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Sensors Journal, IEEE

Issue 6 • Date Dec. 2006

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 59
  • [Front cover]

    Page(s): C1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Sensors Journal publication information

    Page(s): C2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 1365 - 1367
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  • 2006 Reviewers List

    Page(s): 1368 - 1371
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  • An In-Pixel Current-Mode Amplifier for Computed Tomography

    Page(s): 1372 - 1373
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    A high-dynamic-range current-mode detector for a computed-tomography application is shown. A regulated current-mirror structure that provides a 17-bit dynamic range and a noise floor below 3 pArms has been implemented at pixel level. Nonlinearity is kept below 2%, and the signal bandwidth is higher than 10 kHz. A test structure with a 4 times 4 pixel array is presented in this paper. Both the photodiode and the current-mode amplifier have been integrated into the same CMOS standard process View full abstract»

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  • MEMS-Capacitive Pressure Sensor Fabricated Using Printed-Circuit-Processing Techniques

    Page(s): 1374 - 1375
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    Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based capacitive pressure sensors are typically fabricated using silicon-micromachining techniques. In this paper, a novel liquid-crystal polymer (LCP)-based MEMS-capacitive pressure sensor, fabricated using printed-circuit-processing technique, is reported. The pressure sensor consists of a cylindrical cavity formed by a sandwich of an LCP substrate, an LCP spacer layer with circular holes, and an LCP top layer. The bottom electrode and the top electrode of the capacitive pressure sensor are defined on the top side of the LCP substrate and the bottom side of the top-LCP layer, respectively. An example pressure sensor with a diaphragm radius of 1.6 mm provides a total capacitance change of 0.277 pF for an applied pressure in the range of 0-100 kPa View full abstract»

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  • Electrical Determination of E.coli O157:H7 Using Tin-Oxide Nanowire Coupled With Microfluidic Chip

    Page(s): 1376 - 1377
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    Electrical determination of E.coli O157:H7 was investigated by antibody-modified individual SnO2 nanowire (TONW) coupled with microfluidic chip. The static responses to E.coli and S.typhimurium on new device were studied. The responses to E.coli on the device that contained an unmodified or a modified TONW under continuous injection were also compared. Finally, an alternative mechanism to explain the observed behavior was proposed View full abstract»

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  • Quantum Dots-Based Optical Fiber Temperature Sensors Fabricated by Layer-by-Layer

    Page(s): 1378 - 1379
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    Two types of CdTe quantum dots of different sizes (4 and 5 nm) were successfully deposited on optical fibers using the layer-by-layer electrostatic self-assembly method. The sensors showed a linear and reversible variation of the emission wavelength for a temperature range from 30 degC to 100 degC, with a sensitivity of 0.2 nm/degC View full abstract»

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  • A Programmable 0.18- \mu\hbox {m} CMOS Electrochemical Sensor Microarray for Biomolecular Detection

    Page(s): 1380 - 1388
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    A configurable electrochemical sensor microarray system-on-a-chip fabricated in a standard digital 0.18-mum complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process is presented. Each pixel within this 5times10 array occupies a 160 mumtimes120 mum area and contains a differential electrochemical transducer with a programmable sensor. The sensor has a digitally configurable topology capable of performing different electroanalytical measurements for a variety of affinity-based biomolecular sensing applications. The main modes of operation for this system are impedance spectroscopy, voltammetry, potentiometry, and field-effect sensing View full abstract»

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  • Nanosized Metal-Oxide Semiconducting \hbox {SrTi}_{1 \pm x}\hbox {O}_{3 - \delta } Oxygen Gas Sensors for Low-Temperature Application

    Page(s): 1389 - 1394
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    The X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscope results show that nanosized-SrTi1plusmnxO3-delta material series (27 nm) with perovskite structure can be synthesized using the high-energy ball milling technique. The thick-film screen-printed nanosized-SrTi1plusmnxO3-delta-based sensor series with annealing temperature of 400 degC are found to have good oxygen-sensing property at near human-body temperature for the first time for such a low temperature. The effect of the deviating stoichiometry of the nanosized-SrTi1plusmnxO3-delta -based sensors on their sensing properties was also investigated. The optimal relative resistance (Rnitrogen/R20%oxygen ) value of 6.35 was obtained by a nanosized-SrTiO3-delta -based sensor at 40 degC operating temperature. Their near human-body operating temperature is much lower than that of the conventional low-temperature semiconducting oxygen gas sensors (300degC-500degC) and SrTiO3 oxygen sensors (>700degC). This can extend the application of the semiconducting oxygen gas sensors from the conventional high and medium temperature to the lower operating temperature areas such as the medical, environmental, and domestic fields, etc View full abstract»

