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Special Issue "Smart Microstructures and Materials for Sensors and Actuators Applications"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 4967

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Susana Catarino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Microelectromechanical Systems Research Unit (CMEMS-UMinho), Universidade do Minho, Campus de Azurem, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Interests: microfluidics; acoustics; sensors; actuators; numerical simulation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Óscar Samuel Novais Carvalho
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Microelectromechanical Systems Research Unit (CMEMS-UMinho), Universidade do Minho, Campus de Azurem, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Interests: biomedical applications; additive manufacturing; laser texturing; bio inspired materials; implants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart materials and microstructures have gained, over the last decades, an increasing attention from the scientific and industrial community. These materials and structures have helped the fast development on the miniaturization, automation and efficiency of mechanical microdevices, later known as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). These microstructures combine electrical and mechanical components at a micro-scale level, and can be used both for sensing and actuation applications. The development of such microstructures is a multidisciplinary topic, involving the integration and connection of different areas, such as micro/nanotechnologies, chemistry, optics, acoustics, mechanics, electronics or materials engineering. Moreover, the recent progress of nanotechnology is also gaining popularity and has expanded the areas of application of the smart materials and structures to under the micrometer scale dimensions, with new smart nanofilms and nanoparticles. In this Special Issue, the editors invite submissions (review articles, original research papers and brief communications) contributing to the latest advances, challenges and perspectives in smart microstructures, materials and MEMS for sensors and actuators, in different application areas. Both experimental and numerical studies may be considered. Contributions in different areas are welcome, including biotechnology, biomedical, mechanical, electronic and materials engineering, as well as their applications to research and industry. We hope to bring together researchers who are interested in the general field of smart materials and structures, and provide an opportunity to the engineering community to discuss and exchange knowledge regarding their different applications.

Dr. Susana Catarino
Dr. Óscar Samuel Novais Carvalho
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 semimonthly 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 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Actuator
  • Bioinspired materials
  • Magnetostriction
  • Materials functionalization
  • MEMS
  • Microdevices
  • Micro/nano fabrication
  • Microstructures
  • Microfluidics
  • Numerical models
  • Piezoelectricity
  • Sensors
  • Simulation
  • Smart materials

