Microfabrication, Characterization and Sensor Development in the Industrial Space

By Nithin Raghunathan

Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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The Birck Nanotechnology center offers a variety of capabilities especially in general microfabrication, electrical and physical characterization. With regards to microfabrication, the center features a variety of toolsets to enable fabrication of most devices from scratch to finish. These include lithography tools, such as aligners, metallization tools, such as evaporators and sputters, processing tools, such as etchers, and finally packaging tools, such as wire bonders, dicing saws, and pick‐and‐place systems. In addition to the fabrication capabilities, the center has a large selection of electrical and surface characterization systems, such as different types of probe stations and confocal microscopes to name a few. In each of these categories, the center features some unique tools such as maskless aligners, etc that could be of great benefit to the user.

An example of the application of these tools would be the development of sensors particularly for industrial applications. This includes the development of MEMS devices for detecting impact forces in 100‐60,000 g regimes using silicon cantilevers as the detection mechanism. Another example is a real‐time MOS‐based wireless electronic radiation dosimetry utilizing Bluetooth technology for occupational environments. These sensors are capable of detecting 100 mrem radiation doses in real‐time and transmitting the data wirelessly to a nearby base stations. Another developed sensor is a wirelessly powered multi‐point temperature sensor for lyophilisation to monitor pharmaceutical drug productions. These sensors feature wirelessly powering, small form‐factor and mesh network technologies allowing operation of >100 sensors in a single environment. Other developing research efforts at Birck include the IoT network deployment of in situ fabricated sensors for Agriculture and Manufacturing.


Nithin Raghunathan received his Ph.D in electrical engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA, in 2014. His dissertation focused on the development on micro‐machined g‐switches for impact applications typically in the ranges of 100 – 60,000 g’s. He worked as Post‐Doctoral Research associate from 2014 to 2015 and was involved in the development of wireless radiation sensors for dosimetry applications. He is currently a Staff Scientist at the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University. His current research focus is in the development of sensors for pharmaceutical lyophilisation and aseptic processing. His other interests include novel MEMS inertial devices, development of new microfabrication techniques, wireless and flexible sensors and Internet of things (IoT) and also sensors for industrial and harsh environments.

Sponsored by


  • S. Scott et al., "MOS‐capacitor‐based ionizing radiation sensors for occupational dosimetry applications," 2015 IEEE SENSORS, Busan, 2015, pp. 1‐4.
  • N. Raghunathan, X. Jiang, A. Ganguly and D. Peroulis, "An ANT‐based low‐power battery‐free wireless cryogenic temperature probes for industrial process monitoring," 2016 IEEE SENSORS, Orlando, FL, 2016, pp. 1‐3.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Nithin Raghunathan (2018), "Microfabrication, Characterization and Sensor Development in the Industrial Space," https://nanohub.org/resources/29161.

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