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Proceedings Paper

Circuit interfaces and optimization for resistive nanosensors
Author(s): Rajeevan Amirtharajah; Albert Chen; Darshan Thaker; Frederic T. Chong
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Paper Abstract

Carbon nanotube and semiconductor nanowires could potentially usher in a new era in chemical detection for environmental, biomedical, and security applications by providing highly sensitive detection at very low cost. For wireless sensor networks and implantable biomedical sensing devices, system power consumption is a critical factor in determining volume, operating lifetime, and circuit performance. We describe several key circuit challenges related to interfacing variable resistance nanosensors to digital integrated circuits through analog-to-digital data conversion. These challenges include drift in nanosensor baseline resistance due to fabrication variances and incomplete chemical desorption, various sensor and circuit noise sources, and integrated sensor and circuit area and power tradeoffs. We describe and evaluate the potential of several circuit techniques to address these issues, including self-test, self-calibration, and noise cancellation. Simulations indicate that +/- 40% variations in fabricated baseline resistance can be reduced to +/- 2% with a 25% increase in sensing area using a configurable sensor design. Based on these results, we explore potential A/D converter architectures for their use as low power nanosensor interfaces. Finally, we discuss resolution limits to miniaturization of nanosensor interface circuits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2005
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6008, Nanosensing: Materials and Devices II, 60080J (21 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.630848
Show Author Affiliations
Rajeevan Amirtharajah, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Albert Chen, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Darshan Thaker, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Frederic T. Chong, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6008:
Nanosensing: Materials and Devices II
M. Saif Islam; Achyut K. Dutta, Editor(s)

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