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Special Issue "State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "State-of-the-Art Sensors Technologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. M. Jamal Deen

Electrical and Computer Enginering, ITB 104, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: microelectronics; nanoelectronics and opto-electronics

Keywords

  • biosensors
  • chemical sensors
  • physical sensors
  • remote sensing sensors

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Average Dielectric Property Analysis of Complex Breast Tissue with Microwave Transmission Measurements
Sensors 2015, 15(1), 1199-1216; doi:10.3390/s150101199
Received: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 January 2015 / Published: 9 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prior information about the average dielectric properties of breast tissue can be implemented in microwave breast imaging techniques to improve the results. Rapidly providing this information relies on acquiring a limited number of measurements and processing these measurement with efficient algorithms. Previously, systems
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Prior information about the average dielectric properties of breast tissue can be implemented in microwave breast imaging techniques to improve the results. Rapidly providing this information relies on acquiring a limited number of measurements and processing these measurement with efficient algorithms. Previously, systems were developed to measure the transmission of microwave signals through breast tissue, and simplifications were applied to estimate the average properties. These methods provided reasonable estimates, but they were sensitive to multipath. In this paper, a new technique to analyze the average properties of breast tissues while addressing multipath is presented. Three steps are used to process transmission measurements. First, the effects of multipath were removed. In cases where multipath is present, multiple peaks were observed in the time domain. A Tukey window was used to time-gate a single peak and, therefore, select a single path through the breast. Second, the antenna response was deconvolved from the transmission coefficient to isolate the response from the tissue in the breast interior. The antenna response was determined through simulations. Finally, the complex permittivity was estimated using an iterative approach. This technique was validated using simulated and physical homogeneous breast models and tested with results taken from a recent patient study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
Open AccessArticle Direct Sensor Orientation of a Land-Based Mobile Mapping System
Sensors 2011, 11(7), 7243-7261; doi:10.3390/s110707243
Received: 7 June 2011 / Revised: 7 July 2011 / Accepted: 13 July 2011 / Published: 18 July 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A land-based mobile mapping system (MMS) is flexible and useful for the acquisition of road environment geospatial information. It integrates a set of imaging sensors and a position and orientation system (POS). The positioning quality of such systems is highly dependent on the
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A land-based mobile mapping system (MMS) is flexible and useful for the acquisition of road environment geospatial information. It integrates a set of imaging sensors and a position and orientation system (POS). The positioning quality of such systems is highly dependent on the accuracy of the utilized POS. This limitation is the major drawback due to the elevated cost associated with high-end GPS/INS units, particularly the inertial system. The potential accuracy of the direct sensor orientation depends on the architecture and quality of the GPS/INS integration process as well as the validity of the system calibration (i.e., calibration of the individual sensors as well as the system mounting parameters). In this paper, a novel single-step procedure using integrated sensor orientation with relative orientation constraint for the estimation of the mounting parameters is introduced. A comparative analysis between the proposed single-step and the traditional two-step procedure is carried out. Moreover, the estimated mounting parameters using the different methods are used in a direct geo-referencing procedure to evaluate their performance and the feasibility of the implemented system. Experimental results show that the proposed system using single-step system calibration method can achieve high 3D positioning accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
Open AccessArticle Using Acoustic Sensors to Improve the Efficiency of the Forest Value Chain in Canada: A Case Study with Laminated Veneer Lumber
Sensors 2011, 11(6), 5716-5728; doi:10.3390/s110605716
Received: 30 March 2011 / Revised: 10 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 27 May 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Engineered wood products for structural use must meet minimum strength and stiffness criteria. This represents a major challenge for the industry as the mechanical properties of the wood resource are inherently variable. We report on a case study that was conducted in a
