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Polymeric Sensors and Actuators by Johannes Karl Fink

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Chapter 1

Sensor Types and Polymers

In this chapter a survey of the various types of sensors and the basic physical principles accorded the working of these sensors is given. The sensor types are presented in more detail in subsequent chapters.

In addition, the basic polymer types that are used for sensors are presented. For special task of analysis, these polymers are varied in a highly specific way. In the same way, as for sensor types, details of polymer modifications and specific polymeric contrapositions are given in special chapters.

Common commercially available sensors include temperature sensors, pressure sensors, flow sensors, stress/strain sensors, accelerometers, dielectric sensors, conductivity sensors, shock sensors, and vibration sensors (1). Useful characteristics of such sensors include their (2):

  • Fast response,
  • High sensitivity with large response signal of the transducer elements,
  • High selectivity so that the sensor can recognize a specific chemical species,
  • Capability of detecting and recognizing as many chemicals as possible,
  • Low temperature operation, and
  • Small size, lightweight, compact and convenient to use.

1.1 Sensor Types

Basically, sensor types may be subdivided into optical and electrical sensors, depending on whether the signal is eventually monitored: In an electrical or in an optical way. However, there is still an ambiguity, as an optical signal can be transformed into an electrical signal in a modern spectrometer. If we would use this strict ...

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