device features an aberration-corrected concave grating with a very short focal length and blazed grating profile for high diffraction efficiency. The grating is replicated onto a convex glass lens using nano-print technology. Directly opposite the grating there is a dedicated CMOS silicon image sensor with an on-chip slit. This 75 x 750 µm slit is formed in the CMOS chip using MEMS technology. The distance between the sensor and slit is only 1 mm, and the distance between the grating and the image sensor distance a mere 8.5mm. Thanks to its novel design, the sensor offers a spectral resolution of 14 nm in the wavelength range of 340 to 750 nm, making it suitable for a variety of visible light applications requiring a miniaturized spectrometer head.
Ultra-Compact Spectrometer Sensor Targets Visible Light - [Link]
STMicroelectronics has added a high-performance standalone 3-axis magnetometer to its MEMS sensor portfolio - [via]
By introducing the 2 x 2 x 1mm LIS3MDL magnetometer, ST now offers unique flexibility for designers to implement movement and position detection in space-constrained products such as smartphones and personal navigation devices. The device can also be combined with other discrete sensors from ST such as 3-axis MEMS accelerometer or 3-axis MEMS gyroscope, to build sensors with as many as 9 degrees of freedom (DOF).
LIS3MDL – Single-chip magnetometer by ST - [Link]
Researchers at MIT have designed a novel device the size of a U.S. quarter that harvests energy from low-frequency vibrations, such as those that might be felt along a pipeline or bridge. The tiny energy harvester — known technically as a microelectromechanical system, or MEMS — picks up a wider range of vibrations than current designs, and is able to generate 100 times the power of devices of similar size.
To harvest electricity from environmental vibrations, researchers have typically looked to piezoelectric materials, or PZT, such as quartz and other crystals. Various designs are based on a small microchip with layers of PZT glued to the top of a tiny cantilever beam. As the chip is exposed to vibrations, the beam moves up and down like a wobbly diving board, bending and stressing the PZT layers. The stressed material builds up an electric charge, which can be picked up by arrays of tiny electrodes. However, the beam itself has a resonant frequency and outside of this frequency, the beam’s response drops off, along with the amount of power that can be generated. [via]
New MEMS Device Generates More Energy From Small Vibrations - [Link]
A piezoresistive pressure sensor with very small external dimensions of 6.1×4.7×8.2 mm. The sensor measures gauge pressure in the range 0 to 37 kPa. Low power consumption and excellent temperature characteristics. [via]
- Ultra-miniature 6.1 × 4.7 × 8.2 mm
- Low Power consumption of 0.2 mW
- Low Temperature Influence: Span of ±1.0%FS, Offset of ±3.0%FS
MEMS Gauge Pressure Sensor - [Link]
Wrapped around this cardiac balloon catheter are temperature and EKG sensors and LEDs. The wires are stretchable coils. It is manufactured with a lift-off MEMS process. The etched silicon is then stretched and attached to a polymer backing. Silicon usage is minimized over the substrate and the ensemble is quite flexible, to survive inflation and deflation of the balloon.
Stretchable, inflatable electronics - [Link]
The last project I built, the Masochist’s Video Card reminded me of how fun pure TTL digital design can be and since the 7400 contest seems to be allowing multiple entries, I figured why not build something else?
The accelerometer is an interesting sensor that is now extremely tiny thanks to MEMS technology. Specifically, the accelerometer senses gravity, and since earth has a constant 1 g-force always pulling toward the center, we can use that reference to find the tilt of any object. With some digital design and LEDs added to the mix we can even build a tilt sensor as I will show you in this article.
TTL Tilt Sensor - [Link]
Baolab Microsystems has developed innovative, pure CMOS MEMS devices that use Lorentz force sensors to detect the strength and direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. The new 3D Digital NanoCompass™ technology matches existing performance benchmarks for sensitivity, power consumption and package size at dramatically lower cost. An additional unique feature is autocalibration for consistent accuracy.
The new compass chips utilise Baolab’s NanoEMS™ technology, which allows nanoscale MEMS devices to be fabricated using standard high-volume CMOS lines and fully integrated monolithically with analogue and digital electronics. The MEMS elements are defined within the existing metal interconnect layers on the wafer as part of the normal CMOS production process. Conventional 3D compass devices typically use magnetoresistive materials or Hall-effect devices combined with magnetic field concentrators to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. [via]
Novel 3D digital MEMS compass fabricated in CMOS - [Link]
A new MEMS device from Texas Instruments promises to make non-contact IR temperature sensing much easier and less expensive than existing methods. The TMP006 is a complete single-chip, passive IR temperature sensor with integrated MEMS thermopile, signal conditioning circuitry, 16-bit ADC, local temperature and voltage references, and both I2C and SMBus digital interfaces, all in a chip measuring 1.6 x 1.6 mm. [via]
MEMS device revolutionises non-contact temperature sensing – [Link]
Drone writes: This is a single part MEMS 10-DOF IMU part that will ship around 15 July 2011. OK, here’s the catch: Unless I’m missing something obvious, it looks like this device costs $605 USD each in quantity 100-499 (no, I did not forget a decimal point). There’s an EV board, but Gawd only knows what that’s going to cost.
ADIS16407: Ten Degrees of Freedom Inertial Sensor
Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) released for general availability today the ADIS16407 iSensor IMU (inertial measurement unit) which integrates a tri-axis gyroscope, tri-axis accelerometer, tri-axis magnetometer and a pressure sensor into a single package.
ADIS16407: Ten degrees of freedom inertial sensor – [Link]
Joe writes: TI have announced a tiny (1.6mm sq), low power and low cost (~$2) IR temperature sensor [via]
Enables contactless temperature measurement in portable and consumer electronic applications
Developed through TI’s expertise in MEMS technology, the TMP006 is the first of a new class of ultra-small, low power, and low cost passive infrared temperature sensors. It has 90% lower power consumption and is more than 95% smaller than existing solutions, making contactless temperature measurement possible in completely new markets and applications.
Single-chip digital IR temperature sensor - [Link]