PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A technician at work inside a microsensor manufacturing 'clean room'. As in all processes involving micro-circuits, the technicians wear gloves and hair nets, and the air in the room is filtered. Even the smallest particle of dust may wreck one of these circuits. The sensors being made here are micro-pressure detectors, devices where all of the components of a conventional pressure sensor have been miniaturised and produced on a single silicon 'chip'. Among the many uses of these is in cardiac catheterisation, where the sensor may read the pressure changes inside a patient's heart.
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