INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING IMPROVES HEALTH
Solid particle aerosols in the breathing air, especially in the fine dust range, are associated with a variety of health hazards such as respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. This leads to an increasing demand for personal measuring devices to monitor individual exposure. So far, however, despite various relevant national and international research activities, there are only discrete measuring devices in the size of a pack of cigarettes, which must be carried as an independent device. Highly integrated particle sensors that can be integrated into smartphones or wearables, for example, are therefore of particular importance.
The research team wants to create a “System on Chip" solution in which a fundamentally new measuring principle, signal processing and, optionally, additional gas sensors can work together in a very small space and in order to be integrated into smartphones or wearables. This can provide a revolutionary contribution to mobile and on-demand environmental monitoring, which in turn also can help to improve personal health.
The main objective of the EFiPaS research project is to prove the applicability of the evanescence field sensor principle and to implement the first sensor system demonstrator manufactured in semiconductor technology that is suitable for use in mobile phones, wearables or automotive applications.
The practical application of evanescence field sensors for aerosol measurement has not been investigated so far. One of the core scientific goals is to use comprehensive simulation models to gain a holistic understanding of the sensor effect. In particular, the aim is to investigate whether, in addition to the number/mass of particles, more complex parameters such as their size distribution can also be retrieved.
The final sensor-demonstrator chip will stand out due to its miniaturization, as well as its application-specific optimized shape, functionality and it’s highly integration capability. In addition, within this project the team will create the necessary, as yet non-existent manufacturing processes, which will subsequently also be of interest for further technological innovations in optical sensor technology.
The research consortium consists of three partners: the project was initiated and is coordinated by the company ams AG, a leading international company in the development and manufacturing of sensor solutions and analog ICs. On the scientific side, comprehensive know-how is provided by the IES - Institute of Electronic Sensor Systems at Graz University of Technology and CTR Carinthian Tech Research AG - application-oriented Research Center for Smart Sensors and System Integration.