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Content archived on 2024-05-21

ADVANTAgeous applications of GAS sensors for security and consumer applications


The aim of this project is to develop new gas-sensitive field effect transistor microsystem set up. This device is most suitable for consumer applications where especially the device costs (<2 Euro) and low power consumption (<1mW) are major requirements. The low power operation is possible using functional materials designed for an ambient operation temperature. The low price of the device is reached by developing material technology for flip chip sensor setup, which has a common silicon part in standard CMOS for various applications and gives full freedom in preparation technique for the sensitive films. The device is most suitable for hand-held gas detectors.
The functionality of this device will be shown during field tests in one pilot applications: Work place safety with respect to hazardous gases and fire. Additionally standardised test procedures will be developed and applied to the gas sensors according to the specifications of this application.

1) The development of a gas sensor that is a low costs (<2 Euro) and low power (<1mW) device will open new market opportunities like portable gas warning systems for the professional and consumer market;
2) Sensor systems with that device will be adopted to the pilot application work place safety with respect to fire detection and hazardous gases with the target gases CO2, CO, NH3, NOx and ozone in ppb and ppm range;
3) Standardized test procedures are developed and applied to the sensors;
4) Opening up additional markets will distinctly influence the employment by creating high level jobs in Europe at OEM (which are mainly SME´s). The market of all possible applications is regarded to be of several 100 mio Euros;
5) The use of the gas sensor system will impact the safety of people at work and at home and will save cash and fixed assets.

Work description:
In first year the pilot application will be specified and the requirements for gas sensor systems will be defined. Test procedures will be developed and standardized to test the complete sensors systems as well as demonstrators and prototypes in each stage of the developing process. This technical information will be completed by a market survey and customer interviews. The sensors will be brought into use by creating an innovative, industrially manufacturable and cheap Flip-Chip based set-up and by incorporation of a wide variety of already known and new designed sensing materials. Due to the hybrid set up a separate development and testing of the CMOS part of the sensor, the flip chip assembly and the sensitive materials is possible. The functional materials will be prepared, characterized and tested with workfunction and resistivity measurements using the defined test procedures. The University of Tuebingen and the INFM, Brescia, are leading experts in the field of sensing layers. Micronas contributes broad band knowledge in Si-processing for medium-volume products. Siemens contributes the know-how in development of gas sensor set-ups.
In the second year the sensitive films and the sensor set up is brought together resulting in characterized and tested gas sensitive demonstrators. During that phase field tests for complete sensor systems will be planned and performed for the pilot application. A draft technological implementation plan (TIP) will be setup with the industrial partners. The results and experience with the gas sensitive demonstrators will be disseminated to a wide range of possible customers and users not only in the pilot applications.
The third year is devoted to the field tests and the completion of the TIP. The gas sensitive films will be optimised on the base of the long-term experience of the field tests. Additionally to international conferences and customer presentations the final results will be disseminated in a workshop.

During the first year specifications for sensors and systems used for work place safety are the first milestones as well as the electrical functionality of the sensor.
After about one year milestones are the electrical functionality of the Si-FET and test of first gas sensitive layers, after two years milestones are the optimised gas sensitive films and gas sensitive functionality of the sensor.
After three years the final milestone, sensor systems qualified for the applications, will be reached.

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Participants (5)