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Stability is a major concern of semiconductor-metal-oxide (SMO) gas sensors in practical applications, as they may cause false alarm problems. Ambient temperature is a major factor affecting the SMO gas sensor's stability. In this paper, we use a novel way to improve temperature stability of SMO (tin oxide) gas sensors by applying a temperature feedback control circuits which are compatible with our microelectromechanical systems sensor fabrication. A built-in platinum temperature sensor can precisely detect the sensor's working temperature. It provides feedback information to compensate the microheater's current to maintain the sensor's working temperature constant, regardless of ambient temperature change. Test results showed that, with this approach, significant improvement of stability has been achieved compared to SMO gas sensors without temperature compensation under the same ambient variation. The algorithm is realized through a hardware circuit, whose advantages include real time, large feedback gain, and low cost.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2006