Physical Sensors & Devices

Research that includes:

  • Silicon MEMS actuators: comb, electro-thermal, and plastic deformation
  • Precision electronic sensing and measurements of capacitive, frequency, and coulombic MEMS variables
  • Structures and architectures for gyroscopes, accelerometers, micro strain gauges for direct application to rigid structures e.g., steel, and levitated MEMS

BPN951: Berkeley Low-cost Interplanetary Solar Sail (BLISS)

Alexander Alvara
Bhuvan M. Belur

Space exploration often costs multiple millions of dollars for each exploratory mission to get a single piece of equipment into orbit. These missions usually return information in the form of scans or images or samples in the form of extracted material. This work proposes the manufacture and deployment of thousands of imaging capable solar sails systems with 10 gram payloads. Power generation is enabled through solar panels and batteries. Navigation is enabled through one square meter solar sails maneuvered by inchworm motors. Communications are enabled by laser transmitters and SPAD...

BPN979: Developing Sweat Rate Sensors Using New Sensing Modalities

Ashwin Aggarwal
Manik Dautta
Luis Fernando
Ayala Cardona

The skin surface naturally secretes sweat for thermoregulation during sedentary and physical activities at varying rates, which can sometimes indicate underlying health conditions such as nerve damages or metabolic disorders. As measuring low secretion rates poses a challenge for traditional microfluidic devices, we present new ways to collect such sweat rates precisely.

Project ended: 08/01/2023

BPN991: Autolabeling for Large-Scale Detection Datasets

Philip L. Jacobson

3D perception is an essential task for autonomous driving, and thus building the most accurate, computationally efficient, fast, and label efficient models is of great interest. In particular, label-efficient 3D detection is attractive as manual labeling of 3D LiDAR point clouds is both costly and time-consuming. Autolabeling is a machine learning paradigm in which a model is trained on a (small) set of labeled data before being used to generate predictions, known as pseudo-labels, on a large set of unlabeled data which can then be used to train an accurate downstream model with only a...

BPN965: Phonon Protected Superconducting Qubits

Mutasem Odeh
Kadircan Godeneli

Superconducting quantum circuits are leading candidates for quantum computing. Scaling up these systems for practical applications will require compact coherent qubits that store the quantum states, high fidelity quantum gates that process them, and a scalable architecture that can accommodate complex error correction circuits. Meeting such requirements is mainly impeded by the unavoidable presence of two-level systems (TLS), which act as a decoherence source that results in the loss of quantum information via phonon emission. In this project, we engineer superconducting circuits...

BPN992: Sensing and Actuation Applications Using Lithium Niobate PMUTs

Wei Yue
Hanxiao Liu
Yande Peng

Sensing, actuation and imaging applications based on ultrasounds could expand to many applications by means of miniaturization and low power consumption via MEMS fabrication technologies. Piezoelectric micromachined ultrasound transducers (PMUTs) with thin film designs have emerged as key commercial products but current state-of-art PMUTs are limited by the acoustic power/pressure for applications within a limited range by using AlN as the piezoelectrical material due to its process compatibility with microelectronics. One BSAC industrial member has developed a process to make PMUT...

BPN983: Materials and Devices for Bright UV LEDs

Shu Wang

Wide band gap semiconductors are crucial for applications in power electronics, displays, solid-state lightning and many other fields. Due to their intrinsic structure and electronic properties, many wide band gap semiconductors can not be intentionally doped as desired, which limits their role in electronic and optoelectronic devices. In this project, we propose tuning the optoelectronic properties of wide band gap semiconductors electrically to enhance its luminescence efficiency.

Project currently funded by: Member Fees

BPN978: Hot Car Studies

Anthony Hon

Young children trapped in a car without adult supervision may suffer life-threatening complications such as hyperthermia and heat stroke from extreme temperatures—which may rise to 130 °F in some cases. Our research aims to ascertain child presence within two to three minutes of unsupervised activity by probing increases in the levels of carbon dioxide emitted during human exhalation. Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors are employed to measure car carbon dioxide concentrations every two seconds. Specific numerical metrics are then derived from the data, and the presence of a child can...

BPN743: Highly Responsive pMUTs

Peggy Tsao
Megan Teng
Hanxiao Liu
Yande Peng

Ultrasonics has been realized as a nondestructive measurement method for a variety of applications, such as medical imaging, healthcare monitoring, structural testing, range finding, and motion sensing. Furthermore, high intensity ultrasound can be used in therapeutic treatments, such as lithotripsy for kidney stone comminution, hyperthermia for cancer therapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for laparoscopic surgery and transcranial sonothrombolysis for brain stroke treatment. MEMS ultrasonic transducers are known to have several pronounced advantages over the conventional...

BPN941: Ultrasound-Induced Haptic Interface

Fan Xia
Wei Yue

The next big thing, AR/VR, requires an immersive Human Machine Interface (HMI) in addition to visual and sound stimuli. Although skin is the biggest organ in the human body, very few efforts compared to visual and auditory senses have been done to develop a “sense of touch”. The mechanical stimulus to generate the touch sense by the embedded mechanoreceptors in the skin at different depths has been created in many ways as vibratory actuators, microneedles, etc. In this project, we are investigating to create haptic interface via radiation force generated by piezoelectric...

BPN753: Ratio-Metric Readout Technique for MEMS Gyroscopes with Force Feedback

Burak Eminoglu
Igor I. Izyumin
Yu-Ching Yeh

Scale factor accuracy is critical for navigation grade gyroscopes. Traditional MEMS vibratory gyroscopes with force feedback provide good resolution, but their scale factor depends on a plethora of parameters including proof mass bias voltage, drive mode velocity,dimensions of the forcer electrodes,and mass. This project develops a ratio-metric readout technique for force feedback gyroscopes that provides a precise scale factor. Scale factor variations over 12 days are reduced from 547ppm p-p to 23ppm p-p, and temperature coefficient of the scale factor is reduced from 560ppm/C to...