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Special Issue "Electromagnetic Components of Mechatronics and Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) – Modeling and Design"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Slawomir Wiak

Institute of Mechatronics and Information Systems Technical University of Lodz, Stefanowskiego 18/22, Lodz, Poland
Interests: MEMS, mechatronics, computer modeling, optimization, CAD
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Lidija Petkovska

Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Rugjer Boshkovik bb. PO Box 574, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
Interests: CAD, numerical methods, computer modeling and simulation, optimization methodology, electromagnetic fields computations, electromagnetic devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 16th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Fields in Mechatronics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering – ISEF'2013 will be held in Ohrid (Macedonia), from September 12th to 14th 2013 (http://isef2013.feit.ukim.edu.mk/). Since ISEF started in Warsaw (Poland), over the decades it has gained a prominent position in the electromagnetic community worldwide. We proudly state the most important fact that this conference gathers a relatively small, but strongly connected and faithful group of outstanding specialists in applied electromagnetism, whose first and main objective is the practical application of sophisticated Science

In this special issue, a number of peer-reviewed selected papers presented at ISEF'2013, will be published. Papers addressing a wide range of Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS), dealing with phenomena, modeling, design and application are sought. The special issue aims to disseminate the recent advances of MEMS used either as sensors or actuators, the novel theoretical approaches, as well as practical applications. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to MEMS operating in a wide range of physical and chemical domains, electrostatics, mechanics, piezo-electrics, thermodynamics, electromagnetics, optics and biomedicine.

Prof. Dr. Slawomir Wiak
Prof. Dr. Lidija Petkovska
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Impact of Indoor Environment on Path Loss in Body Area Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(10), 19551-19560; doi:10.3390/s141019551
Received: 1 May 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 16 September 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1713 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper the influence of an example indoor environment on narrowband radio channel path loss for body area networks operating around 2.4 GHz is investigated using computer simulations and on-site measurements. In contrast to other similar studies, the simulation model included [...] Read more.
In this paper the influence of an example indoor environment on narrowband radio channel path loss for body area networks operating around 2.4 GHz is investigated using computer simulations and on-site measurements. In contrast to other similar studies, the simulation model included both a numerical human body phantom and its environment—room walls, floor and ceiling. As an example, radio signal attenuation between two different configurations of transceivers with dipole antennas placed in a direct vicinity of a human body (on-body scenario) is analyzed by computer simulations for several types of reflecting environments. In the analyzed case the propagation environments comprised a human body and office room walls. As a reference environment for comparison, free space with only a conducting ground plane, modelling a steel mesh reinforced concrete floor, was chosen. The transmitting and receiving antennas were placed in two on-body configurations chest–back and chest–arm. Path loss vs. frequency simulation results obtained using Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method and a multi-tissue anthropomorphic phantom were compared to results of measurements taken with a vector network analyzer with a human subject located in an average-size empty cuboidal office room. A comparison of path loss values in different environments variants gives some qualitative and quantitative insight into the adequacy of simplified indoor environment model for the indoor body area network channel representation. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Optimization of Magnetic Field-Assisted Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes for Sensing Applications
Sensors 2014, 14(10), 18474-18483; doi:10.3390/s141018474
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 16 September 2014 / Published: 7 October 2014
PDF Full-text (1639 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the most effective ways of synthesizing carbon nanotubes is the arc discharge method. This paper describes a system supported by a magnetic field which can be generated by an external coil. An electric arc between two electrodes is stabilized by [...] Read more.
One of the most effective ways of synthesizing carbon nanotubes is the arc discharge method. This paper describes a system supported by a magnetic field which can be generated by an external coil. An electric arc between two electrodes is stabilized by the magnetic field following mass flux stabilization from the anode to the cathode. In this work four constructions are compared. Different configurations of cathode and coils are calculated and presented. Exemplary results are discussed. The paper describes attempts of magnetic field optimization for different configurations of electrodes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Feasibility of Frequency-Modulated Wireless Transmission for a Multi-Purpose MEMS-Based Accelerometer
Sensors 2014, 14(9), 16563-16585; doi:10.3390/s140916563
Received: 10 June 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent advances in the Micro Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) technology have made wireless MEMS accelerometers an attractive tool for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of civil engineering structures. To date, sensors’ low sensitivity and accuracy—especially at very low frequencies—have imposed serious limitations for their [...] Read more.
