Leuven, Belgium, and San Diego, CA. Imec this week unveiled at its Imec Technology Forum (ITF) Health a pressure sensor based on micro-optomechanical systems (MOMS) technology. The organization said the sensor exhibits excellent measurement precision in a large pressure range while being compact, resistant to electromagnetic interference (EMI), and having multiplexing capabilities. Leveraging imec’s unique technical expertise in both MEMS and photonics, the sensor can be used in applications that require high-quality sensing, notably in the medical and life-sciences domains.
Pressure sensors to measure parameters such as altitude and depth or to engage in flow sensing are currently based on either MEMS or optical-fiber technologies, which bring both advantages and shortcomings. MEMS-based pressure sensors are popular as they are known for their good performance and small size. Optical fiber sensors are suitable for use in harsh environments that can be characterized by EMI or high temperatures; however, they make for less integrated and more complex and expensive systems.
Imec’s new MOMS-based pressure sensor combines the best of both worlds, as evidenced by its high precision, comparable to the one offered by commercial MEMS, over a very large range. Moreover, it shows high tolerance to EMI interference and supports multiplexing. With the sensor, imec researchers have demonstrated a root mean square precision lower than 1 Pa across a large range that could easily reach 100 kP.
Imec is now looking for partners including—but not limited to—health device manufacturers who are interested in conducting joint research on this topic or who want to engage in joint development and/or low-volume production.