ISAT has particular expertise in the field of microacoustic sensors and actuators. For many years, the Institute has been conducting its own research and development in this field and holds a patent portfolio, some of which is protected worldwide. These competencies are incorporated into a large number of research projects carried out at ISAT.
The technology developed in the Institute is based on the targeted excitation of guided waves – a special form of ultrasound – on technical materials. By using piezoelectric transducers, it is possible to excite specific vibration modes on the outside of components, while the actual interaction of the waves takes place with the inside of the component . Application examples of this non-invasive technology are the detection of biofilms, limescale or other deposits in liquid-filled tubes or hoses or the realization of touch functions on differently shaped technical surfaces and materials. In the field of acoustic actuators, ISAT is researching, among other things, the acceleration of electrochemical reactions by acoustically induced vortex streaming in the vicinity of electrodes in order, for example, to be able to charge accumulators more quickly in the future.
A further thematic focus is integrated optics. Activities here include, for example, the monitoring of critical infrastructure such as bridges by fibre-optic sensors. Concepts and technologies are being developed for questions from telecommunications, optical metrology or the automotive industry, for example, in order to implement microoptical systems compactly in the form of monolithically integrated chips.
The third and most recent research focus of ISAT is microfluidics. In particular, analytical questions for monitoring chemical or biological industrial processes as well as medical on-site and laboratory diagnostics are in the foreground. Microfluidic systems developed at ISAT can also be used in the future for screening questions and the synthesis of chemicals.
In addition to experimental validation, ISAT is also involved in the simulation of acoustic, optical and fluidic processes.