Microsystems and Sensors

Tiny systems with huge impact

The Institute IMP is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to microsystems technology. We offer help for the design, fabrication and characterization of your micro-scale systems. We build sensors, actuators and passive micro-components. By combining microfluidics with miniaturized analytics, we can also build complete lab-on-a-chip systems. For the fabrication of our devices we have comprehensive process technology at hand, including structuring, thin films, packaging and printing. Characterization and failure analysis as well as photonics and optics complete our competences.

Touch and feel the environment

Sensors and actuators are omnipresent. They help us to identify potentially hazardous situations and make our daily life easier. At the institute IMP a wide variety of sensors and actuators has been implemented. Among others these include: sensors to measure light, force, pressure or fluidic flows and actuators to grip small objects, change gas flows or modulate electrical signals.

Piezoresistive sensors are used in measuring force, displacement, pressure and strain. In this case, a piezoresistive sensor was integrated into a cantilever, in order to measure force and displacement. 

Silicon thermal actuators, fabricated through microtechnology, are exceptionally well suited for in-plane movements. Depending on the geometry and the maximum allowed temperature, deflections in up to 40 μm and forces of a few mN can be reached. 

Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) convert heat into electrical energy. A good example of their application is as power sources for sensors in difficult-to-reach locations. They consist of many thermoelements  connected in series.

Microfluidic mixers are employed for mixing liquids, for example in the pharma-industry. Compared to conventional methods, microfluidic mixers show up to 90% dead volume reduction.

Further information on our competences in Microfluidics and Medtech

Whether you want to miniaturize an existing system or find alternative solutions , we accompany you from idea to prototype to small series production. Microtechnology allows the fabrication of micrometer-sized structures, with tolarences of a few hundred nanometers. The so reached precision is very high compared to conventional mechanical manufacturing processes. Additionally to the technical design and fabrication of sensors and actuators, transducers and system integration are important aspects in the development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).  Thus we are committed to an interdisciplinary approach to microsystems technology, leading to industry compatible and product oriented solutions.


Our infrastructure serves the complete process chain for MEMS fabrication.


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Prof. Dr. Samuel Huber

IMP Institut für Mikrotechnik und Photonik Professor für Mikrotechnik, Leiter Kompetenzbereich Mikrosystemtechnik

+41 58 257 34 66 samuel.huber@ost.ch