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Smart Chemical Gas Sensor System Fabricated in Low Cost CMOS Technology with Integrated Electronics and Hybrid Sensitive Layers

Objective

The objective of CMOSSens is to develop a completely novel generation of miniaturised hybrid gas sensor systems fabricated in industrial CMOS technology by the consortium. For the first time, driving circuitry, signal- processing electronics as well as a microcontroller will be integrated monolithically with the sensor array on chip. The array will be coated with drop-deposited nanocrystalline metal oxides as sensitive layers. Novel evaluation algorithms for signal processing and new packaging solutions or the sensor system will be implemented. Due to its unique characteristics (small size, low price, smart features, CMOS) the system will open up new markets, not considered for sensors yet.

Within CMOSSens, the system will be used in four key-applications: monitoring
(1) residual oil in compressed air
(2) food quality in refrigerators
(3) air quality, workplace safety and
(4) application in portable electronic noses.

Objectives:
CMOSSens objectives:
(a) to develop and to transfer to the industrial environment the know-how for production of a versatile, miniaturised, integrated chemical gas sensor system, and
(b) to use the sensor system in four defined novel applications of direct industrial interest, thus initiating a generation of innovative products with significant market potential (portable electronic nose, residual oil monitoring, food quality in refrigerators, air quality monitoring).

The scientific/technological objectives of CMOSSens include
(1) realisation of a micro hot plate array,
(2) integration of driving electronics on chip,
(3) integration of data preprocessing and A/D conversion units on chip,
(4) innovative technology for deposition of sensitive layer,
(5) implementation of smart features and on-chip microcontroller,
(6) development of novel operation features and evaluation algorithms,
(7) development of advanced packaging solutions and
(8) application specific additional features.

Work description:
An industry-dominated consortium of 9 partners with complementary expertise in the following fields has been formed:
(I) chemical sensors, integrated sensors, post-processing,
(II) sensor systems, electronic noses, and data evaluation algorithms,
(III) CMOS design and process technology,
(IV) deposition and characterization of the chemically sensitive layers,
(V) system level packaging including injection molding,
(VI) application and customer specific design and implementation,
(VII) system tests and reliability issues, and
(VIII) marketing, customer contacts, requirements and needs.

The technical work is organised in 8 work packages:
1. Specification,
2. Design,
3. Processing,
4. Characterisation,
5. Signal evaluation,
6. Application Test,
7. Exploitation, and
8. Management.

The project evolves in four sequential phases, each concluded by milestones and building on the preceding one. The four phases include:
(a) specification of the key applications as input for
(b) design, processing, characterisation of he system paralleled by the development of the signal evaluation tools, followed by
(c) application- and finally
(d) exploitation phase.

The integrated sensor system will rely on conductivity changes of a semiconductor upon gas absorption. To that end conductivity measurement configurations will be designed on arrays of CMOS micromachined (back-etching) heated membranes (microhotplates). Gas-sensitive nanocrystalline tin dioxide will be deposited on the membranes. For optimum cost-efficiency and reliability, the complete sensor chip will be realised in industrial CMOS technology. This allows for integrating the driving electronics and signal processing units on the same chip. Testing and characterisation are performed using prototypes. In close co-operation with the industry partners, the evaluation algorithms will be developed and then downloaded to the system. CMOSSens will provide novel monitoring and safety tools and promote IST objectives.

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Coordinator

EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN

Address

Wilhelmstrasse 7
72074 Tuebingen

Germany

Administrative Contact

Udo WEIMAR

Participants (8)

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APPLIEDSENSOR GMBH

Germany

AUSTRIAMICROSYSTEMS AG

Austria

COPRECI S. COOP. LTDA.

Spain

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH

Switzerland

FILTERWERK MANN+HUMMEL GMBH

Germany

ROBERT SEUFFER GMBH & CO.

Germany

SC GASTAR SRL

Romania

UNIVERSITAD DE BARCELONA

Spain

Project information

Grant agreement ID: IST-1999-10579

  • Start date

    1 January 2000

  • End date

    31 December 2002

Funded under:

FP5-IST

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 484 562

  • EU contribution

    € 1 300 000

Coordinated by:

EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN

Germany