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Engineered wood products for structural use must meet minimum strength and stiffness criteria. This represents a major challenge for the industry as the mechanical properties of the wood resource are inherently variable. We report on a case study that was conducted in a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) mill in order to test the potential of an acoustic sensor to predict structural properties of the wood resource prior to processing. A population of 266 recently harvested aspen logs were segregated into three sub-populations based on measurements of longitudinal acoustic speed in wood using a hand tool equipped with a resonance-based acoustic sensor. Each of the three sub-populations were peeled into veneer sheets and graded for stiffness with an ultrasonic device. The average ultrasonic propagation time (UPT) of each subpopulation was 418, 440 and 453 microseconds for the green, blue, and red populations, respectively. This resulted in contrasting proportions of structural veneer grades, indicating that the efficiency of the forest value chain could be improved using acoustic sensors. A linear regression analysis also showed that the dynamic modulus of elasticity (MOE) of LVL was strongly related to static MOE (R2 = 0.83), which suggests that acoustic tools may be used for quality control during the production process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Fabrication of Vertically-Integrated CMOS Image Sensors
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 4512-4538; doi:10.3390/s110504512
Received: 4 February 2011 / Revised: 26 March 2011 / Accepted: 11 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Technologies to fabricate integrated circuits (IC) with 3D structures are an emerging trend in IC design. They are based on vertical stacking of active components to form heterogeneous microsystems. Electronic image sensors will benefit from these technologies because they allow increased pixel-level data
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Technologies to fabricate integrated circuits (IC) with 3D structures are an emerging trend in IC design. They are based on vertical stacking of active components to form heterogeneous microsystems. Electronic image sensors will benefit from these technologies because they allow increased pixel-level data processing and device optimization. This paper covers general principles in the design of vertically-integrated (VI) CMOS image sensors that are fabricated by flip-chip bonding. These sensors are composed of a CMOS die and a photodetector die. As a specific example, the paper presents a VI-CMOS image sensor that was designed at the University of Alberta, and fabricated with the help of CMC Microsystems and Micralyne Inc. To realize prototypes, CMOS dies with logarithmic active pixels were prepared in a commercial process, and photodetector dies with metal-semiconductor-metal devices were prepared in a custom process using hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The paper also describes a digital camera that was developed to test the prototype. In this camera, scenes captured by the image sensor are read using an FPGA board, and sent in real time to a PC over USB for data processing and display. Experimental results show that the VI-CMOS prototype has a higher dynamic range and a lower dark limit than conventional electronic image sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Microfabrication and Applications of Opto-Microfluidic Sensors
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 5360-5382; doi:10.3390/s110505360
Received: 15 March 2011 / Revised: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 13 May 2011 / Published: 18 May 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A review of research activities on opto-microfluidic sensors carried out by the research groups in Canada is presented. After a brief introduction of this exciting research field, detailed discussion is focused on different techniques for the fabrication of opto-microfluidic sensors, and various applications
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A review of research activities on opto-microfluidic sensors carried out by the research groups in Canada is presented. After a brief introduction of this exciting research field, detailed discussion is focused on different techniques for the fabrication of opto-microfluidic sensors, and various applications of these devices for bioanalysis, chemical detection, and optical measurement. Our current research on femtosecond laser microfabrication of optofluidic devices is introduced and some experimental results are elaborated. The research on opto-microfluidics provides highly sensitive opto-microfluidic sensors for practical applications with significant advantages of portability, efficiency, sensitivity, versatility, and low cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
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Open AccessReview Amorphous and Polycrystalline Photoconductors for Direct Conversion Flat Panel X-Ray Image Sensors
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 5112-5157; doi:10.3390/s110505112
Received: 7 April 2011 / Revised: 25 April 2011 / Accepted: 4 May 2011 / Published: 9 May 2011
Cited by 85 | PDF Full-text (1438 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last ten to fifteen years there has been much research in using amorphous and polycrystalline semiconductors as x-ray photoconductors in various x-ray image sensor applications, most notably in flat panel x-ray imagers (FPXIs). We first outline the essential requirements for an
