Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) researchers have partnered with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists to develop sensor technology for underwater communications, which will be advantageous to defence applications, especially in the Navy.

The ‘Piezoelectric MEMS technology’ is required to develop high-performance thin films and convert ‘piezo-thin films’ into futuristic Naval Sensors and devices for underwater applications. The Piezo thin films are a vital component of piezo MEMS devices and are considered for acoustics and vibration-sensing applications, says a release.

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The establishment of cutting-edge piezo MEMS technology enables India to push the boundaries of defence competencies and allows the nation to execute the strategic operations of critical applications. The large area piezo thin films and MEMS process technology will support the ongoing/futuristic technologies for the Next-Generation SONAR programme of DRDO for the Indian Navy, the release said.

Globally, several research groups and defence laboratories in the US, Europe, Korea, Japan, and China are involved in the development of technologies. Internationally, several piezo MEMS foundries are making various piezo MEMS devices for both defence and civilian applications. Currently, the piezo thin film-based piezoelectric device market is worth about $5 billion and is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 12 per cent in the next 3 to 4 years, the release said.