Electronic Design

Sensor Arrays Snoop Out Gaseous Compounds

Imec and Holst Centre have developed what they are calling very sensitive integrated elements for gas detection. The polymer-coated microbridges, arranged in high-density arrays, can detect ppm-level concentrations of vapors using on-chip readout techniques. Suitable for use in miniature electronic-nose devices, the sensing arrays exhibit a power consumption of less than 1 µW/bridge. The emerging generation of microbridges employ embedded piezoelectric shakers in a high-density array. The design allows for rapid coating of a range of absorbents on individual microbridges using commercial inkjet printing technology. The suspended structures vibrate individually and changes in their modes of vibration, a.k.a., resonances, are monitored as an indication of vapor absorption in their coatings. Due to the very high length-to-thickness ratio of the microbridges, the gas sensor chip has a high sensitivity to low-concentration vapors.  For more details, visit http://www2.imec.be/be_en/press/imec-news/gassensor.html.

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