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  • Microfluidic Three-Electrode Cell Array for Low-Current Electrochemical Detection

    Page(s): 1395 - 1402
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    This paper reports the implementation and calibration of a microscopic three-electrode electrochemical sensor integrated with a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel to form a rapid prototype chip technology that is used to develop sensing modules for biomolecular signals. The microfluidic/microelectronic fabrication process yields identical, highly uniform, and geometrically well-defined microelectrodes embedded in a microchannel network. Each three-microelectrode system consists of a Au working electrode with a nominal surface area of 9 mum2, a Cl2 plasma-treated Ag/AgCl reference electrode, and a Au counter electrode. The patterned electrodes on the glass substrate are aligned and irreversibly bonded with a PDMS microchannel network giving a channel volume of 72 nL. The electrokinetic properties and the diffusion profile of the microchannels are investigated under electrokinetic flow and pressure-driven flow conditions. Cyclic voltammetry of 10 mM K3 Fe(CN)6 in 1 M KNO3 demonstrates that the electrode responses in the cell are characterized by linear diffusion. The voltammograms show that the system is a quasi-reversible redox process, with heterogeneous rate constants ranging from 3.11 to 4.94times10-3 cm/s for scan rates of 0.1-1 V/s. The current response in the cell is affected by the adsorption of the electroactive species on the electrode surface. In a low-current DNA hybridization detection experiment, the electrode cell is modified with single-stranded thiolated DNA. The electrocatalytic reduction of 27 muM Ru(NH3)6 3+ in a solution containing 2 mM Fe(CN)6 3- is measured before and after the exposure of the electrode cell to a 500-nM target DNA sample. The preliminary result showing an increase in the peak current response demonstrates the hybridization-based detection of a complementary target DNA sequence View full abstract»

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  • Scaling Properties of Gold Nanocluster Chemiresistor Sensors

    Page(s): 1403 - 1414
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    The effect of geometric scaling on the performance of metal-insulator metal-ensemble (MIME) chemiresistors based on gold nanoclusters is investigated. The ultrasmall size of the nanoclusters is shown to enable extreme scaling of the sensors with reductions in area of at least a factor of 104 over conventional MIME devices. If the operating voltage is held constant, the absolute sensitivity of the devices is found to remain essentially unchanged by the geometric scaling. Interestingly, this occurs despite the fact that contact resistance appears to play a significant role in the smallest devices. The detection limit of the sensors is set by a signal-to-noise ratio, and because 1/f noise tends to dominate, reduction in sensor size raises the noise floor, leading to a degradation in the detection limit. Because of the importance of the 1/f noise, optimal performance will be obtained by operating the sensors under ac conditions with filtering. Despite the degradation in performance that results from scaling, nanocluster-based chemiresistors of reduced size can still be advantageous because of the possibility of achieving vapor-sensing systems of substantially reduced size, power, complexity, and cost, as well as new applications, e.g., for sensor arrays View full abstract»

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  • Highly Sensitive Humidity Sensor Using Pd/Porous GaAs Schottky Contact

    Page(s): 1415 - 1421
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    This paper investigates the suitability of porous GaAs as a semiconductor material for sensing humidity. The authors have developed two types of sensors based on Pd/porous GaAs and Pd/GaAs Schottky contacts for humidity measurements. It was found that the porosity on GaAs wafer promoted the sensing properties of the contact used as highly sensitive humidity sensor toward different amounts of relative humidity operated at room temperature. On the contrary, the Pd/GaAs sample operated at room temperature exhibited negligible sensitivity to relative humidity. The advantages of using porous GaAs for Schottky humidity sensor are the following: high sensitivity, low response time, and insignificant dependence on temperature. Current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of the Pd/porous GaAs Schottky humidity sensor exhibited a saturation current value of 8.5times10-10 A under dry condition (5% relative humidity). This was increased to 7.0times10-9 A when submitted to a relative humidity of 25%. The saturation current was further increased considerably to 3.0times10-7 A as the relative humidity was increased to 95%. This is more than two orders of magnitude increase in saturation current compared to dry condition. A parameter called humidity sensitivity was defined using the current value at a fixed forward voltage of 0.2 V to present the sensitivity of the sensor. Response times are reported to discuss the adsorption and desorption characteristics of the device. Pd/porous GaAs sensor operated at room temperature showed a fast response time of 2 s and a sensitivity value of 93.5% in the presence of 25% relative humidity. Furthermore, the influence of increase in relative humidity as well as heating effects on the responsivity of the sensor is described. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of the Pd/porous GaAs sample exhibited highly porous structures View full abstract»

