Fall 2013 IAB & Research Review
September 18 - 19

Albert P. Pisano

Aluminum Nitride/SiC Harsh Environment Sensor Cluster for Infrastructure Monitoring

Current research and future work will be presented about extreme harsh environment, MEMS wireless sensors fabricated from silicon carbide and aluminum nitride. Harsh environment is defined as temperature at or above 600 C, pressure at or above 300 atm, and shock at or above 50,000 G. These sensors are being integrated with silicon carbide electronics and aluminum nitride energy harvesting devices to build a single-chip, self-powered, wireless sensor system. This wireless sensor system is applicable to power plants, geothermal energy, automobile engines, gas turbines, and other industrial machines that operate at high temperature. A number of thin film materials, suitable for fabrication via MEMS methods, will be described as candidates for application to these sensors. Then, a number of sensors, both existing and under development, will be presented. Integration into silicon carbide electronics will be addressed, and new research results for the fabrication and testing of silicon carbide electronic devices (both active and passive) will be presented. The use of aluminum nitride as a RF component in harsh environments will be described and new results for temperature-compensated radio filters shown. A future vision of a single-chip, self-powered, wireless sensor system will be described.