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Modern Component Families and Circuit Block Design by Nihal Kularatna

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Chapter 7

Sensors

7.1 Introduction

Sensors convert information about the environment such as temperature, pressure, force, or acceleration into an electrical signal. With the development of microelectronic technology with silicon as the base material in the 1970s, sensors using the properties of silicon entered the component market. Silicon’s physical properties make it an ideal building material for mechanical devices. Silicon has the hardness of steel, the thermal conductivity of diamond, piezoresistive properties, a light weight, and low thermal expansion; also, it is relatively inert. It is free of hysteresis and its crystalline structure is well suited to the fabrication of miniature precision products. Silicon micromechanical products have ...

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