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Oliver Paul, University of Freiburg


CMOS MEMS for Mechanical Sensing and Neuroscience

Monday, March 8, 1:30pm
AE108 Paul Allen Center

Host: Karl Böhringer


Photo of Oliver Paul Piezoresistive mechanical sensing is currently experiencing a renaissance stimulated by such novel developments as piezoresistive field effect transistors with multiple source-drain contacts and sensor elements for the measurement of out-of-plane components of the stress tensor. The first part of the talk will present these sensor elements from their foundations to the realization of smart sensor systems for applications including smart orthodontic brackets, a three-dimensional surface coordinate measurement system, and sensor chips for packaging reliability studies.

The middle part of the presentation is dedicated to results of the EU-financed project NeuroProbes, where intracortical neural probes for electrical and chemical sensing and stimulation have been developed by a consortium of 15 partners. CMOS-integrated microneedle probes with up to 188 electrode sites have advanced the state of the art in the spatial resolution of such probes, enabling a richer picture of intracortical communication processes to be obtained.

Finally, these two lines of research are merged by the description of microneedle-shaped stress sensor arrays. These structures are designed to help neuroscientists to understand and minimize the mechanical probe-brain interaction during penetration and acute and chronic experiments.


Oliver Paul is a Professor and Chair of Microsystem Materials, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), at University of Freiburg, Germany. He received his Ph.D. (Dr. sc. nat.) from ETH Zurich in 1990. He served as a visiting faculty member at Ritsumeikan University in Japan, and the University of Michigan. His research interests include microsystems for physical sensing and biomedical applications, and microelectromechanical systems based on commercial IC processes. Prof. Paul has authored over 200 research publications and given more than 70 scientific talks and colloquia. He is on the Editorial Board of Transactions on Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEE Japan), and Journal Micromechanics and Microengineering (IOP), and Sensors and Actuators A (Elsevier). He is the co-founder of Sensirion AG, Stafa, Switzerland.

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