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In the last ten to fifteen years there has been much research in using amorphous and polycrystalline semiconductors as x-ray photoconductors in various x-ray image sensor applications, most notably in flat panel x-ray imagers (FPXIs). We first outline the essential requirements for an ideal large area photoconductor for use in a FPXI, and discuss how some of the current amorphous and polycrystalline semiconductors fulfill these requirements. At present, only stabilized amorphous selenium (doped and alloyed a-Se) has been commercialized, and FPXIs based on a-Se are particularly suitable for mammography, operating at the ideal limit of high detective quantum efficiency (DQE). Further, these FPXIs can also be used in real-time, and have already been used in such applications as tomosynthesis. We discuss some of the important attributes of amorphous and polycrystalline x-ray photoconductors such as their large area deposition ability, charge collection efficiency, x-ray sensitivity, DQE, modulation transfer function (MTF) and the importance of the dark current. We show the importance of charge trapping in limiting not only the sensitivity but also the resolution of these detectors. Limitations on the maximum acceptable dark current and the corresponding charge collection efficiency jointly impose a practical constraint that many photoconductors fail to satisfy. We discuss the case of a-Se in which the dark current was brought down by three orders of magnitude by the use of special blocking layers to satisfy the dark current constraint. There are also a number of polycrystalline photoconductors, HgI2 and PbO being good examples, that show potential for commercialization in the same way that multilayer stabilized a-Se x-ray photoconductors were developed for commercial applications. We highlight the unique nature of avalanche multiplication in a-Se and how it has led to the development of the commercial HARP video-tube. An all solid state version of the HARP has been recently demonstrated with excellent avalanche gains; the latter is expected to lead to a number of novel imaging device applications that would be quantum noise limited. While passive pixel sensors use one TFT (thin film transistor) as a switch at the pixel, active pixel sensors (APSs) have two or more transistors and provide gain at the pixel level. The advantages of APS based x-ray imagers are also discussed with examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Neural Recording Microsystems
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 4572-4597; doi:10.3390/s110504572
Received: 3 March 2011 / Revised: 3 April 2011 / Accepted: 25 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
Cited by 57 | PDF Full-text (595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The accelerating pace of research in neuroscience has created a considerable demand for neural interfacing microsystems capable of monitoring the activity of large groups of neurons. These emerging tools have revealed a tremendous potential for the advancement of knowledge in brain research and
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The accelerating pace of research in neuroscience has created a considerable demand for neural interfacing microsystems capable of monitoring the activity of large groups of neurons. These emerging tools have revealed a tremendous potential for the advancement of knowledge in brain research and for the development of useful clinical applications. They can extract the relevant control signals directly from the brain enabling individuals with severe disabilities to communicate their intentions to other devices, like computers or various prostheses. Such microsystems are self-contained devices composed of a neural probe attached with an integrated circuit for extracting neural signals from multiple channels, and transferring the data outside the body. The greatest challenge facing development of such emerging devices into viable clinical systems involves addressing their small form factor and low-power consumption constraints, while providing superior resolution. In this paper, we survey the recent progress in the design and the implementation of multi-channel neural recording Microsystems, with particular emphasis on the design of recording and telemetry electronics. An overview of the numerous neural signal modalities is given and the existing microsystem topologies are covered. We present energy-efficient sensory circuits to retrieve weak signals from neural probes and we compare them. We cover data management and smart power scheduling approaches, and we review advances in low-power telemetry. Finally, we conclude by summarizing the remaining challenges and by highlighting the emerging trends in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
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Open AccessReview Recent Progress in Brillouin Scattering Based Fiber Sensors
Sensors 2011, 11(4), 4152-4187; doi:10.3390/s110404152
Received: 6 February 2011 / Revised: 25 March 2011 / Accepted: 30 March 2011 / Published: 7 April 2011
Cited by 173 | PDF Full-text (648 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Brillouin scattering in optical fiber describes the interaction of an electro-magnetic field (photon) with a characteristic density variation of the fiber. When the electric field amplitude of an optical beam (so-called pump wave), and another wave is introduced at the downshifted Brillouin frequency
[...] Read more.