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  • Biomolecular Tuning of Electronic Transport Properties of Carbon Nanotubes via Antibody Functionalization

    Page(s): 1422 - 1428
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    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are remarkable solid-state nanomaterials due to their unique electrical and mechanical properties. The electronic properties of nanotubes combined with biological molecules such as proteins could make miniature devices for biological sensing applications. In this paper, the noncovalent interaction of single-wall CNTs with antibodies is presented for its potential applications for detecting overexpressed cell surface receptors in breast cancer cells. The degree of binding of antibodies on CNTs was found to be more than 80% for an extended sampling area by confocal microscopy. The key to achieve such high degree of functionalization is due to the separation of CNTs using surfactants that leads to a high surface area to volume ratio and higher number of active sites for charge transfer that enhance binding. This paper also presents tuning of electronic transport properties of CNTs by monoclonal antibodies that are specific to insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor in breast cancer View full abstract»

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  • Polymer-Based Ion Trap Chemical Sensor

    Page(s): 1429 - 1434
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    Ion traps are widely used in chemical analysis, and they are especially important in current attempts to miniaturize mass spectrometers to create portable instruments. The ultimate aim is to build a handheld device that would require a smaller mass analyzer. To accomplish this task, a robust precision fabrication procedure is desired. In this paper, the authors report a new approach to fabricating ion traps using stereolithography apparatus (SLA), which provides precision monolithic fabrication. An SLA-fabricated rectilinear ion trap, which employs a very simple electrode geometry, is shown to provide detection capabilities within a useful mass range encompassing that of interest in the detection of numerous volatile organic compounds, including those relevant to homeland security applications. Single small ion traps and integrated trap arrays can be made through this approach, which allows higher operating pressures and reduced power requirements View full abstract»

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  • Inkjet-Printed Polymer Films for the Detection of Organic Vapors

    Page(s): 1435 - 1444
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    Inkjet printing has been used to prepare polymeric thin films for gas sensing. The conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) doped with polystyrene sulfonated acid (PEDOT-PSS) was used as the organic ink. The electrical resistance of the printed films was monitored during exposure to atmospheres containing alcohol vapors. Thin films (one to two printed layers) exhibited a sharp, nonreversible increase in film resistance (a "chemical fuse") which was attributed to a change in morphology of the PEDOT-PSS layer. The response time of the thin films was 6-10 min, depending on the film thickness. A longer response time was observed for three inkjet-printed layers. In contrast, thick films (> four printed layers) showed a reversible response (except for the initial exposure) to the same vapor. This was thought to originate from a screening effect between the positively charged PEDOT and negatively charged PSS dopant. The response times of the thick films were 8 and 6 min for methanol and ethanol, respectively. For both types of response, the inkjet-printed layers were found be more sensitive to methanol (0.05% ppm-1) than to ethanol (0.03% ppm-1) View full abstract»

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  • Optical Properties of a Fluorinated Polyimide as Related to Ethanol and Water-Vapor-Sensing Capability

