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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Systems on chip with integrated micromechanical THz, optical, magnetic and electrochemical sensors

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.09.03  Engineering sciences and technologies  Electronic components and technologies  Microelectronics 
2.15.01  Engineering sciences and technologies  Metrology  Sensors and data acquisition 

Code Science Field
T001  Technological sciences  Electronics and Electrical technology 

Code Science Field
2.02  Engineering and Technology  Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Information engineering 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (27)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  39221  Damjan Berčan  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2016 - 2019  22 
2.  38444  Daniele Bertocchi  Engineering sciences and technologies  Technical associate  2016 - 2019 
3.  18018  Ivica Bertocchi    Technical associate  2014 - 2019 
4.  33297  Mitja Brlan    Technical associate  2014 - 2019 
5.  24915  Bruno Cacovich    Technical associate  2014 - 2019 
6.  31188  PhD Olga Chambers  Mathematics  Researcher  2017 - 2019  28 
7.  18020  Boštjan Fink    Technical associate  2014 - 2019 
8.  39222  PhD Miha Gradišek  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2016 - 2019  28 
9.  24914  Carmen Hladnik Prosenc    Technical associate  2014 - 2019 
10.  51909  PhD Tadej Krmac  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2019 
11.  10303  Ratimir Kuzma Cigoj  Electronic components and technologies  Technical associate  2014 - 2019 
12.  03494  PhD Marijan Maček  Electronic components and technologies  Retired researcher  2014 - 2019  178 
13.  24916  Franci Novak    Technical associate  2014 - 2017 
14.  00130  PhD Anton Pleteršek  Electronic components and technologies  Retired researcher  2014 - 2019  207 
15.  01675  PhD Dušan Raič  Electronic components and technologies  Retired researcher  2018 - 2019  86 
16.  38117  PhD Rok Ražman  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019 
17.  24326  PhD Aleksander Sešek  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2014 - 2019  140 
18.  50658  PhD Tadej Skuber  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2017 - 2019  11 
19.  00166  PhD Drago Strle  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2014 - 2019  244 
20.  01717  Rozana Škrbec    Technical associate  2014 - 2015 
21.  34652  PhD Andrej Švigelj  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2016 - 2019  46 
22.  32972  PhD Mario Trifković  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2016 - 2017  23 
23.  01927  PhD Janez Trontelj  Electronic components and technologies  Head  2014 - 2019  582 
24.  10476  PhD Janez Trontelj ml.  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2014 - 2019  60 
25.  53517  Ajda Tuševski  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2019 
26.  36455  PhD Rok Vrtovec  Electric devices  Junior researcher  2014 - 2017 
27.  13143  PhD Andrej Žemva  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2015 - 2019  647 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1538  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering  Ljubljana  1626965  27,612 
Abstract
The research program consists of the following fields: A.  Sensors for low concentrations of substance molecules in air and liquids B.  Integrated wireless sensor networks C.  Sensors and systems in the THz range D.  Other nano- and microsensors. A. Sensors for low concentrations of substance molecules in air and liquids Contemporary sensor systems have a lot of disadvantages: low sensitivity, low chemical resolution and unreliable detection. The devices are large and expensive and the time which is needed for reliable substance detection is extremely long. The reason for that is in the very low concentration of target molecules in the atmosphere or a liquid (less than one target molecule in 10^12 molecules of air or liquid). The detection is largely done by their adsorption from the surrounding medium onto the sensor surface, which is coated with receptor molecules. The goal of the suggested program is to improve the sensitivity of existent detection systems at least for an order of magnitude, additionally improving the selectivity and the reliability of the detection. We intend to accomplish that by investigating the responses of a field of differently functionalized capacitive sensors with extremely low-noise capacitance or impedance measurements. Noise response measurement and statistical analysis of spectral densities will also be performed. Therefore, the implementation of a measurement system in micro/nano- electronic CMOS or BiCMOS technology is required. B. Integrated wireless sensor networks Research, focused mainly in the development of chemical substance sensors, is going to lead into the development of novel microsensor structures. Among other applications, the system will also be used in wireless sensor networks (WSN). Above all, the systems will be based on wireless sensor systems, which allow low-cost maintenance and are being embedded in the state-of-the art technologies, e.g. radio frequency identification RFID (UHF and HF) and other technologies, which allow reliable wireless data transfer. C. Sensors and systems in the THz range We wish to retain the leading role in the field of THz sensors and THz sensor systems. Therefore we will focus our research into thorough understanding of the thin nanometric film present in the sensor. We are going to develop a sensor array and a frequency-modulated THz source with the goal of acquiring a three-dimensional image of a concealed scene. We are going to investigate the narrow-band THz spectroscopy. D. Other nano- and micro sensors We are going to focus our research in the development of novel sensors and sensor arrays with integrated microcoils.
Significance for science
