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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1080; doi:10.3390/s17051080

Nitride-Based Materials for Flexible MEMS Tactile and Flow Sensors in Robotics

1
Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies @UNILE, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Arnesano (LE) 73010, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Innovazione, Università del Salento, Lecce 73100, Italy
3
Faculty of Technology and Bionics, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences Kleve 47533, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technologies in Italy 2016)

Abstract

The response to different force load ranges and actuation at low energies is of considerable interest for applications of compliant and flexible devices undergoing large deformations. We present a review of technological platforms based on nitride materials (aluminum nitride and silicon nitride) for the microfabrication of a class of flexible micro-electro-mechanical systems. The approach exploits the material stress differences among the constituent layers of nitride-based (AlN/Mo, Si x N y /Si and AlN/polyimide) mechanical elements in order to create microstructures, such as upwardly-bent cantilever beams and bowed circular membranes. Piezoresistive properties of nichrome strain gauges and direct piezoelectric properties of aluminum nitride can be exploited for mechanical strain/stress detection. Applications in flow and tactile sensing for robotics are described. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; stress-driven; aluminum nitride; silicon nitride; piezoelectric; piezoresistive; tactile sensing; flow sensing MEMS; stress-driven; aluminum nitride; silicon nitride; piezoelectric; piezoresistive; tactile sensing; flow sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abels, C.; Mastronardi, V.M.; Guido, F.; Dattoma, T.; Qualtieri, A.; Megill, W.M.; De Vittorio, M.; Rizzi, F. Nitride-Based Materials for Flexible MEMS Tactile and Flow Sensors in Robotics. Sensors 2017, 17, 1080.

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