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Active and Passive Electronic Components
Volume 12 (1985), Issue 1, Pages 9-32

Thin Metal Film Sensors

Laboratoire de Chronométrie, Electronique et Piézoélectricité, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et des Microtechniques, La Bouloie, BESANCON CEDEX 25030, France

Received 20 April 1984; Accepted 18 September 1984

Copyright © 1985 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During the last decade some progress have been made in the field of sensors using thin film techniques. In particular thin metal film strain gauges and thin film temperature sensors based on the temperature dependent resistivity of metal are now commonly used. But changes in other transport parameters with various measurands are also useful for the design of metal film sensors. Difficulty arises in thin film techniques when structural defects are frozen in films.

Intensive theoretical investigations are carried out to explain the effect of grain-boundary and external surface scatterings on transport parameters. Accordingly the main results are presented to specify the influence of film structure on the sensor performance. The grain-boundary effects are discussed according to applications of metal film sensors. Theoretical predictions are analyzed in terms of sensitivity, thermal stability and long term behavior. But other problems induced by the presence of grain boundaries or point defects are also discussed, in particular problems associated with bulk diffusion, electromigration induced failures or intrinsic stresses.