Pressure Sensor Development Using Hard Anodized Aluminum Diaphragm And Thin Film Strain Gauges
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The sensor is a device that converts a form of energy concerning which the information is sought, called the measurand, to a form (electrical) in which it can be usefully processed or interpreted. Sensors rely on physical or chemical phenomena and materials where those phenomena appear to be useful. Those phenomena may concern the material itself or its geometry. Hence, the major innovations in sensors come from new materials, new fabrication techniques or both. Normally, thin film sensors are realized by depositing a sensing film on a suitable substrate. There could be many combination of metals and insulating materials being deposited depending upon the application or sensing requirements. In general, sensors for various applications are fabricated using a variety of liquid phase technologies (also called as wet methods) and gas phase technologies (also called as dry methods) of deposition. Hence sensor fabrication technology requires various combination of processing technologies and newer materials. In the present work, an attempt is made to design and fabricate a thin film based pressure sensor using a combination of wet and dry deposition techniques. The diaphragm, used for sensing the pressure is coated with a hard anodic coating (Al2O3) using a wet technology, viz. pulse hard anodizing technique, for electrical insulation requirement. The piezo-resistive strain sensing films were deposited onto this coating by dry method, namely, DC Magnetron sputtering technique.. Chapter 01 gives a brief overview of sensors, their classification, principles of sensing,characteristics, materials used in the fabrication of sensors like conductors and insulators, the components of a sensor. Chapter 02 gives brief information about various techniques of depositions viz., liquid phase technologies (wet methods) and vapour phase technologies (dry methods) used to fabricate the sensors. Also, information regarding the coating property evaluation and coating characterization techniques is included. The chapter 03 presents a detailed account of work carried out to obtain an electrically insulating layer by the development of pulse hard anodizing process for aluminum alloy diaphragm, necessary process optimization and testing. The details related to the development, fabrication and testing of thin film based pressure sensors using aluminum alloy diaphragm with hard anodic coating are presented in Chapter 04. The thin film strain gauges were deposited using DC magnetron sputtering technique. The information about mask design, deposition process parameters, calibration etc is also included. Chapter 05 provides summary of the work carried out and conclusions. The scope of carrying out further work is also outlined.
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