Recent advances in the Micro Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) technology have made wireless MEMS accelerometers an attractive tool for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of civil engineering structures. To date, sensors’ low sensitivity and accuracy—especially at very low frequencies—have imposed serious limitations for their application in monitoring large-sized structures. Conventionally, the MEMS sensor’s analog signals are converted to digital signals before radio-frequency (RF) wireless transmission. The conversion can cause a low sensitivity to the important low-frequency and low-amplitude signals. To overcome this difficulty, the authors have developed a MEMS accelerometer system, which converts the sensor output voltage to a frequency-modulated signal before RF transmission. This is achieved by using a Voltage to Frequency Conversion (V/F) instead of the conventional Analog to Digital Conversion (ADC). In this paper, a prototype MEMS accelerometer system is presented, which consists of a transmitter and receiver circuit boards. The former is equipped with a MEMS accelerometer, a V/F converter and a wireless RF transmitter, while the latter contains an RF receiver and a F/V converter for demodulating the signal. The efficacy of the MEMS accelerometer system in measuring low-frequency and low-amplitude dynamic responses is demonstrated through extensive laboratory tests and experiments on a flow-loop pipeline. Full article
Open AccessArticle Unbalance Response Analysis and Experimental Validation of an Ultra High Speed Motor-Generator for Microturbine Generators Considering Balancing
Sensors 2014, 14(9), 16117-16127; doi:10.3390/s140916117
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 19 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to deal with the rotordynamics of the rotor of an ultra-high speed PM type synchronous motor-generator for a 500 W rated micro gas turbine generator. This paper introduces dynamic analysis, and experiments on the motor-generator. [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to deal with the rotordynamics of the rotor of an ultra-high speed PM type synchronous motor-generator for a 500 W rated micro gas turbine generator. This paper introduces dynamic analysis, and experiments on the motor-generator. The focus is placed on an analytical approach considering the mechanical dynamic problems. It is essential to deal with dynamic stability at ultra-high speeds. Unbalance response analysis is performed by calculating the unbalance with and without balancing using a balancing machine. Critical speed analysis is performed to determine the operating speed with sufficient separation margin. The unbalance response analysis is compared with the experimental results considering the balancing grade (ISO 1940-1) and predicted vibration displacement with and without balancing. Based on these results, a high-speed motor-generator was successfully developed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dependence of the Contact Resistance on the Design of Stranded Conductors
Sensors 2014, 14(8), 13925-13942; doi:10.3390/s140813925
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 July 2014 / Published: 30 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6161 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the manufacturing process multi-strand conductors are subject to compressive force and rotation moments. The current distribution in the multi-strand conductors is not uniform and is controlled by the transverse resistivity. This is mainly determined by the contact resistance at the strand [...] Read more.
During the manufacturing process multi-strand conductors are subject to compressive force and rotation moments. The current distribution in the multi-strand conductors is not uniform and is controlled by the transverse resistivity. This is mainly determined by the contact resistance at the strand crossovers and inter-strand contact resistance. The surface layer properties, and in particular the crystalline structure and degree of oxidation, are key parameters in determining the transverse resistivity. The experimental set-ups made it possible to find the dependence of contact resistivity as a function of continuous working stresses and cable design. A study based on measurements and numerical simulation is made to identify the contact resistivity functions. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Novel Optimal Configuration form Redundant MEMS Inertial Sensors Based on the Orthogonal Rotation Method
Sensors 2014, 14(8), 13661-13678; doi:10.3390/s140813661
Received: 22 May 2014 / Revised: 20 July 2014 / Accepted: 22 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to improve the accuracy and reliability of micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) navigation systems, an orthogonal rotation method-based nine-gyro redundant MEMS configuration is presented. By analyzing the accuracy and reliability characteristics of an inertial navigation system (INS), criteria for redundant configuration [...] Read more.