    Page(s): 1445 - 1453
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    Thin films of a fluorinated polyimide derived from 4,4'-(hexafluoroisopropylidene) diphthalic anhydride and 2,3,5,6-tetramethyl-1,4-phenylenediamine have been obtained by spin-coating a solution of polyimide powder dissolved in chloroform. The synthesized polyimide has been characterized by a variety of techniques including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermal gravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, solubility tests, optical transmission spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy. Changes in the intensity, peak shape, and position of the intrinsic fluorescence features as observed under exposure to ethanol and water vapors have been correlated to specific chemical interactions between the analytes and the macromolecules. Interactions stronger than dipole-dipole forces such as hydrogen bonds, evidenced by FTIR, are thought to play an important role in the changes of the fluorescence features. Single-wavelength fluorescence versus time measurements have also been performed by exposing the samples to alternating pulses of N 2 and different organic-vapor concentrations in order to evaluate the response and recovery times and the quantitative determination capability of the material. The polymer proved to be sensitive to both the tested analytes, with response and recovery times in the order of the tens of seconds View full abstract»

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  • A Novel Lead-Wire-Resistance Compensation Technique Using Two-Wire Resistance Temperature Detector

    Page(s): 1454 - 1458
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    A novel lead-wire-resistance compensation technique using two-wire resistance temperature detectors is presented here. This technique compensates the effect of both identical and nonidentical lead-wire resistances in the measurements. The measured error is comparable with both conventional three-wire and four-wire techniques and lies within plusmn0.15% of reading the resistance. The proposed technique also reduces self-heating by 50%. It is quite conveniently adaptable in industry View full abstract»

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  • Effect of Thin Film Thicknesses and Materials on the Response of RTDs and Microthermocouples

    Page(s): 1459 - 1467
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    Fabrication and thermal characterization of a resistance temperature detector (RTD) heater and microthermocouples (MTs) on silicon substrates have been reported in this paper. The influence of film thickness and nickel-gold (Au) electroplating on RTD on its steady-state temperature with respect to its steady-state electrical power input and resistance is studied. Further, the thermal effects of multiple thermocouples in a thermopile as well as the effects of Au layers in the contact pads of the thermopiles on their open-circuit Seebeck voltage are studied. Therein lies the novelty of this paper. The in situ operating relationships for the RTD heater and the MT are provided View full abstract»

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  • Enhancement of Temperature Sensitivity for Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor (MOS) Tunneling Temperature Sensors by Utilizing Hafnium Oxide (\hbox {HfO}_{2}) Film Added on Silicon Dioxide (\hbox {SiO}_{2})

    Page(s): 1468 - 1472
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    In this paper, metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors fabricated on p-type silicon substrate with hafnium oxide (HfO2 ) film added on silicon dioxide (SiO2) were demonstrated as reliable temperature-detecting devices. The saturation current of MOS (p) capacitor with added HfO2 film is easy to saturate within 0.5 V. From 40 degC to 90degC, each increase of 10degC almost doubles the saturation current. The C-V curves show that the interface properties of Si/SiO2 and SiO2/HfO 2 are good. It was also shown that these devices are reliable even though they had been electrically stressed at various temperatures (30degC~90degC) for 15 000 s. They have the potential to be integrated into the circuits as temperature detectors in the era of ultralarge-scale-integration technology View full abstract»

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  • Using Smart Sensor Strings for Continuous Monitoring of Temperature Stratification in Large Water Bodies

    Page(s): 1473 - 1481
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    A "smart" thermistor string for continuous long-term temperature profiling in large water bodies is described allowing highly matched yet low-cost spatial and temporal temperature measurements. The sensor uses the three-wire SDI-12 communications standard to enable a low-powered radio or data logger on supporting buoys to command measurements and retrieve high-resolution temperature data in digital form. Each "smart" temperature sensor integrates a thermistor element, measurement circuitry, power control, calibration coefficient storage, temperature computation, and data communications. Multiple addressable sensors at discrete vertical depths are deployed along a three-wire cable that provides power and allows data transfer at regular intervals. Circuit, manufacturing, and automated calibration techniques allow temperature measurements with a resolution of plusmn0.003degC, and with intersensor matching of plusmn0.006degC. The low cost of each sensor is achieved by using poor tolerance thermistor and circuit components in conjunction with a 15-bit charge-balance analog-to-digital converter. Sensor inaccuracies and temperature coefficients are corrected by a two-point calibration procedure made possible by a standard-curve generator within the sensor, based upon the method of finite differences. This two-point calibration process allows in-field sensor string calibration in stratified water bodies and provides a means to correct for long-term calibration drift without having to return the string to a laboratory View full abstract»

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  • Microfabricated Inductive Micropositioning Sensor for Measurement of a Linear Movement

