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Updated on: July 15, 2010  
     
  Part of a gas sensor circuit  
 
 

Introduction:
Prototype of electronic device to be used as a gas sensor

Overview:
While part of the research at MRC is done for pure scientific reasons to understand the nature of materials, the remainder is done with the aim of enabling specific technologies. Materials that are synthesized and studied by researchers at MRC are used in various mechanical, electronic, optical, thermal and magnetic devices. At this end MRC faculty members interact closely with faculty members from other departments and industry. While in the past, the boundaries between the materials field and others such as electronics has been fairly well defined, they are getting increasingly blurred as research moves into the nanodomain. Thus, the average material scientist has to know more about electronics engineering, for example, than he did in the past and vice versa, so as to interact more fruitfully. The circuit in the image is the result of interdisciplinary interaction between Prof. Shivashankar at MRC and Prof. Navakanta Bhat of Electrical Communication Engineering Department IISc

 

Going Deeper:
In the past chips such as the one in a PC have mostly been used for logic operations. However, due to the drive towards miniaturization of electronic devices, of late, it is becoming customary to add more and more functional capabilities on to a single chip. The one in the picture for example is part of a circuit that performs the operation of sensing gas concentration and converting it in to a suitable electrical signal that can be measured. If incorporated on a chip, this electrical signal would in turn be processed through a Si based circuit and then used to actuate other operations such as switching valves, changing flows and so on. The sensing element was fabricated in MRC using thin film deposition techniques in Prof. Shivashankar's lab. Further circuit development around this sensing element was then done at ECE.

More information about Prof. Shivashankar's research activities can be obtained from his faculty page.

 
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