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Micromachined thermally based CMOS microsensors

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3 Author(s)
H. Baltes ; Phys. Electron. Lab., Eidgenossische Tech. Hochschule, Zurich, Switzerland ; O. Paul ; O. Brand

An integrated circuit (IC) approach to thermal microsensors is presented. The focus is on thermal sensors with on-chip bias and signal conditioning circuits made by industrial complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) IC technology in combination with post-CMOS micromachining or deposition techniques. CMOS materials and physical effects pertinent to thermal sensors are summarized together with basic structures used for microheaters, thermistors, thermocouples, thermal isolation, and heat sinks. As examples of sensors using temperature measurement, we present micromachined CMOS radiation sensors and thermal converters. Examples for sensors based on thermal actuation include thermal flow and pressure sensors, as well as thermally excited microresonators for position and chemical sensing. We also address sensors for the characterization of process-dependent thermal properties of CMOS materials, such as thermal conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and heat capacity, whose knowledge is indispensable for thermal sensor design. Last, two complete packaged microsystems-a thermoelectric air-flow sensor and a thermoelectric infrared intrusion detector-are reported as demonstrators

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:86 ,  Issue: 8 )