The University of Southampton has been active in the area of thick‐film sensors since their initial conception through to the present. Recent research at the university has concerned the use of thick‐film sensor arrays for the discrimination of chemical species in both gaseous and dissolved form. In addition, the detection of many physical parameters is now being addressed through the use of arrays of sensing elements with a view to improving on factors such as noise immunity, environmental cross‐sensitivity and long‐term accuracy. In the area of chemical sensing, extensive use has been made of thick‐film technology to allow low‐cost arrays of chemical sensors to be fabricated. The lack of specificity exhibited by the individual sensing elements has been demonstrably overcome through the use of signal processing techniques applied to the outputs of the array of sensors. Thick‐film chemical sensor research currently under way at Southampton includes a UK DTI/SERC funded LINK project concerning dissolved species monitoring for water quality assessment. Additionally, gas sensor arrays for the detection of toxic and flammable gases are being explored as part of a well established ongoing research programme. The use of thick‐film technology for the fabrication of physical sensors has been extensively documented. Current research at the University of Southampton includes an industrially sponsored project involving the use of thick‐film strain sensing resistors in the design of an accelerometer. The use of Z‐axis piezoresistivity and an array approach to solving noise and drift problems is seen as a significant novelty in this work.
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