The companies involved in the project try to utilize nanostructuring and nanomodifying of surface coatings in creating stacked sensor modules. Modularity is seen as a way to enable users to interconnect standard sensors via standardized interfaces and creating new and rather complex sensor systems by combining basic modules. According to a joint press release of the companies involved, multi-sensor systems could be an alternative to individual isolated solutions, significantly speeding up innovation cycles. The bandwidth of possible applications is said to be very broad; it spans the entire range of automotive and industrial sensors. Also medical applications could benefit from the technology, the group said.
MANOS stands for "Modular Assembly of Systems with Nano-modified Surfaces for Automotive and Industrial Sensors". Involved in the project which is in part funded by the German federal research ministry are companies and research institutes including automotive tier one Continental AG, Delo Industrie Klebstoffe, Fraunhofer IZM, Kerona, RoodMicrotec, Sick AG and Würth Elektronik. Kerona, for example, is developing nano-modified surface protection layers for optical, temperature and location sensors.
Delo Industrie Klebstoffe contributes its experience with industrial adhesives required for self-assembling of integrated circuits on PCBs as well as for the module stacking process. Besides sticking the parts together mechanically, these adhesives also will provide thermic and electric conductivity. Würth Elektronik provides techniques of emebdding ICs into PCBs. Continental and Sick are taking the part of application integration: Continental plans to use stacked multi sensor systems in its automotive transmission control systems. Sick AG manufacturers a variety of optical miniature sensors and sensor systems for industrial applications.