Stichting IMEC-NL is an independent research center and, together with TNO, one of the two pillars of the Holst Centre. Its research focuses on next generation wireless autonomous transducer solutions. IMEC-NL’s research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. IMEC-NL has as objectives to be an "international center of excellence", to reinforce the local industry, and to collaborate intensively with local universities. IMEC-NL will further build on current research of IMEC-vzw in Belgium, in the fields of ultra-low-power radio; ultra-low-power digital signal processing; micro-power generation, storage and management, and sensor and actuator technology. IMEC Nederland will integrate these building blocks to realize solutions for the future deployment of autonomous wireless transducer networks.

Tasks in the project
Design of low-power sensor readout circuits (WP3). Functionalization towards gas / air quality monitoring (WP1) Experience The Sensor and Actuator group of IMEC-NL develops ultra-low power sensors and actuators for deployment in wireless autonomous transducer systems. Both the sensor itself and the interface circuits to the sensors are developed in this group. The vision is to develop integrated sensors with extra steps after standard CMOS chip fabrication of the readout chips. The design team is currently developing several interface circuits for the readout of sensors. Also power management circuits and power analog-to-digital converters are currently developed. All circuits focus on ultra-low power dissipation, as the available power in an autonomous sensor node is expected to be limited to near 100 !W. This power has to be shared with the DSP and radio communication part of the wireless transducer. This means that an average power of 20 !W is available for the sensor itself, and 20 !W for the readout interface, including analog-to-digital converter. The technology team has gas-sensing as one of it’s main program lines. Several technology options are being evaluated in order to identify the most likely approach to enable low-power gas-sensing that provides both sensitivity and selectivity. For the latter, the team looks actively into functionalization on e.g. Si and SiO2 surfaces of nanowires.

Senior staff

Jiawei Xu obtained the BSc degree in electrical engineering at Beijing University of Technology, China, in 2004, and the master degree in Microelectronics at TU Delft, Netherlands, in 2006, He executed his master project at Philips Semiconductor Innovation Center, Nijmegen, where he was involved in the linearity and efficiency analysis of RF Power amplifiers. September 2006 he joined IMEC-NL in the Sensor and Actuators group as analog circuit designer, working on low-power sensor readout circuits. His interests include RF circuits design, mixed-signal design for low-power applications. Juan Santana obtained his PhD in Semiconductor devices by the University of Lancaster, U.K. In 1992 he joined the engineering department at Lancaster University where he worked on the design of Analog Integrated Circuits for BNFL and other Lancashire companies. In 1997 he joined CINVESTAV, a leading research centre in the northwest of Mexico. From 1998 to 2001 he directed the Semiconductor Technology Centre (CTS) of CINVESTAV, an integrated circuit design house. In 2001 he joined the Motorola Center for Semiconductor Technology where he worked as an analog designer for networking and computing applications. He has published more than 30 papers in international journals and supervised 8 M.Sc dissertations. His main interests are PLLs, AD/DA converters and high level description languages.
Sywert H. Brongersma graduated in 1991 on thin film deposition using laser ablation at the Philips NatLab in Eindhoven and obtained his Ph.D. at the Free University of Amsterdam in the field of superconductivity. After a postdoc at the University of Western Ontario (Canada) concerning clustering phenomena on semiconductor surfaces, he joined IMEC’s Advanced Silicon Processing division in 1998. Since February 2004 he was a principal scientist in both the Cu/Low-k integration and the Nano- technology industrial affiliation programs. In November 2006, he transferred to the wireless autonomous transducer systems program at IMEC-NL.
Mercedes Crego Calama received her Master degree (1991) and her PhD in Chemistry (1995) on design and synthesis of artificial enzymes in Salamanca, Spain. In 1995, she moved to the University of Pittsburgh, USA (NATO fellowship) to collaborate with A.D. Hamilton on oligopeptide conformation and synthetic antibodies. In 1997 she was awarded with a Marie Curie fellowship and she moved to the University of Twente, The Netherlands where she worked with David N. Reinhoudt on self- assembly and dynamic combinatorial libraries. In 2000, she became Researcher of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) working on combinatorial sensor fabrication and holding a tenured position as associate professor in the University of Twente. In November 2006, she started to work in the wireless autonomous transducer systems program at IMEC-NL/Holst Centre as senior researcher.