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The Optimisation of a Resonant Gas Sensor by Using Nano-Tectured Surfaces

P.T. Docker, P.K. Kinnell and M.C.L. Ward
University of Birmingham, UK

Keywords:
MEMS, nano textured surfaces resonant gas sensors

Abstract:
This paper describes the potential for optimising a resonant gas sensor by using nano-textured surfaces. Initial modelling proved that a device with a nano-textured active layer could have its surface area increased by an order of magnitude when compared to a device with an ideal theoretical smooth surface. These nano-textured surfaces are achieved when using the author’s one step DRIE process. By carefully choosing the parameters when using the one step process the underside can be made to mimic porous silicon 2, 3, 4 giving the user this vastly increased surface area on a micro and nano scale. It is these nanotextured surfaces that can be used to optimize the resonant gas sensor and the example given in this paper sees an increase in signal by 547%. These kinds of orders of magnitude in improvement will make it possible to make smaller devices that can still generate enough signal to be valid for many resonant gas sensor applications.

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