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Passive Attenuation of Mechanical Vibrations with a Superelastic SMA Bending Springs: An Experimental Investigation
Sensors 2022, 22(9), 3195; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22093195 - 21 Apr 2022
Viewed by 761
Abstract
This work presents an experimental study related to the mechanical performance of a special design spring fabricated with a superelastic shape memory alloy (SMA-SE). For the experimental testing, the spring was coupled in a rotor machine, aiming to attenuate the mechanical vibration when [...] Read more.
This work presents an experimental study related to the mechanical performance of a special design spring fabricated with a superelastic shape memory alloy (SMA-SE). For the experimental testing, the spring was coupled in a rotor machine, aiming to attenuate the mechanical vibration when the system went through a natural frequency without any external power source. It was verified that the reduction in instabilities stemmed from the better distribution of vibration force in the proposed device, as well as the damping capacity of the spring material. These findings showed that the application of the M-Shape device of SMA-SE for three different cases could reduce vibration up to 23 dB when compared to the situations without, and with, 1.5 mm of preload. The M-Shape device was shown to be efficient in reducing the mechanical vibration in a rotor system. This was due to the damping capacity of the SMA-SE material, and because the application did not require any external source of energy to generate phase transformation. Full article
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Article
Micromechanical Force Sensor Using the Stress–Impedance Effect of Soft Magnetic FeCuNbSiB
Sensors 2021, 21(22), 7578; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21227578 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
By using the stress–impedance (SI) effect of a soft magnetic amorphous FeCuNbSiB alloy, a micromachined force sensor was fabricated and characterized. The alloy was used as a sputtered thin film of 500 nm thickness. To clarify the SI effect in the used material [...] Read more.
By using the stress–impedance (SI) effect of a soft magnetic amorphous FeCuNbSiB alloy, a micromachined force sensor was fabricated and characterized. The alloy was used as a sputtered thin film of 500 nm thickness. To clarify the SI effect in the used material as a thin film, its magnetic and mechanical properties were first investigated. The stress dependence of the magnetic permeability was shown to be caused by the used transducer effect. The sputtered thin film also exhibited a large yield strength of 983 GPa. Even though the fabrication technology for the device is very simple, characterization revealed a gauge factor (GF) of 756, which is several times larger than that achieved with conventional transducer effects, such as the piezoresistive effect. The fabricated device shows great application potential as a tactile sensor. Full article
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Article
Critical Frequency of Self-Heating in a Superelastic Ni-Ti Belleville Spring: Experimental Characterization and Numerical Simulation
Sensors 2021, 21(21), 7140; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21217140 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1126
Abstract
The mechanical loading frequency affects the functional properties of shape memory alloys (SMA). Thus, it is crucial to study its effect for the successful use of these materials in dynamic applications. Based on the superelastic cyclic behavior, this work presents an experimental methodology [...] Read more.
The mechanical loading frequency affects the functional properties of shape memory alloys (SMA). Thus, it is crucial to study its effect for the successful use of these materials in dynamic applications. Based on the superelastic cyclic behavior, this work presents an experimental methodology for the determination of the critical frequency of the self-heating of a NiTi Belleville conical spring. For this, cyclic compressive tests were carried out using a universal testing machine with loading frequencies ranging from 0.5 Hz to 10 Hz. The temperature variation during the cyclic tests was monitored using a micro thermocouple glued to the NiTi Belleville spring. Numerical simulations of the spring under quasi-static loadings were performed to assist the analysis. From the experimental methodology applied to the Belleville spring, a self-heating frequency of 1.7 Hz was identified. The self-heating is caused by the latent heat accumulation generated by successive cycles of stress-induced phase transformation in the material. At 2.0 Hz, an increase of 1.2 °C in the average temperature of the SMA device was verified between 1st and 128th superelastic cycles. At 10 Hz, the average temperature increase reached 7.9 °C and caused a 10% increase in the stiffness and 25% decrease in the viscous damping factor. Finally, predicted results of the force as a function of the loading frequency were obtained. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Metal-Based PZT and PMN–PT Energy Harvesters Fabricated by Aerosol Deposition Method
Sensors 2021, 21(14), 4747; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21144747 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
In this study, polycrystalline lead magnesium niobate–lead titanate (PMN–PT) was explored as an alternative piezoelectric material, with a higher power density for energy harvesting (EH), and comprehensively compared to the widely used polycrystalline lead zirconate titanate (PZT). First, the size distribution and piezoelectric [...] Read more.
In this study, polycrystalline lead magnesium niobate–lead titanate (PMN–PT) was explored as an alternative piezoelectric material, with a higher power density for energy harvesting (EH), and comprehensively compared to the widely used polycrystalline lead zirconate titanate (PZT). First, the size distribution and piezoelectric properties of PZT and PMN–PT raw powders and ceramics were compared. Thereafter, both materials were deposited on stainless-steel substrates as 10 μm thick films using the aerosol deposition method. The films were processed as {3–1}-mode cantilever-type EH devices using microelectromechanical systems. The films with different annealing temperatures were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and dielectric behavior measurements. Furthermore, the mechanical and electrical properties of PMN–PT- and PZT-based devices were measured and compared. The PMN–PT-based devices showed a higher Young’s modulus and lower damping ratio. Owing to their higher figure of merit and lower piezoelectric voltage constant, they showed a higher power and lower voltage than the PZT-based devices. Finally, when poly-PMN–PT material was the active layer, the output power was enhanced by 26% at the 0.5 g acceleration level. Thus, these devices exhibited promising properties, meeting the high current and low voltage requirements in integrated circuit designs. Full article
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