In order to improve the accuracy and reliability of micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) navigation systems, an orthogonal rotation method-based nine-gyro redundant MEMS configuration is presented. By analyzing the accuracy and reliability characteristics of an inertial navigation system (INS), criteria for redundant configuration design are introduced. Then the orthogonal rotation configuration is formed through a two-rotation of a set of orthogonal inertial sensors around a space vector. A feasible installation method is given for the real engineering realization of this proposed configuration. The performances of the novel configuration and another six configurations are comprehensively compared and analyzed. Simulation and experimentation are also conducted, and the results show that the orthogonal rotation configuration has the best reliability, accuracy and fault detection and isolation (FDI) performance when the number of gyros is nine. Full article
Open AccessArticle Smart Elasto-Magneto-Electric (EME) Sensors for Stress Monitoring of Steel Cables: Design Theory and Experimental Validation
Sensors 2014, 14(8), 13644-13660; doi:10.3390/s140813644
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 28 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
Open AccessArticle Influence of Segmentation of Ring-Shaped NdFeB Magnets with Parallel Magnetization on Cylindrical Actuators
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 13070-13087; doi:10.3390/s140713070
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 11 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 July 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work analyses the effects of segmentation followed by parallel magnetization of ring-shaped NdFeB permanent magnets used in slotless cylindrical linear actuators. The main purpose of the work is to evaluate the effects of that segmentation on the performance of the actuator [...] Read more.
This work analyses the effects of segmentation followed by parallel magnetization of ring-shaped NdFeB permanent magnets used in slotless cylindrical linear actuators. The main purpose of the work is to evaluate the effects of that segmentation on the performance of the actuator and to present a general overview of the influence of parallel magnetization by varying the number of segments and comparing the results with ideal radially magnetized rings. The analysis is first performed by modelling mathematically the radial and circumferential components of magnetization for both radial and parallel magnetizations, followed by an analysis carried out by means of the 3D finite element method. Results obtained from the models are validated by measuring radial and tangential components of magnetic flux distribution in the air gap on a prototype which employs magnet rings with eight segments each with parallel magnetization. The axial force produced by the actuator was also measured and compared with the results obtained from numerical models. Although this analysis focused on a specific topology of cylindrical actuator, the observed effects on the topology could be extended to others in which surface-mounted permanent magnets are employed, including rotating electrical machines. Full article
Open AccessArticle Synchronous Motor with Hybrid Permanent Magnets on the Rotor
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 12425-12436; doi:10.3390/s140712425
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 18 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 10 July 2014
PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Powder metallurgy allows designers of electric motors to implement new magnetic circuit structures. A relatively new concept is the use of a magnet system consisting of various types of magnets on one rotor, for example sintered and bonded magnets. This concept has [...] Read more.
Powder metallurgy allows designers of electric motors to implement new magnetic circuit structures. A relatively new concept is the use of a magnet system consisting of various types of magnets on one rotor, for example sintered and bonded magnets. This concept has been applied to the design and manufacture of the four-pole rotor of a synchronous motor with 400 W power and a rotational speed of 1500 rpm. In this motor, the stator of an asynchronous motor type Sh 71-4B is applied. The application of the new construction of the rotor resulted in an increase in motor efficiency and power factor compared to an asynchronous motor with the same volume. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Design, Fabrication and Characterization of a Transparent Atom Chip
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 10292-10305; doi:10.3390/s140610292
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 June 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (401 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study describes the design and fabrication of transparent atom chips for atomic physics experiments. A fabrication process was developed to define the wire patterns on a transparent glass substrate to create the desired magnetic field for atom trapping experiments. An area [...] Read more.
This study describes the design and fabrication of transparent atom chips for atomic physics experiments. A fabrication process was developed to define the wire patterns on a transparent glass substrate to create the desired magnetic field for atom trapping experiments. An area on the chip was reserved for the optical access, so that the laser light can penetrate directly through the glass substrate for the laser cooling process. Furthermore, since the thermal conductivity of the glass substrate is poorer than other common materials for atom chip substrate, for example silicon, silicon carbide, aluminum nitride. Thus, heat dissipation copper blocks are designed on the front and back of the glass substrate to improve the electrical current conduction. The testing results showed that a maximum burnout current of 2 A was measured from the wire pattern (with a width of 100 μm and a height of 20 μm) without any heat dissipation design and it can increase to 2.5 A with a heat dissipation design on the front side of the atom chips. Therefore, heat dissipation copper blocks were designed and fabricated on the back of the glass substrate just under the wire patterns which increases the maximum burnout current to 4.5 A. Moreover, a maximum burnout current of 6 A was achieved when the entire backside glass substrate was recessed and a thicker copper block was electroplated, which meets most requirements of atomic physics experiments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Characteristics Verification of an Independently Controllable Electromagnetic Spherical Motor
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 10072-10080; doi:10.3390/s140610072
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 23 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 June 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (781 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have been developing electromagnetic spherical actuators capable of three-degree-of-freedom rotation. However, these actuators require complex control to realize simultaneous triaxial drive, because rotation around one axis interferes with rotation around another. In this paper, we propose a new three-degree-of-freedom actuator where [...] Read more.