Brillouin scattering in optical fiber describes the interaction of an electro-magnetic field (photon) with a characteristic density variation of the fiber. When the electric field amplitude of an optical beam (so-called pump wave), and another wave is introduced at the downshifted Brillouin frequency (namely Stokes wave), the beating between the pump and Stokes waves creates a modified density change via the electrostriction effect, resulting in so-called the stimulated Brillouin scattering. The density variation is associated with a mechanical acoustic wave; and it may be affected by local temperature, strain, and vibration which induce changes in the fiber effective refractive index and sound velocity. Through the measurement of the static or dynamic changes in Brillouin frequency along the fiber one can realize a distributed fiber sensor for local temperature, strain and vibration over tens or hundreds of kilometers. This paper reviews the progress on improving sensing performance parameters like spatial resolution, sensing length limitation and simultaneous temperature and strain measurement. These kinds of sensors can be used in civil structural monitoring of pipelines, bridges, dams, and railroads for disaster prevention. Analogous to the static Bragg grating, one can write a moving Brillouin grating in fibers, with the lifetime of the acoustic wave. The length of the Brillouin grating can be controlled by the writing pulses at any position in fibers. Such gratings can be used to measure changes in birefringence, which is an important parameter in fiber communications. Applications for this kind of sensor can be found in aerospace, material processing and fine structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
Open AccessReview Fiber Optic Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring of Air Platforms
Sensors 2011, 11(4), 3687-3705; doi:10.3390/s110403687
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 18 March 2011 / Accepted: 21 March 2011 / Published: 25 March 2011
Cited by 77 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aircraft operators are faced with increasing requirements to extend the service life of air platforms beyond their designed life cycles, resulting in heavy maintenance and inspection burdens as well as economic pressure. Structural health monitoring (SHM) based on advanced sensor technology is potentially
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Aircraft operators are faced with increasing requirements to extend the service life of air platforms beyond their designed life cycles, resulting in heavy maintenance and inspection burdens as well as economic pressure. Structural health monitoring (SHM) based on advanced sensor technology is potentially a cost-effective approach to meet operational requirements, and to reduce maintenance costs. Fiber optic sensor technology is being developed to provide existing and future aircrafts with SHM capability due to its unique superior characteristics. This review paper covers the aerospace SHM requirements and an overview of the fiber optic sensor technologies. In particular, fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor technology is evaluated as the most promising tool for load monitoring and damage detection, the two critical SHM aspects of air platforms. At last, recommendations on the implementation and integration of FBG sensors into an SHM system are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
Open AccessReview Sensing Phosphatidylserine in Cellular Membranes
Sensors 2011, 11(2), 1744-1755; doi:10.3390/s110201744
Received: 7 December 2010 / Revised: 20 January 2011 / Accepted: 26 January 2011 / Published: 28 January 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid with a negatively charged head-group, is an important constituent of eukaryotic cellular membranes. On the plasma membrane, rather than being evenly distributed, phosphatidylserine is found preferentially in the inner leaflet. Disruption of this asymmetry, leading to the appearance of phosphatidylserine
[...] Read more.
Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid with a negatively charged head-group, is an important constituent of eukaryotic cellular membranes. On the plasma membrane, rather than being evenly distributed, phosphatidylserine is found preferentially in the inner leaflet. Disruption of this asymmetry, leading to the appearance of phosphatidylserine on the surface of the cell, is known to play a central role in both apoptosis and blood clotting. Despite its importance, comparatively little is known about phosphatidylserine in cells: its precise subcellular localization, transmembrane topology and intracellular dynamics are poorly characterized. The recent development of new, genetically-encoded probes able to detect phosphatidylserine within live cells, however, is leading to a more in-depth understanding of the biology of this phospholipid. This review aims to give an overview of the current methods for phosphatidylserine detection within cells, and some of the recent realizations derived from their use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
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