In addition to these competences and our long-standing experience in microsystems, the Microsystem Technology division relies also on cross-border and interdisciplinary skills. These capabilities enable the team not only to work with the current technology itself but also to develop it in various directions and for diverse applications.
The clinical observation of the intracranial pressure is critical for the treatment of head injuries and brain diseases. Unlike wired or catheter-like systems with high risk of infection, these sensors can be read out wirelessly through the scalp. In order to realize such systems, researchers at SAL in collaboration with a long-term industrial partner, UNISENSOR, are developing an innovative implantable pressure sensor based on surface acoustic waves (SAWs). The sensitive element is a 30µm-thick membrane made of Lithium Niobate equipped with an acoustic transducer and working on the basis of SAW echoes measurements. The system can detect pressure variations of ±0.5 Torr (mmHg) in a wide range around atmospheric pressure.
Magnetic position and orientation detection is a rising field with numerous application-oriented possibilities to detect motion and relative positioning. For the developed prototype, for the company partner INFINEON an I-Dive multimedia control element was magnetically mapped. In other words, all four dimensions of motion for the control element are detected with a magnetic sensor in order to completely replace the original elaborate setup consisting of three optical encoders with light-guides and one push-button. This simple yet highly robust magnetic implementation offers high cost efficiency which is of great interest especially for branches like automotive industry with quantities in the millions.
Microsystems make products not only smaller and more powerful, but also more efficient, smarter and multifunctional. As a result, industry-wide innovation potentials are available for companies to strengthen and expand their position on the world markets.