Book Review Microsensors: Principles and Applications, Julian W. Gardner, John Wiley, Chichester, UK, 1994, 331 pages, $39.95.
The title of this book suggests a treatment of the fundamentals of microsensor design, fabrication, and operation as well as some introduction to applications. The book delivers on all counts, providing an excellent foundation for engineers or scientists who are just beginning to explore this field. The first four chapters describe the design features, fabrication issues, and electronic instrumentation issues associated with microsensors. The first chapter is a general introduction that defines the practical bounds of operation for microsensors. The second chapter discusses typical sensor signals and signal processing techniques for microsensors. This is a very valuable component in the text that could have been overlooked in a less thorough presentation. The second chapter also provides an introduction to common interface standards. Chapters 3 and 4 provide an overview of silicon materials processing and micromachining methods used in the fabrication of microsensors. Having established the basic features of microsensors and their output signals in Chapters 2 and 3, the author provides detailed discussions of specific microsensor types in Chapters 5-9. Thermosciences researchers will find Chapters 5 - 7 of particular interest. Chapter 5 covers a wide variety of thermal microsensors, including thermocouples, thermoresistors, thermodiodes, and thermotransistors. Chapter 6 covers radiation microsensors, including nuclear radiation microsensors and electromagnetic radia-
tion sensors for ultraviolet, visible, and infrared frequency ranges. Chapter 7 describes the basic elements and physical embodiments of microsensors for mechanical measurements. The first two sections of this chapter summarize the basic features of micromechanical elements made of silicon. The balance of the chapter describes microsensor designs for a variety of mechanical measurements, including displacement, velocity, flow rate, and acceleration. Chapters 8 and 9 present microsensor designs for magnetic field measurements and chemical microsensors for biotech applications. The final three chapters of the text return to consider some special topics. Chapter 10 discusses calibration and reliability of microsensors. Chapters 11 and 12 discuss smart sensors with integrated electronics and the use of microsensor arrays, respectively. Overall, this book provides a thorough overview of microsensor technology that will serve as a useful guide for the newcomer. The book contains many schematics and photographs that clearly illustrate the sensor designs. There are problems at the end of each chapter, but their number is limited. Answers to the problems are not provided. The coverage of topics provides little quantitative analysis of sensor performance. Those researchers interested in such issues will need to seek out other references cited in the text. Nevertheless, for thermosciences researchers seeking an entry-level overview of microsensor use, this book is highly recommended. VAN P. CAREY Mechanical Engineering Department University of California at Berkeley
Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 1996; 13:81
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