The Best Materials for Tiny, Clever Sensors

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Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 986-987
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100080

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In smart sensors, data are gathered and interpreted within the sensor. Such sensors are often more versatile, more reliable, smaller, and cheaper to manufacture than conventional sensors. Increasing their performance further will require monolithic integration, in which the sensor is directly interfaced with the electronic circuit. In their Perspective, Van Hoof et al. discuss different approaches toward achieving this integration. They conclude that one material, poly-SiGe, holds much promise for monolithic integration. However, future disposable sensors may make cheaper materials, such as metals and polymers, competitive