During the last program period, the researchers of the LMFE program group have been granted 9 international patents, 9 Slovenian patents and have filed in 11 patent applications. They have authored 23 international papers published in journals with an impact factor. The high number of the granted patents signifies a great importance of scientific results for the industrial partners. They however impede our publication of scientific papers to retain their competitive position. This is also a proof of scientific excellence, which discloses itself through the frequent citation of our patents, which is unfortunately not recognized by the ARRS methodology. Despite this deficiency, extensive research work is proposed in the program continuation. In certain fields, this work even reaches into the area of pure scientific activity. Along with the fact that the proposal of program continuation deals with the orientation into industry collaboration, we suggest a concept of scientific thought connection, which is realized in an industrial application after a certain time. Certainly such concept is difficult and subject to criticism that it is digressing from the “pure science” concept. But the lobbyists of the “pure science” are also defending their concept due to the fact that their results too often end only on paper, as they do not withstand a practical proof. In our case, all proposed research is practically provable or the proof is even included into the program. The proposed research combines interdisciplinary scientific concepts, which require thorough studies of uninvestigated phenomena on one hand, and allow optimal solutions of the pursued research goal on the another, through the use of state-of-the art physical and chemical processes modeling tools, and the realization and the use of state-of the art technologies for the design and realization of extremely complex measurement systems. We foresee that the results of our scientific discovery will be patented and published in prominent international journals. •  We are going to investigate the processes and the technologies of a selective surface chemical functionalization on the array of micro-sensors along with the study of the electrochemical functionalization of individual sensor elements. We are going to investigate the noise spectra of microcapacitors with variously modified surfaces in the interaction with various target molecules. •  We are going to design the architecture of an electronic circuit for the measurement of adsorption-desorption spectrum of the modified capacitive sensors in a wide frequency range and a miniature electronic interface for the addressing and the measurement of capacitance variations in a field of micro-capacitors with an extreme and yet unreached sensitivity in the range of 10 zF (zepto = 10^-21), which can be integrated in the array of micro-sensors. •  We are going to model the sensor structures and develop FEM models. Scientific experiments for acquiring the unknown model parameters will be designed. •  We are going to investigate the properties of nanoscale thin film layers of the THz sensor and analyze novel properties of these layers, currently without a scientific explanation. We believe that we are going to be the first to discover complex physical mechanisms.
Significance for the country
Since its beginning, LMFE has been strongly bonded to the Slovenian electrical industry. The laboratory has been of key importance for several large and important Slovenian factories. Let me present only two of them. A rangefinder with a high added value was a major export product of Fotona for several decades. Its complete electronics with top-level integrated circuits was developed and produced in LMFE. Additionally, Iskraemeco was one of the first international exporters of electronic electricity meters. LMFE has collaborated in the design process of both meter versions and significantly influenced the success of the products. One of the fastest growing Slovenian electronics companies is RLS Merilna tehnika. LMFE has contributed to this company providing its research and scientific basis. Many special integrated circuits were also designed or even produced by LMFE for this company. In the proposed program we see the continuation of the LMFE role, which is successfully overcoming the gap between the Slovenian scientific-research sphere and both the Slovenian and international industry. A strong connection with RLS will allow this company to strengthen its position among the eminent international metrology corporations (RLS exports almost 100% of its production to the most demanding markets). Here, a rapid transfer of a scientific innovation into a product which is industrially feasible is of key importance. Moreover, after the leader of the program group had invented a new and efficient sensor for precise angle measurement, he convinced the CEO of RLS company to start its production. This product is still the showpiece of the company and still remains a state-of-the-art product due to its outstanding performance. Previous success of LMFE assures that the researchers of the Laboratory are able to foresee the potential for industrial applications besides their research work and are able to solve actual industrial engineering problems. In the next program period, we expect a similar breakthrough with the design of a measuring system with integrated microcoils. A successful industrial product is expected along with a scientific contribution. We see a large potential in the suggested research of vapor detection sensors. Joint effort of Slovenian industry and LMFE could result in a set-up of a new production, or a foreign investor could be attracted in the worst case. Another potential for Slovene economy is also in the development of THz technology, as our primacy in the field of THz sensors with the best known room-temperature performance should be put to advantage. THz technology is at its beginnings, but it has the potential to assume a role of similar importance as once was the one of X-rays. It would be a misfortune for us if we would not be able to take advantage of our current primacy and scientific capacity and lose an excellent opportunity just because a small lack of funds needed to maintain the program and to promote it in the industry.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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