Course detail

Smart and Semiconductor Sensors

FEKT-NIPSAcad. year: 2019/2020

The course deals with problems of the most widely used principles of semiconductor sensors and their characteristic design, basic technological production processes, typical characteristics, parameters, properties, applications and limitations. The emphasis is also put on familiarity with circuits for signal processing of signal outputs from semiconductor sensors and requirements for intelligent sensors (methods of autodiagnostics, autocalibration of sensors) and MEMS sensors. Students will gain practical experience with the selected type semiconductor / intelligent sensor in the laboratory, which will deepen their knowledge of the use of sensors of non-electrical quantities.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Graduate of the course is able to explain the principles of semiconductor sensors and define the characteristics of smart sensors, is able to decide on the appropriate selection of sensors for a specific application, taking into account their characteristics and limitations resulting for example from the process technology of sensors. Graduate of the course can design circuits for signal processing of these sensors, respectively he plan and implement measurement chain for practical measurements with these sensors.


The student who register the subject should be able to explain the basic physics of semiconductors, to name and describe basic principles of sensors of physical quantities, be able to identify and analyse electronic circuits used in sensors and measurement techniques, to apply the basic method of measuring electrical values (voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, inductance) and be able to self-assemble measurement workplace with equipment: oscilloscope, function generator, DAQ card for analog and digital data acquisition and be able to program basic application using the tools of virtual instrumentation (LabVIEW) to signal and data processing.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Gad-El-Hak, M.: The MEMS Handbook. CRC, New York, 2002 (EN)
SZE, S.M.: Semiconductor Sensors. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1994 (EN)
Frank, R.: Understanding Smart Sensors. Artech House, Norwood, 2000 (EN)
Kovacs, T.A.: Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1998 (EN)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Teaching methods depend on the type of course unit as specified in the article 7 of BUT Rules for Studies and Examinations. Techning methods include lectures and practical laboratories. Students have to write a single project during the course.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Up to 40 points for lab - individual project on a selected topic of semiconductor sensors (up to 15 points for the theoretical part of the project, up to 15 points for the practical part of the project, up to 10 points for the presentation of the laboratory project).

Up to 60 points for the written exam (for passing the written exam, you must obtain at least 25 points).

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

Term definition, sensors characterisation
Semiconductor sensors technologies, bulk and surface micromachining
Basic semiconductor physical effects
Mechanical sensors
Mechanical sensors
Magnetic sensors
Radiation sensors
Radiation sensors
Thermal sensors
Chemical sensors
Smart sensors conception - transducer, signal processing, diagnostic, calibration, communication standards
Examples of the typical applications in the selected systems


The aim of the course is to introduce students and deepen their knowledge of sensors, especially semiconductor and smart sensors, using them in real applications, such as measurement, navigation, robotics, etc. The aim is to create a vision for students for understanding of the use of physical phenomena, measurement methods and concepts of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical) sensors.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

The content and forms of instruction in the evaluated course are specified by a regulation issued by the lecturer responsible for the course and updated for every academic year.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme EEKR-MN Master's

    branch MN-KAM , 2. year of study, winter semester, 5 credits, optional specialized

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer

Laboratory exercise

39 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer