Smart strain sensors based on MOS transistors


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smart strains sensors smart strains sensors



  • Ultra low power
  • Ultra thin
  • Ultra low footprint
  • Dynamic monitoring


Technology Market

Strain gauges for smart metrology

  • Structural health monitoring (SHM)
  • Biomedical monitoring
  • Chip package monitoring
  • In-situ operando measurements
  • Flextronics
  • Fast data acquisition


The UCLouvain solution

The classical strain gauges sensors consist of piezoresistive metallic resistances mounted in
a Wheatstone bridge configuration on a 100 μm-thin polyimide film, with a dedicated
interface. These typically consume mW’s of power at several V’s supply voltage.
The UCLouvain smart strain sensor exploits an innovative way to measure strain with ultralow
power consumption, using piezoresistance in active devices, i.e. with
perpendicular PMOS transistors in current mirror configurations, designed for high
stress sensitivity.

We are currently working to make the sensor autonomous through a passive RFID solution.


Key-figures of the invention

  • power consumption: 10-100 μW
  • low supply voltage: 1V
  • simple read-out interface for direct connection to a microcontroller
  • minimal footprint: 2x2 mm2
  • ultra-thin: 5 μm
  • high gauge factor: 400
  • high sensitivity: 300 ppm/μ
  • high precision: 5 μ
  • strain range: up to 1000 μ
  • large frequency bandwidth response: 0 – 1 kHz


Technology Status

TRL 3, proof-of-concept demonstration and comparison with reference strain gauges
First results published in Al Kadi Jazairli, M. et al., “Ultra-low-power 130nm SOI CMOS
smart sensor for in-situ mechanical stress in SiP and SoC applications”, 2016.


Preferred partnership

Validation of the technology in real test situations (joint case studies)


Interested to validate and develop this technology? 

Please contact:

Sébastien Adam

Technology Transfer Advisor


Denis Flandre

Professor in Electrical Engineering