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Toward Flexible Thermoelectric Flow Sensors: A New Technological Approach

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5 Author(s)
Rainer Buchner ; Microsyst. Center Bremen, Univ. of Bremen, Bremen ; Klaus Froehner ; Christoph Sosna ; Wolfgang Benecke
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A new technological approach on thin flexible sensors is presented. As proof of concept, a thermoelectric flow sensor on a 10-mum-thick polyimide foil has been realized. The advantages of silicon as a thermoelectric material and the stability of low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD)-silicon nitride as a protective coating are combined with the flexibility of polymer substrates. The thermoelectric flow sensor is fabricated on a standard silicon wafer for handling purposes. Only the functional layers that are embedded in 600 nm of LPCVD-silicon nitride are transferred onto a 10-mum-thick polyimide. The bulk silicon has been removed using deep reactive ion etching. Samples have been fabricated and tested, proving the potential of this new technological concept. The first characterization results show that the sensor layout has to be adapted to the properties of the polymer substrate.

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 5 )