Date: 21 Jan 2009

Applications of Functional Thin Films for Mechanical Sensing

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This chapter presents the most common fundamental mechanical transduction principles. Mechanical sensing is contrasted using thin films with alternative mechanical transduction mechanisms and the pros and cons of using thin films are touched on. A detailed discussion of displacement and stress development in various types of structures and loading conditions is included to prepare the reader for the final section. The final section is dedicated to a case study, where the typical steps for designing and developing a mechanical sensor are outlined, the materials selection and fabrication process are illustrated, and the multiple functions that mechanical sensors can fulfill are highlighted.