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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication of a miniaturized ionization gas sensor with polyimide spacer
Author(s): T. Walewyns; G. Scheen; E. Tooten; L. El Fissi; P. Dupuis; L. A. Francis
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Paper Abstract

Gas sensing can be achieved by fingerprinting the ionization characteristics of distinct species. In this study, the fabrication of a miniaturized gas ionization sensor using polyimide as sacrificial layer is reported. The sensor consists of two planar metallic electrodes with a gap spacing obtained by the polyimide under-etching. This known sacrificial layer has the advantage besides a high planarization factor, to be CMOS compatible. Furthermore, its chemical resistance up to high temperatures, high resistance to radiation from both electrons and neutrons, and low outgassing are of primary importance to avoid interferences with the ionization gas sensing. A suspended micro-bridge with dimensions 20 μm width and 220 μm length has been developed and released by using etching holes in the membrane. The ionization characteristics of air at controlled temperature, humidity and pressure (21°C, 40% humidity and 1 atm) have been obtained during non-destructive electrical characterizations, with a breakdown voltage of 350 V for a 6 μm gap. The growth of metallic nanowires templated in ion track-etched polyimide on the electrode is envisioned in order to enhance the ionization field and to reduce the required measurement power of the sensor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8066, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS V, 80660J (5 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886759
Show Author Affiliations
T. Walewyns, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
G. Scheen, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
E. Tooten, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
L. El Fissi, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
P. Dupuis, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
L. A. Francis, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8066:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS V
Ulrich Schmid; José Luis Sánchez-Rojas; Monika Leester-Schaedel, Editor(s)

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