    Page(s): 1482 - 1487
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    An inductive device with a moving core will change its inductance as a function of the core position. By extending this principle to a microtransformer with multiple evenly spaced cores, a measurement system combining features of analog (variable reluctance) and incremental positioning may be devised. For detecting the direction of motion system (to know in which direction to count), an incremental length-measurement system not only requires one, but two output signals, which have to be offset by 90deg. This paper presents a microtransformer-based positioning system fulfilling these requirements. It presents the fabrication technology employed and discusses experimental test results View full abstract»

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  • Vortex Shedder Fluid Flow Sensor

    Page(s): 1488 - 1496
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    This paper was motivated by the possibility of extracting from a vortex-shedding strut, in addition to flow velocity V, information on fluid density rho or temperature T, and combining them to obtain mass flowrate. Shedder shapes were diamond and bluff polygon. These shapes are compared as vortex shedders in flowing air or water. V is obtained from the shedding frequency f. In water, V ranged from 0.5 to 4 m/s and, in air, from 0.3 to 15 m/s. Clamp-on ultrasonic transducers generated and, on the diagonally opposite side of the pipe, received the beam that obliquely traversed the wake of the shedder. A continuous-wave transmission across the fluid was modulated by vortices passing through the beam. The modulation frequency yielded f. In air, the bluff polygon yielded f over a 50 : 1 flow range, which was better than the diamond's flow range of 20 : 1. Whether the shedder was a diamond or a bluff polygon, and the fluid air or water, f correlated approximately linearly with the flow velocity V. Using one path of an ultrasonic tag clamp-on flowmeter system, the measured vortex-shedding frequencies were found to be in reasonable agreement with computational-fluid-dynamic predictions for diamond and for bluff-polygon struts. Collectively, the pipe Reynolds number (Re) range was 1000-200 000. With both shedders, operation was demonstrated in laminar- and turbulent-flow regimes. In water flow tests, rotating the diamond (aspect ratio=3) through 90deg about its axis, from broadside to airfoil, diminished the Strouhal number by 17%. When the diamond shedder was tested as a torsional density sensor in flowing air or water, no torsional transit time effect of V was observed, confirming for the first time a 1989 prediction. The negative result in flowing water implies that there were no attached bubbles or microbubbles View full abstract»

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  • Overtone Oscillator for SAW Gas Detectors

    Page(s): 1497 - 1501
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    A design of an overtone oscillator a with surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) resonator is described in this paper. The circuit works stably on the frequency 4.710 GHz (29th harmonic of loaded resonator) at about the -2 dBm level. In the construction, distributed-constant circuits have been applied. Commercially available SAW sensors usually work within the range of frequency from a few dozen to a few hundred megahertz. On the other hand, it is a well-known fact that the mass sensitivity of such devices is directly proportional to the square of its operating frequency, and SAW sensors for organic vapors, for instance, are usually mass sensitive. For this reason, an increase in the SAW sensors' operating frequency seems to be useful. The circuit described in this paper shows the possibility of a dramatic rise in SAW operating frequency by exerting its operation through a specific high overtone (harmonic frequency) of the SAW resonator. The overtone frequency in such a solution then plays the role of basic mode. The oscillator proposed in this paper seems to be a good tool for chemisensitive-SAW-coating investigation View full abstract»

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  • A Validated Model for the Zero Drift Due to Transformer Signals in Electromagnetic Flowmeters Operating With Electrolytic Conductors

    Page(s): 1502 - 1510
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    In this paper, the author investigates theoretically the magnitudes of the zero offsets and the zero drifts originating from magnetic-flux linkage between the coils of the electromagnet and the loop formed by the electrode cables in an electromagnetic flowmeter for electrolytic conductors. The dependence of such zero offsets on the liquid properties, frequency of operation, etc., is explained. This dependence is used to predict the zero offsets expected in metering this liquid using phase-sensitive detection with the flowmeter tube described in this paper. Precautions needed in flowmeter design to minimize instrument offsets and zero drifts are explained. In the end, the proposed model was validated against the experimental data View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

The IEEE Sensors Journal is a peer-reviewed, monthly online/print  journal devoted to sensors and sensing phenomena

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Krikor Ozanyan
University of Manchester
Manchester, M13 9PL, U.K.