Design of an integrated sensor system that is manufactured as a silicon chip using commercial semiconductor technology. Photo: IMMS.
Design of an integrated sensor system that is manufactured as a silicon chip using commercial semiconductor technology. Photo: IMMS.

Integrated sensor systems

In the research field “Integrated sensor systems”, we investigate miniaturised systems manufactured in semiconductor technology consisting of microelectronic and/or microelectromechanical components for sensors applications, as well as methods to design these highly complex systems efficiently and safely.

  • Integrated sensor systems connect the analog with the digital world:

    Electrical, mechanical and optical parameters can be directly detected, amplified, digitised and transmitted on these silicon chips with an edge length of just a few millimetres. They are mobile, energy-efficient, precise and powerful and therefore represent the key technology for the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Functionalised chip surfaces can be used to measure additional physical as well as chemical and biological parameters. With integrated sensor systems, structural sizes in the µm range can be achieved and thus properties can also be detected on a molecular scale, such as in the sequencing of DNA.

  • Goal: new applications through functional integration and miniaturisation

    We aim to pioneer new applications through functional integration and miniaturisation. In the field of CMOS-based biosensors, we are researching CMOS-integrated transducers and their interaction with biological receptors. In the area of ULP sensor systems, we are reducing the energy demand of integrated sensor systems through intelligent power management and ultra-low power (ULP) circuit technology. In the field of MEMS sensors, we focus on piezoelectrically excitated cantilever or bar-based microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), e.g. to detect the weakest magnetic fields for medical applications. Our intensive research into AI-based design and test automation enables our partners and us to automate the development of highly complex integrated sensor systems and make them safer.

  • Research with commercial technology for industrial exploitation

    The goal of our research is always industrial exploitation. We therefore focus on system design with commercial semiconductor technology. Large quantities can be used here to achieve competitive and cost-effective solutions. In addition, IP protection and trustworthiness are strengthened.

    Integrated sensor systems are incorporated into solutions for all target markets of IMMS. In the lead applications of sensor systems for in-vitro diagnostics and RFID sensors, we focus on the use of integrated sensor systems in life sciences as well as in automation technology and Industry 4.0 target markets.