The global demand for highly selective, sensitive and cost-effective sensors is rising – Miniaturization and choice of materials will be key factors
Over the years, the basic principle of sensor operation has remained unchanged and so has the working methodology of advanced sensors. What has changed, however, is the type of materials and sensing principles employed in the manufacture of new sensors.
Sensing technologies are expected to go beyond the traditional principles of piezoresistive, capacitive, and inductive, while emerging sensor materials such as silicon carbide (SiC), carbon nanotube (CNT) and indium antimonide have enabled sensor penetration into new applications.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, World Emerging Sensors Markets, finds that in the next 7 to 10 years miniaturization of systems is expected to drive innovation. OEMs will increasingly incorporate smaller sensors to improve performance, reliability, and longevity as well as reduce costs. Sensor materials are also expected to play a key role in such developments.
“Small form factor, less power consumption, higher feature integration, and low costs are some of the trends driving sensors market growth in numerous industries and applications,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst V. Sankaranarayanan. “In addition, supporting electronics and packaging have become more advanced, so much so that sensors have become indispensable in every walk of life.”
Despite the potential and benefits of sensors, many end users prefer traditional technologies, due to their inadequate knowledge of innovations and application areas. However, cutting-edge sensor technologies offer many benefits, such as greater ease of installation, accuracy, as well as energy and cost savings. Vendors therefore need to educate end users about the benefits of advanced and emerging sensor technology through literature.
The rapid growth in consumer electronics, increasing concern about safety at the borders and in nuclear power plants, as well as environmental applications, make a robust case for the use of sensors.
“To produce sensors using advanced materials at reasonable costs and in large volumes, manufacturers have to optimize processes that are compatible with silicon to reduce the cost of commercialization,” notes Sankaranarayanan. “They will also have to ensure flexible integration with high-temperature electronics to overcome technical limitations and further promote the adoption of inventive sensors.”