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Proceedings Paper

Integrated CMOS dew point sensors for relative humidity measurement
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Paper Abstract

This work deals with the development of integrated relative humidity dew point sensors realized by adopting standard CMOS technology for applications in various fields. The proposed system is composed by a suspended plate that is cooled by exploiting integrated Peltier cells. The cold junctions of the cells have been spread over the plate surface to improve the homogeneity of the temperature distribution over its surface, where cooling will cause the water condensation. The temperature at which water drops occur, named dew point temperature, is a function of the air humidity. Measurement of such dew point temperature and the ambient temperature allows to know the relative humidity. The detection of water drops is achieved by adopting a capacitive sensing strategy realized by interdigited fixed combs, composed by the upper layer of the adopted process. Such a capacitive sensor, together with its conditioning circuit, drives a trigger that stops the cooling of the plate and enables the reading of the dew point temperature. Temperature measurements are achieved by means of suitably integrated thermocouples. The analytical model of the proposed system has been developed and has been used to design a prototype device and to estimate its performances. In such a prototype, the thermoelectric cooler is composed by 56 Peltier cells, made by metal 1/poly 1 junctions. The plate has a square shape with 200 μm side, and it is realized by exploiting the oxide layers. Starting from the ambient temperature a temperature variation of ΔT = 15 K can be reached in 10 ms thus allowing to measure a relative humidity greater than 40%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5389, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology, (29 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.539999
Show Author Affiliations
Nicolo Savalli, Univ. of Catania (Italy)
Salvatore Baglio, Univ. of Catania (Italy)
Salvatore Castorina, Univ. of Catania (Italy)
Vincenzo Sacco, Univ. of Catania (Italy)
Cristina Tringali, Univ. of Catania (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5389:
Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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