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Mechanical sensor microsystems

Piezoresistivity – Piezo field effect transistor – Shear piezoresistance – Force sensor – Torque sensor – Pressure sensor Tactile sensor Smart bracket Packaging testing    Magnetical shape memory effect


To measure mechanical signals, we use piezo-resistive, magneto-mechanical and capacitive effects in semiconductors, magnetic shape memory alloys and thin film membrane structures. Piezoresistive sensors exploit transport effects in CMOS-compatible, diffused silicon structures as well as in field effect transistors, so called piezo-FETs. Novel innovative structures allow to measure all components of the mechanical stress tensors, five of them with inherent compensation of their resistive temperature dependence. By micro-machining CMOS structures, we are able to fine-tune the mechanical sensor response. The sensor components are merged with integrated circuit blocks into systems. As tactile devices and force, torque and pressure sensors they serve for a wide range of applications. In the case of smart brackets the sensor chips are combined with microcoils for telemetric system operation. CMOS technologies of our project partners and commercial CMOS services provide the manufacturing base for our systems.


Tactile Sensor

Fields of application

  • Pressure sensing

  • Force and torque sensing

  • Coordinate measurement tasks


  • Dipl.-Ing. Jochen Stephan, Ph.D. student

  • Dr. Pekka Pursula, visiting scientist (VTT, Finland)




  • Piezoresistive sensors, Micronas

  • Tactile sensors, Zeiss

Selected publications

  • J. M. Stephan, K. Retan, P. Ruther, and O. Paul
    The Inverse Magnetic Shape Memory Effect in membranes for Pressure Sensor Applications
    Proc. IEEE Sensors 2012 Conference, to be published

  • J. Stephan, E. Pagounis, M. Laufenberg, O. Paul, P. Ruther
    A Novel Concept for Strain Sensing Based on the Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Alloy NiMnGa
    2011 Ieee Sens J, volume: 11, issue: 11,pages: 2683 - 2689

  • J. Stephan, K. Retan, P. Ruther, O. Paul.
    Effects of Temperature Treatment on Strain Sensors Based on the Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Alloy NiMnGa
    2011 IEEE Sensors 2011 Conference, Limerick, Ireland

  • J. Stephan, E. Pagounis, M. Laufenberg, P. Ruther, O. Paul
    Mechanical Sensing Based on Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Alloys
    Proc. 2010 IEEE SENSORS 2010 Conference, Waikoloa, USA , pages: 2577 - 2580


  • Custom-made tensile test with integrated magnetic field

  • Bulge-test setup

  • Four-point bending bridge

  • Torsional bending bridge

  • Electromagnet (Bruker)


Infineon Techologies



Jochen Stephan

Email: Jochen.Stephan@imtek.de

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 203-7195

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