Belgian nanotechnology research centre imec has developed a pressure sensor based on micro-optomechanical systems (MOMS) technology. The device is said to exhibit excellent measurement precision over a large pressure range while being compact, resistant to EMI. Applications are expected to include high-quality sensing, particularly in the medical and life sciences sectors.

“Our advanced sensor could be used in a variety of (biomedical) applications, such as intracranial pressure or intravascular blood pressure monitoring, where high-quality remote sensing is required. The sensor has also proven its biocompatibility and can be used in combination with MRI technology as there are no metal parts,” said Xavier Rottenberg, principal member of imec's technical staff.

MEMS-based pressure sensors are said to be popular due to their good performance and small size. Optical fibre sensors, meanwhile, are suitable for use in harsh environments, but are less integrated and more complex and expensive.

Imec’s MOMS-based device is said to combine the best of both worlds, as evidenced by its high precision. Tests have shown root mean square precision of less than 1Pa across a range that could reach 100kPa.