Optical miniaturized sensors with remote readout are required devices for the monitoring in harsh electromagnetic environments. As an example, in turbo and hydro generators, excessively high vibrations of the end-windings can lead to dramatic damages, imposing very high, additional service costs. A significant change of the generator temperature can also be an indicator of the system failure. Continuous monitoring of vibrations, temperature, humidity, and gases is therefore mandatory. The high electromagnetic fields in the generators impose the use of non-conductive devices in order to prevent electromagnetic interferences and to electrically isolate the sensing element to the electronic readout. Metal-free sensors are good candidates for such systems since they are immune to very strong electromagnetic fields and given the fact that they are non-conductive. We have realized miniature optical accelerometer and temperature sensors for a remote sensing of the harsh environments using the common, inexpensive silicon Micro Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) platform. Both devices show highly linear response. The accelerometer has a deviation within 1% from the linear fit when tested in a range 0 – 40 g. The temperature sensor can provide the measurement accuracy better than 1 °C in a range 20 – 150 °C. The design of other type of sensors for the environments with high electromagnetic interferences has also been discussed.
Electrical resistivity is a fundamental parameter of metals or electrical conductors. Since resistivity is a function of temperature, in order to completely understand the behavior of metals, a temperature dependent theoretical model is needed. A model based on physics principles has recently been developed to obtain an equation that relates electrical resistivity to temperature. This equation is dependent upon a parameter associated with the electron travel time before being scattered, and a parameter that relates the energy of the atoms and their separation distance. Analysis of the energy parameter reveals that the equation is optimized if the proportionality term in the equation is not constant but varies over the temperature range. Additional analysis reveals that the theoretical equation can be used to determine the mean free path of conduction electrons, the number of defects in the atomic lattice, and the ‘equivalent’ charge associated with the metallic bonding of the atoms. All of this analysis provides validation for the theoretical model and provides insight into the behavior of metals where performance is affected by temperatures (e.g., integrated circuits and temperature sensors).