Sensor Technology

Course Description

Students get knowledge about the sensor classification, physical principles of the conversion of measured quantities into electric signals, and sensor manufacturing technologies. Static and dynamic characteristics, standards, realisations and applications of particular sensors will be commented. Definition and classification of sensors. Physical principles of the conversion of measured quantities into electric signal. Sensor manufacturing technologies. Semiconductor and MEMS technology. Sensors based on surface-acoustic wave (SAW). Nanotechnology. Temperature sensors. CCD sensors. Optical sensors. Radiation sensors. Displacement, velocity and acceleration sensors. Gyroscope. Force, strain and torque sensors. Pressure, flow, and level sensors. Magnetic field sensors. Humidity and moisture sensors. Electrochemical sensors. Gas concentration measurement. Biosensors.

General Competencies

Students will be able to understand physical priciples of the conversion of measured quantities into electric signal, sensor manufacturing technologies and characteristics, and to select an appropriate sensor technology for a specific application.

Learning Outcomes

  1. explain sensor classification
  2. explain physical principles of the conversion of measured quantities into electric signal
  3. define sensor technical specifications
  4. describe sensor manufacturing technologies
  5. apply international standards for particular sensors
  6. select a suitable sensor for given application

Forms of Teaching


Lectures are focused on theoretical and practical aspects of key course topics (two hours per week).


Continuous evaluation encompasses two written exams (midterm and final exam). Students who do not satisfy at continuous evaluation must undertake both the written and oral exam. Students are questioned at the laboratory exercises and they also collect the points for a seminar.

Laboratory Work

Students are obliged to take laboratory exercises (15 hours). During the laboratory exercises, students learn about sensor characteristics on practical examples.


Consultations for students are held once per week.


Students (in groups of up to three students) explore a theme or subject of interest related to the course.

Internship visits

During the semestar, professional visits will be arranged.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Laboratory Exercises 50 % 10 % 50 % 10 %
Seminar/Project 0 % 10 % 0 % 10 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 50 % 20 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 50 % 20 %
Final Exam: Oral 40 %
Exam: Written 50 % 40 %
Exam: Oral 40 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Sensors for conversion of nonelectrical quantities into electric signal. Transducers. Signal conditioning.
  2. Semiconductor and MEMS technology. Sensors based on surface-acoustic wave (SAW). Nanotechnology.
  3. Transducers for contact temperature measurements: resistance temperature detectors (RTD), thermistors, thermocouples, semiconductor sensors. Sensors for contactless temperature measurements: pyrometers, photo-diodes, photo-transistors, photo-resistors, bolometers, thermopile, pyroelectric sensors.
  4. Realisations of contactless thermometers. CCD sensors. Optical sensors. Radioactivity measurement.
  5. Displacement sensors: resistive, capacitive, variable reluctance, LDT, LVDT, magnetostrictive, ultrasonic, optical, digital encoders. Velocity measurement sensors (ultrasound, optical, magnetic).
  6. Accelerometers (piezoelectric, integrated - piezoresistive and capacitive). Gyroscope.
  7. Strain measurement: strain gauges. Force and torque measurement. Pressure sensors (capacitive, strain gauge, piezoresistive, vibrating string). Microphones.
  8. Midterm exam
  9. Flow sensors: differential pressure flow meters, vortex flow meters, rotameter, turbine flow meter, electromagnetic flow meter, ultrasonic flow meters, volumetric flow meters, thermal transport sensors.
  10. Level measurement: floats, temperature sensors, rotating paddle, vibrating level switches, hydrostatic pressure, gravimetric, capacitive, ultrasonic, radar and optical.
  11. Humidity and moisture sensors: resistive, capacitive, selfheating, electrolytic, IR absorption, nuclear, microwave.
  12. Electrochemical sensors: potentiometric, amperometric, conductometric, calorimetric, optical, piezoelectric. Chemoresistors, chemocapacitors, chemotransistors.
  13. Gas concentration measurement: electrochemical, catalytic and infrared.
  14. Biosensors: calorimetric, potentiometric, amperometric, optical, piezoelectric, immunosensors.
  15. Final exam

Study Programmes

University graduate
Electronic and Computer Engineering (profile)
Specialization Course (1. semester) (3. semester)
Information Processing (profile)
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)


J. Fraden (2010.), Handbook of Modern Sensors, Physics, Designs and Applications, Springer-Verlag
Ivan Piljac (2010.), Senzori fizikalnih veličina i elektroanalitičke metode, Udžbenici Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
H.-R. Trankler, E. Obermeier (1998.), Sensortechnik, Handbuch fur Praxis und Wissenschaft, Springer-Verlag
J. G. Webster (1998.), The Measurement, Instrumentation and Sensors Handbook, CRC Press
Liptak, B. G., editor-in-chief (2003.), Instrument Engineers Handbook, 4th edition: Process Measurement and Analysis, CRC Press

Laboratory exercises