Electric Field Sensing - Elfis

Electric Field Sensing

The measurement of the strength of an electric field is rather complex and hardly possible without severe interferences by the measurement device. Avoiding these disturbances would be of great benefit for a vast amount of research areas, including lightning research. Hence, we propose a unique and new transduction method for static and low-frequency electric fields, which will pave the way for novel measurement techniques. The goal comprises miniaturized sensing elements that enable a passive transduction, a resolution of better than 100 V/m, an insignificant temperature dependence, and, mainly, a negligible distortion of the electrical field.
Consecutive electro-mechanic, mechano-optic, and opto-electronic domain conversion is envisioned to meet these goals. Design goals have to be addressed for the micro-machined electro-mechanic transducer that serves also as light flux modulator and enables an extremely sensitive mechano-optical conversion. Dielectric waveguides are used to supply this transducer with light from the remote source and to guide the modulated light to the remote photodetector to maintain minimal distortions of the electric field.
Due to the number of involved physical domains, all scientific questions require an interdisciplinary research approach on numerous topics. Sophisticated transduction engineering is foreseen to convert the generally weak electrostatic forces into a detectable displacement. For that purpose, extensive 3D numerical modeling is intended to optimize the interaction of the virtually two-dimensional micro-electro-mechanic transducer with the external electric field. The influence of unipolar charges gathered at the transducer can interfere with the primary field and related effects like long term drift have to be studied thoroughly. Improvements of state of the art micromachining technologies and advanced modeling enable sophisticated design measures which are required to meet the demands of the sensitive electro-mechanic conversion. To confirm the overall concept, field tests will be carried out to characterize practical implementations of the transducer in free space at geophysical measurement sites, especially for determining the electrical field strength of the atmosphere under fair weather condition and thunderstorms.
The successful completion of the project will lead to a new generation of very sensitive transducers for static and slowly changing electric fields. The proposed approach promises unsurpassed advantages for numerous practical applications, e.g., in lightning and geophysical research.
The research team comprises experts in the field sensor design and modeling (Dr. W. Hortschitz), microtechnology (Prof. Dr. F. Keplinger), as well as lightning research (Dr. G. Diendorfer) from the Danube University Krems, the Vienna University of Technology, and the OVE, respectively.
The project is co-financed by the Country of Lower Austria.

Details

Duration 01/04/2016 - 31/03/2019
Funding FWF
Program FWF
Department

Department for Integrated Sensor Systems

Center for Micro and Nano Sensors

Principle investigator for the project (Danube University Krems) Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Hortschitz
Project members Gabor Kovacs Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Harald Steiner

Publications

Hortschitz, W.; Kainz, A.; Kovacs, G.; Steiner, H.; Stifter, M.; Sauter, T.; Schalko, J.; Jachimowicz, A.; Keplinger, F. (2018). Robust, ultra sensitive MOEMS inertial sensor read out with infrared light. 2018 IEEE Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Vol. 1: 952-955

Kainz, A.; Hortschitz, W.; Steiner, H.; Stifter, M.; Schalko, J.; Jachimowicz, A.; Keplinger, F. (2018). Passive optomechanical electric field strength sensor with built-in vibration suppression. Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 113, iss. 14: 143505

Hammer, G.; Kainz, A.; Hortschitz, W.; Zan, H. W.; Meng, H. F.; Sauter, T.; Keplinger, F. (2018). Detection of Heart and Respiration Rate with an Organic-Semiconductor-Based Optomechanical MEMS Sensor. Proceedings Eurosensors 2018, Vol. 2, iss. 13: 715

Hortschitz, W.; Kainz, A.; Steiner, H.; Kovacs, G.; Stifter, M.; Kahr, M.; Schalko, J.; Keplinger, F. (2018). Characterization of a Micro-Opto-Mechanical Transducer for the Electric Field Strength. Proceedings Eurosensors 2018, Vol. 2, iss. 13: 855

Kahr, M.; Domke, M.; Steiner, H.; Hortschitz, W.; Stifter, M. (2018). Borosilicate Glass MEMS Lorentz Force Magnetometer. Proceedings Eurosensors 2018, Vol. 2, iss. 13: 788

Kahr, M.; Hortschitz, W.; Steiner, H.; Stifter, M.; Kainz, A.; Keplinger, F. (2018). Novel 3D-Printed MEMS Magnetometer with Optical Detection. Proceedings Eurosensors 2018, Vol. 2, iss. 13: 783

Kahr, M.; Stifter, M.; Steiner, H.; Hortschitz, W.; Kovacs, G.; Kainz, A.; Schalko, J.; Keplinger, F. (2018). Responsitivity Measurement of a Lorentz Force Transducer for Homogeneous and Inhomogeneous Magnetic Fields. Proceedings Eurosensors 2018, Vol. 2, iss. 13: 843

Kainz, A.; Hortschitz, W.; Steiner, H.; Stifter, M.; Keplinger, F. (2018). Equivalent Circuit Model of an Optomechanical MEMS Electric Field Strength Sensor. Proceedings Eurosensors 2018, Vol. 2, iss. 13: 712

Steiner, H.; Kainz, A.; Stifter, M.; Kahr, M.; Kovacs, G.; Keplinger, F.; Hortschitz, W. (2018). Cross-Sensitivity of an Optomechanical MEMS Transducer. Proceedings Eurosensors 2018, Vol. 2, iss. 13: 719

Kainz, A.; Steiner, H.; Schalko, J.; Jachimowicz, A.; Kohl, F.; Stifter, M.; Beigelbeck, R.; Keplinger, F.; Hortschitz, W. (2018). Distortion-free measurement of electric field strength with a MEMS sensor. Nature Electronics, 1: 68-73

Lectures

3D-Printed MEMS Magnetometer Featuring Compliant Mechanism

Eurosensors 2018, Graz, Österreich, 10/09/2018

Borosilicate Glass MEMS Lorentz Force Magnetometer

Eurosensors 2018, Graz, Österreich, 10/09/2018

Cross-Sensitivity of an Optomechanical MEMS Transducer

Eurosensors 2018, Graz, Österreich, 10/09/2018

MOEMS Based Single Chip Lorentz Force Magnetic Gradiometer

Eurosensors 2018, Graz, Österreich, 10/09/2018

Novel 3D-Printed MEMS Magnetometer with Optical Detection

Eurosensors 2018, Graz, Österreich, 10/09/2018

Responsitivity Measurement of a Lorentz Force Transducer for Homogeneous and Inhomogeneous Magnetic Fields

Eurosensors 2018, Graz, Österreich, 10/09/2018

Robust, ultra sensitive MOEMS inertial sensor read out with infrared light

2018 IEEE Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Belfast, Irland, 23/01/2018

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