We have been developing electromagnetic spherical actuators capable of three-degree-of-freedom rotation. However, these actuators require complex control to realize simultaneous triaxial drive, because rotation around one axis interferes with rotation around another. In this paper, we propose a new three-degree-of-freedom actuator where 3-axes rotation can be controlled easily. The basic structure and the operating principle of the actuator are described. Then the torque characteristics and the dynamic characteristics are computed by employing 3D-FEM and the effectiveness of this actuator is clarified. Finally, the experimental results using the prototype of the actuator are shown to verify the dynamic performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Combined Experimental and Finite Element Analysis Method for the Estimation of Eddy-Current Loss in NdFeB Magnets
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8505-8512; doi:10.3390/s140508505
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 6 May 2014 / Accepted: 9 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
NdFeB permanent magnets (PMs) are widely used in high performance electrical machines, but their relatively high conductivity subjects them to eddy current losses that can lead to magnetization loss. The Finite Element (FE) method is generally used to quantify the eddy current [...] Read more.
NdFeB permanent magnets (PMs) are widely used in high performance electrical machines, but their relatively high conductivity subjects them to eddy current losses that can lead to magnetization loss. The Finite Element (FE) method is generally used to quantify the eddy current loss of PMs, but it remains quite difficult to validate the accuracy of the results with complex devices. In this paper, an experimental test device is used in order to extract the eddy current losses that are then compared with those of a 3D FE model. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of a Micro-Step Voltage-Fed Actuator with a Novel Stepper Motor for Automobile AGS Systems
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8026-8036; doi:10.3390/s140508026
Received: 28 March 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
PDF Full-text (678 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an improved micro-step voltage-fed actuator for an automobile active grill shutter (AGS) system. A novel structured stepper motor, which contains both the main and auxiliary teeth in the stator, is proposed for the actuator. In a normal permanent magnet [...] Read more.
This paper presents an improved micro-step voltage-fed actuator for an automobile active grill shutter (AGS) system. A novel structured stepper motor, which contains both the main and auxiliary teeth in the stator, is proposed for the actuator. In a normal permanent magnet (PM) motor coils are generally wound on all the stator teeth, however, in the proposed motor, the winding is only on the main teeth. Because of the absence of coils in the auxiliary teeth, the proposed stepper motor possesses the following advantages: simple structure, lighter weight, smaller volume, and less time consumption. The unique auxiliary poles in the stepper motor supply the flux path to increase the step resolution even without any coils. The characteristics of the proposed stepper motor were investigated using finite element analysis. In particular, the effect of the magnetization distribution of the PM on the motor performance was investigated during the analysis. Cogging torque, which causes noise and vibration issues, was minimized by the tooth-shape optimization. In addition, a micro-step voltage-fed algorithm was implemented for a high-resolution position control. By employing a current close to a sine wave using space vector pulse-width modulation, a high-quality current waveform with a high resolution was obtained. Finally, the proposed prototype was fabricated, and the cogging torque, back-electromotive force, and current characteristics were measured by mounting the prototype on the AGS system. Both the analysis and experimental results validate the performance improvement from the proposed motor and its possible application for the flap control of the AGS system. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modeling and Manufacturing of a Micromachined Magnetic Sensor Using the CMOS Process without Any Post-Process
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 6722-6733; doi:10.3390/s140406722
Received: 18 February 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (722 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The modeling and fabrication of a magnetic microsensor based on a magneto-transistor were presented. The magnetic sensor is fabricated by the commercial 0.18 mm complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process without any post-process. The finite element method (FEM) software Sentaurus TCAD is [...] Read more.
The modeling and fabrication of a magnetic microsensor based on a magneto-transistor were presented. The magnetic sensor is fabricated by the commercial 0.18 mm complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process without any post-process. The finite element method (FEM) software Sentaurus TCAD is utilized to analyze the electrical properties and carriers motion path of the magneto-transistor. A readout circuit is used to amplify the voltage difference of the bases into the output voltage. Experiments show that the sensitivity of the magnetic sensor is 354 mV/T at the supply current of 4 mA. Full article

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