Sensors2014, 14(8), 13644-13660; doi:10.3390/s140813644 (doi registration under processing) - published online 28 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: An elasto-magnetic (EM) and magneto-electric (ME) effect based elasto-magneto-electric (EME) sensor has been proposed recently by the authors for stress monitoring of steel cables with obvious superiorities over traditional elasto-magnetic sensors. For design optimization and engineering application of the EME sensor, the design theory is interpreted with a developed model taking into account the EM coupling effect and ME coupling effect. This model is able to approximate the magnetization changes that a steel structural component undergoes when subjected to excitation magnetic field and external stress, and to simulate the induced ME voltages of the ME sensing unit located in the magnetization area. A full-scale experiment is then carried out to verify the model and to calibrate the EME sensor as a non-destructive evaluation (NDE) tool to monitor the cable stress. The experimental results agree well with the simulation results using the developed model. The proposed EME sensor proves to be feasible for stress monitoring of steel cables with high sensitivity, fast response, and ease of installation.
Sensors2014, 14(8), 13628-13643; doi:10.3390/s140813628 (doi registration under processing) - published online 28 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Research, design, fabrication and results of various screen printed capacitive humidity sensors is presented in this paper. Two types of capacitive humidity sensors have been designed and fabricated via screen printing on recycled paper and cardboard, obtained from the regional paper and cardboard industry. As printing ink, commercially available silver nanoparticle-based conductive ink was used. A considerable amount of work has been devoted to the humidity measurement methods using paper as a dielectric material. Performances of different structures have been tested in a humidity chamber. Relative humidity in the chamber was varied in the range of 35%–80% relative humidity (RH) at a constant temperature of 23 °C. Parameters of interest were capacitance and conductance of each sensor material, as well as long term behaviour. Process reversibility has also been considered. The results obtained show a mainly logarithmic response of the paper sensors, with the only exception being cardboard-based sensors. Recycled paper-based sensors exhibit a change in value of three orders of magnitude, whereas cardboard-based sensors have a change in value of few 10s over the entire scope of relative humidity range (RH 35%–90%). Two different types of capacitor sensors have been investigated: lateral (comb) type sensors and modified, perforated flat plate type sensors. The objective of the present work was to identify the most important factors affecting the material performances with humidity, and to contribute to the development of a sensor system supported with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip directly on the material, for use in smart packaging applications. Therefore, the authors built a passive and a battery-supported wireless module based on SL900A smart sensory tag’s IC to achieve UHF-RFID functionality with data logging capability.
Sensors2014, 14(8), 13613-13627; doi:10.3390/s140813613 (doi registration under processing) - published online 28 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: n this research work, the sensitivity of TiO2 nanoparticles towards C2H5OH, H2 and CH4 gases was investigated. The morphology and phase content of the particles was preserved during sensing tests by prior heat treatment of the samples at temperatures as high as 750 °C and 1000 °C. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis were employed to characterize the size, morphology and phase content of the particles. For sensor fabrication, a film of TiO2 was printed on a Au interdigitated alumina substrate. The sensing temperature was varied from 450 °C to 650 °C with varying concentrations of target gases. Results show that the sensor has ultrahigh response towards ethanol (C2H5OH) compared to hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4). The optimum sensing temperature was found to be 600 °C. The response and recovery times of the sensor are 3 min and 15 min, respectively, for 20 ppm C2H5OH at the optimum operating temperature of 600 °C. It is proposed that the catalytic action of TiO2 with C2H5OH is the reason for the ultrahigh response of the sensor.
Sensors2014, 14(8), 13592-13612; doi:10.3390/s140813592 - published online 25 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Filamentous bacteriophages have successfully been used to detect chemical and biological analytes with increased selectivity and sensitivity. The enhancement largely originates not only from the ability of viruses to provide a platform for the surface display of a wide range of biological ligands, but also from the geometric morphologies of the viruses that constitute biomimetic structures with larger surface area-to-volume ratio. This review will appraise the mechanism of multivalent display of the viruses that enables surface modification of virions either by chemical or biological methods. The accommodation of functionalized virions to various materials, including polymers, proteins, metals, nanoparticles, and electrodes for sensor applications will also be discussed.
Sensors2014, 14(8), 13556-13591; doi:10.3390/s140813556 - published online 25 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) are musical instruments typically composed of a control surface where user interaction is measured by sensors whose values are mapped to sound synthesis algorithms. These instruments have gained interest among skilled musicians and performers in the last decades leading to artistic practices including musical performance, interactive installations and dance. The creation of DMIs typically involves several areas, among them: arts, design and engineering. The balance between these areas is an essential task in DMI design so that the resulting instruments are aesthetically appealing, robust, and allow responsive, accurate and repeatable sensing. In this paper, we review the use of sensors in the DMI community as manifested in the proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME 2009–2013). Focusing on the sensor technologies and signal conditioning techniques used by the NIME community. Although it has been claimed that specifications for artistic tools are harder than those for military applications, this study raises a paradox showing that in most of the cases, DMIs are based on a few basic sensors types and unsophisticated engineering solutions, not taking advantage of more advanced sensing, instrumentation and signal processing techniques that could dramatically improve their response. We aim to raise awareness of limitations of any engineering solution and to assert the benefits of advanced electronics instrumentation design in DMIs. For this, we propose the use of specialized sensors such as strain gages, advanced conditioning circuits and signal processing tools such as sensor fusion. We believe that careful electronic instrumentation design may lead to more responsive instruments.
Sensors2014, 14(8), 13548-13555; doi:10.3390/s140813548 - published online 25 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We demonstrate a novel method for reducing saturation artifacts in spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) systems. This method is based on a two-level SD-OCT system with a dual-line charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. We compensate the saturated signal detected by the first line using the unsaturated signal detected by the second line. The Fourier transform of the compensated spectrum shows effective suppression of saturation artifacts. This method was also successfully performed on phantom material and skin on a human finger. Our method causes neither back-scattering power loss nor signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) degradation. The only difference between the traditional system and our two-level system is our utilization of the dual-line CCD camera; no additional devices or complex designs are needed.