|Sensors are comprised of two basic parts – a sensing element and a transducer. The sensing element interacts with the environment, generating a response. It is the sensing element that is the primary part of a sensor, and determines the nature, selectivity and sensitivity of the sensor. The transducer is a device which reads the response of the sensing element and converts it into an interpretable and quantifiable term.There are many different types of sensors. Sensor classification schemes range from very simple to very complex. One way to classify a sensor is to consider the property or analyte being sensed, and another way is to consider the principal physics and operating mechanisms of the sensor. The SenTIX web site organizes its database of searchable sensor information primarily in these two ways: by analyte, environmental characteristic or physical property to be sensed, and by sensor operating principles or mechanisms.
SenTIX organizes sensor technologies into one of four general technology groups based primarily on the principal physics and operating mechanisms of the sensors. These four general groups are as follows: (1) electrochemical sensors; (2) mass sensors; (3) optical sensors; and (4) biosensors.
Electrochemical sensors include sensors that detect signal changes (e.g. resistance) caused by an electrical current being passed through electrodes that interact with chemicals. Mass sensors rely on disturbances and changes to the mass of the surface of the sensor during interaction with chemicals. Optical sensors detect changes in visible light or other electromagnetic waves to detect and identify the presence of chemicals. Biosensors incorporate a biological material (enzymes for example), a biologically derived material, or biomimic with a transducer or transducing microsystem to measure an analyte. Within each of these sensor categories, some sensors may exhibit characteristics that overlap with other categories. In addition, these categories can be further refined for example, Fiber Optic Chemical Sensors are one type of optical sensor.
Whether you want to search by sensor technology, environmental contaminant, or by media type (soil, air, groundwater, etc), utilizing the SenTIX Search the Databasefunction will allow you to select the search criteria you want in order to find the sources of information you need.