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Mass-Sensitive Microfabricated Chemical Preconcentrator

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12 Author(s)

This paper describes a mass-sensitive microfabricated preconcentrator for use in chemical detection microsystems. The device combines mass sensing and preconcentration to create a smart preconcentrator (SPC) that determines when it has collected sufficient analyte for analysis by a downstream chemical microsystem. The SPC is constructed from a Lorentz-force-actuated pivot-plate resonator with an integrated heater. Subsequent to microfabrication, the SPC is coated with an adsorbent for collection of chemical analytes. The frequency of operation varies inversely with the mass of collected analyte. Such shifts can be measured by a back-EMF in the SPC's drive/transducer line. By using a calibrated vapor system, the limit of detection of the SPC was determined to be less than 50 ppb for dimethyl-methyl-phosphonate (DMMP) (actual limits of detection are omitted due to export control limitations). At 1 ppm of DMMP, 1-s collection was sufficient to trigger analysis in a downstream microsystem; other micropreconcentrators would require an arbitrary collection time, normally set at 1 min or longer. This paper describes the theory of operation, design, fabrication, coating, vapor system testing, and integration of the SPC into microanalytical systems. The theory of operation, which is applicable to other torsional oscillators, is used to predict a shear modulus of silicon (100) of G = 57.0 GPa plusmn2.2 GPa.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 6 )