A low-power micromachined MOSFET gas sensor

This paper reports on the design, fabrication, and characterization of the first low-power consumption MOSFET gas sensor. The novel MOSFET array gas sensor has been fabricated using anisotropic bulk silicon micromachining. A heating resistor, a diode used as temperature sensor, and four MOSFETs are located in a silicon island suspended by a dielectric membrane. The membrane has a low thermal conductivity coefficient and, therefore, thermally isolates the electronic components from the chip frame. This low thermal mass device allows the reduction of the power consumption to a value of 90 mW for an array of four MOSFETs at an operating temperature of 170 °C. Three of the MOSFETs have their gate covered with thin catalytic metals and are used as gas sensors. The fourth one has a standard gate covered with nitride and could act as a reference. The sensor was tested under different gaseous atmospheres and has shown good gas sensitivities to hydrogen and ammonia. The low-power MOSFET array gas sensor presented is suitable for applications in portable gas sensor instruments, electronic noses, and automobiles.

Published in:
Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 9, 3, 303-307

 Record created 2009-05-12, last modified 2018-03-17

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