innovation for industry
Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers, or PMUTs, are a type of MEMS. The devices are currently plagued by an angular resolution in excess of 90° in some cases.
CEA-Leti brought the figure down to 18° for the detection of an object placed 40 cm away from the device. Their solution consisted of a network of five PMUTs with specially developed components and a technique called beamforming. The devices used here have two layers of aluminum nitride, a piezoelectric material, so that beamforming can be used to leverage the interference between the PMUT measurements. The research won a Best Paper Award at Smart Systems Integration 2021. The system will be of use in human-machine interfaces, instrumentation for robots, and sensors for autonomous vehicles.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.