Sensors detect and respond to environmental stimuli, converting them into electrical signals for measurement and analysis. They are vital in various industries and technologies.
A sensors (also known as a transducer) is a detection device that is capable of perceiving information to be measured and transforming the sensed information into electrical signals or other required forms of information output according to certain rules. This enables the fulfillment of requirements for information transmission, processing, storage, display, recording, and control.
The existence and development of sensors have provided objects with senses such as touch, taste, and smell, bringing them to life. Sensors can be seen as an extension of human sensory organs.
Sensors possess characteristics such as miniaturization, digitization, intelligence, multifunctionality, systematization, and networking, making them a primary component for achieving automatic detection and control.
New aluminum nitride sensors are capable of operating at high temperatures of up to 900°C.
Composition and Main Functions
A sensor generally consists of four parts: a sensing element, a transducing element, a conversion circuit, and auxiliary power supply. The sensing element directly senses the measured quantity and outputs a physical quantity signal with a definite relationship to the measured quantity. The transducing element converts the physical quantity signal output by the sensing element into an electrical signal. The conversion circuit is responsible for amplifying and modulating the electrical signal output by the transducing element. Additionally, the transducing element and the conversion circuit generally require auxiliary power supply.
Humans rely on sensory organs to obtain information from the outside world. However, the functions of human sensory organs alone are not sufficient for studying natural phenomena, laws, and production activities. Sensors play a crucial role in adapting to this situation and are considered as an extension of human sensory organs, often referred to as “electric sensory organs.” In the era of the new technological revolution, the world has entered the information age. In the process of utilizing information, the first challenge is to obtain accurate and reliable information, and sensors serve as the primary means for obtaining information in the natural and production fields.
In modern industrial production, especially in automated production processes, various sensors are used to monitor and control various parameters, ensuring that equipment operates under normal or optimal conditions and that products achieve the best quality. Therefore, it can be said that without numerous high-quality sensors, modernized production would lose its foundation.
In fundamental scientific research, sensors occupy a prominent position. The development of modern science and technology has entered many new areas, such as observing the vast universe at macroscopic levels, exploring the microscopic particle world down to femtometer scales, and observing celestial evolution over tens of thousands of years, as well as instantaneous reactions on a scale of seconds. It is evident that without suitable sensors, it is impossible to obtain a large amount of information that human senses cannot directly access. Many obstacles in basic scientific research stem from the difficulty of obtaining information from the subject, and the emergence of new mechanisms and highly sensitive detection sensors often leads to breakthroughs in these fields.
Sensors have already permeated a wide range of fields, including industrial production, space exploration, ocean detection, environmental protection, resource survey, medical diagnosis, bioengineering, and even cultural relic preservation. It can be said without exaggeration that nearly every modern project, from the vast expanse of space to the boundless sea, as well as various complex engineering systems, relies on a variety of sensors.
Hence, the significant role of sensor technology in economic development and social progress is quite evident. Countries worldwide attach great importance to the development of this field. Integrated Circuits (ICs) is believed that in the near future, sensor technology will experience a leap forward, reaching a new level commensurate with its critical position.
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