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PA - C8 - PHY564D : Sensors and Transducers: from Macro to Nano

Domaine > Physique.


In the context of Climate Change mitigations, of Resource Savings and of Environment Protection, there is a definite trend to monitor at the local scale all kinds of environmental phenomena, such as pollutant concentration in air or water (for Health and Environment protection), indoor temperature, hygrometry and CO2 levels (for smart housing), ageing of the road and level of traffic (for intelligent transportation systems), nutrients and contaminants in the soil (for farming applications) …

This is achieved through Sensors that are deployed throughout urban and natural environments and generate a wealth of data. This data is then collected by wireless sensor networks, by individually owned smart devices or by industrial automation systems. It is then used to act on the phenomena globally (for instance policies to improve air quality or traffic) or locally (for instance water purifiers, ventilation systems…). Actuators describe all engineered solutions that allow to act on environmental and urban phenomena, usually to minimize use of resources, cost of operation and environmental impact while maximizing quality of service.

The module aims at providing understanding of sensors and actuators (S&A), with a focus on their operating principles, on how to miniaturize them, and on the innovation trends, notably in the field of Nanotechnologies. The class targets four types of students: students interested in general public knowledge on S&A; students aiming at using S&A in their career and needing background technical knowledge; students aiming at developing innovative S&A-based products and needing in-depth technical knowledge and insight into research trends; students aiming at doing research on S&A.  

The module is multidisciplinary, tackling topics related to Physics, Mechanics, Chemistry, Electronics, Nanotechnology, Data sciences, Bizdev, Social sciences… However, it does not require specialized knowledge on any of these things, as the basics are recalled at the beginning of each lecture. The module is split between lectures (1/3) and group projects (2/3) and includes a lab visit.

Projects are carried out in groups of 3 or 4. The groups’ goal is to design, size and price an innovative system based on S&A that answers specifications provided at the start of the module. Projects are all related Climate Change Mitigation and Digital Economy. For instance, year 2019 projects were related to Clean Transportation Systems and Smart Farming. Year 2020 projects were related to Healthy Ageing and Energy Efficient Buildings.


Language : English

Credits ECTS : 5

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade réduit

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Internet of Things : Innovation and Management Program (IoT)

Le rattrapage est autorisé
    L'UE est acquise si note finale transposée >= C
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 4 ECTS

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

    Pour les étudiants du diplôme M2 Biomechanics

    Le rattrapage est autorisé

      Pour les étudiants du diplôme M1 - International Track in Physics

      Pour les étudiants du diplôme Diplôme d'ingénieur de l'Ecole polytechnique

      Le rattrapage est autorisé

        Pour les étudiants du diplôme Echanges PEI

        Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée)

          Programme détaillé

          Lecture list (16h):

          1. Lecture 0 - Part A - Global & research context
            Lecture 0 - part B - Introduction to module
          2. Lecture 1 - Introduction to sensors
          1. Lecture 2 - Nanosensors (Generalities; Case study on carbon nanotubes; Case study on instrastucture monitoring; Case study on Water monitoring)
          1. Lecture 3 - Introduction to actuators
          2. Lecture 4 - Part A - Introduction to MEMS Sensors and Actuators
            Lecture 4 - Part B - Introduction to microfabrication
          3. Lecture 5 - Chemical and biological S&A
          4. Lecture 6 - Air quality S & A
          1. Lecture 7 - Mechanical Energy Harvesting for the Internet of Things (Guest Lecturer: Philippe Basset, Université Gustave Eiffel)

            Project (20h) 


          Lecturer : Bérengère Lebental
          Researcher specialized in NanoElectronics, with applications on Instrumentation and Smart Sustainable Development, Manager of larger R& D projects, Cofounder of two startups


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