Actuators and sensors in nanotechnology

Basic principles and concepts for the development of actuators and sensors in nano technology

Goals and Outline

The lecture is part of the major fields "Microsystem Technology" and "Microactuators and Microsensors" in the Master Course of Mechanical Engineering and of the major field "Functional Materials" in the Master Course "Materials Science and Engineering". The learning outcomes of the lecture comprise important principles of actuation and sensing in nanotechnology as well as the corresponding fabrication technologies. The lecture enables you to explain the layout, function and typical properties of the actuators and sensors.

The lecture addresses students in the fields of mechanical engineering, mechatronics and information technology, materials science and engineering, physics, electrical engineering and economic sciences. A comprehensive introduction is given in the basics and current developments on the nanoscopic length scale.

The lecture is in German, but can be given in English, depending on the listeners.


Magnetic nano actuator consisting of Ti-beams
and magnetic nano beads
  Gas sensor: Net of SnO2 nano fibers in between two
electrodes of Platinum



The lecture comprises the following topics:

  • Nano technologies
  • Nano electro mechanical systems (NEMS)
  • Nano magneto mechanical and multiferroic systems
  • Polymer-based nano actuators
  • Nano motors, molecular systems
  • Adaptive nano optical systems
  • Nanosensors: concepts, materials, fabrication
  • Examples on different categories of materials and applications:
    • C-based, MeOx-based nano sensors
    • Physical, chemical, biological nano sensors
  • Multivariant data analysis / interpretation



  • Lecture notes (ppt slides)
  • 2. Balzani, V., Credi, A., & Venturi, M., Molecular devices and machines: concepts and perspectives for the nanoworld, 2008

- (Micro) sensor technology:

  • „Sensors Update“, Volumes 1&2, Edited by H. Baltes, W. Göpel, J. Hesse, VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, 1996, ISBN 3-527-29329-9

- Nano Systems:

  • „Nanowires and Nanobelts, - Materials, Properties and Devices -, Volume 2: Nanowires and Nanobelts of Functional Materials“, Edited by Zhong Lin Wang, Springer, 2003, ISBN 10 0-387-28706-X

- Nano sensors:

  • „Sensors Based on Nanostructured Materials“, Edited by Francisco J. Arregui, Spriner, 2009, ISBN: 978-0-387-77752-8

- Measurement instrumentation and technology:

  • „Physikalische Messtechnik mit Sensoren“, Johannes Niebuhr und Gerhard Lindner, Oldenbourg-Industrieverlag, 2011, ISBN: 978-3-8356-3151-9


  • MEMS/NEMS : Handbook Techniques and Applications / edited by Cornelius T. Leondes, Boston, MA : Springer US, 2006, ISBN: 978-0-387-24520-1
  • Micro and Smart Devices and Systems / edited by K. J. Vinoy et al., New Delhi Springer, 2014, ISBN: 978-813-2219-13-2, DOI: 10.1007/978-81-322-1913-2
  • Micro- and Nano-Scale Sensors and Transducers, Ezzat G. Bakhoum, CRC Press, 2016, Druck ISBN: 9781482250909, E-Book ISBN: 9781482250916