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Date 28-31 Oct. 2007

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  • The Role of Metamaterials and Plasmons for Novel Sensing Applications

    Page(s): 1
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (143 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Summary form only given. The past ten years have seen a tremendous acceleration in the exploration of metals for photonic applications. This exploration has been common to both the metamaterials and the plasmonics fields, which leverage the strong resonances of structured metals to produce desired electromagnetic response. However, the unique electromagnetic properties of metal components and composite materials come at a price: while a seemingly limitless palette of electromagnetic behavior can be coaxed out of carefully designed metal structures-negative refractive index and optical magnetism being two striking examples-material losses and dispersion place heavy constraints on the ultimate usability of these properties. Despite their drawbacks, metamaterials based on metals and plasmonic structures also exhibit unique phenomena that are distinct from other systems and materials. Both structures possess the capability to localize electromagnetic fields to regions much smaller than the wavelength of light, and to strongly enhance the local fields. This focusing of light naturally brings about an extreme sensitivity to the local environment, which can be used to implement sensing or modulation functionality. By exploiting the benefits of metals-field localization, field enhancement and sensitivity to local environment - while minimizing their disadvantages, we hope to develop an array of unique and competitive devices across the electromagnetic spectrum In this talk we describe the amazing electromagnetic response that can be achieved in engineered metamaterial composites with metal inclusions, including negative index materials and the recently reported "invisibility" cloaks. View full abstract»

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  • Microdevices for biomolecular and single cell detection

    Page(s): 2
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (118 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Recent advances towards developing biomolecular and single cell applications for a mass-based biosensor known as the suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) will be presented. In SMR detection, target molecules or cells flow through a vibrating suspended microchannel and are captured by receptor molecules attached to the interior channel walls. What separates the SMR from the existing resonant mass sensors is that the receptors, targets, and their aqueous environment are confined inside the resonator, while the resonator itself can oscillate at high Q in an external vacuum environment, thus yielding extraordinarily high sensitivity. This approach solves the problem of viscous damping that degrades the sensitivity of cantilever resonators in solution. We have achieved a resolution of approximately 300 attograms which is represents an improvement of six order of magnitude improvement over a high-end commercial quartz crystal microbalance. This gives access to intriguing applications such as mass based flow cytometry or the direct detection of cancer biomarkers. View full abstract»

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  • Emerging Nanostructures and Devices for Diagnostics and Therapeutics

    Page(s): 3 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1864 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We are combining advances in materials synthesis, microfabrication, biology and engineering to develop multiplexed engineered platforms for bio-diagnostics and non-invasive imaging using nanostructured materials. On one front, we have developed a completely electronic signal transduction scheme for specific biomolecular binding events on microcantilever platform. Such label-and optics-free detection approach for biochemical analytes promises a widely affordable versatile diagnostics system. We are also developing complex multifunctional architecture based on magnetic nanostructures for MR imaging and therapeutics. The core philosophy of our approach is the merger and synergy of physical sciences, engineering and biology, which promise to open new vistas for advanced imaging, diagnostics and therapeutic systems. View full abstract»

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  • Microcantilever Biosensors

    Page(s): 5
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (145 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Microcantilever arrays have been used for multiplexed, label-free detection of biomolecules. Adsorption of analyte molecules on immobilized receptors on the cantilevers result in cantilever bending due to surface free energy variation. Piezoresistive readout of cantilever bending offers a simple method of signal transduction that is compatible with microfabrication. Although the microcantilever-based biosensing appears to high sensitivity and selectivity, reproducibility of the technique appears to be a challenge. We have developed a novel method of immobilizing receptors that increases the reproducibility. We have demonstrated simultaneous detection of cancer and cardiac markers using cantilever arrays with immobilized receptors. View full abstract»

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  • Integrating Magnetic and Optical Nanotechnology for Selective Capture and Multiplexed Analysis of Rare Tumor Cells

    Page(s): 6 - 9
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (360 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The molecular analysis of disseminated tumor cells from blood or lymph represents an important diagnostic tool as metastasis is the primary cause of patient mortality due to cancer. Isolating tumor cells from blood is technically challenging due to the miniscule ratio of tumor cells to normal cells. Although RT-PCR and flow-based methods have been used for molecular profiling of the captured cells, it requires cell destruction and the loss of morphological information. Here, we present a combined strategy to isolate tumor cells with magnetic nanoparticles, followed by multiple biomarker analysis using targeted quantum dots (QD) nanoparticles. The magnetic nanoparticles and QDs will allow efficient isolation and quantitative analysis of intact captured cells. Through this technology, patient monitoring and more effective and personalized therapy will be possible. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that the molecular profile of the cells is unaltered by the isolation procedure. Results from studies involving the isolation and profiling of cancer cells from human blood are presented. View full abstract»

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  • Modular Sampling and Analysis Techniques for the Real-Time Analysis of Human Breath

    Page(s): 10 - 13
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (478 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    At LLNL and UC Davis, we are developing several techniques for the real-time sampling and analysis of trace gases, aerosols and exhaled breath that could be useful for a modular, integrated system for breath analysis. Those techniques include single-particle bioaerosol mass spectrometry (BAMS) for the analysis of exhaled aerosol particles or droplets as well as breath samplers integrated with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or MEMS-based differential mobility spectrometry (DMS). We describe these techniques and present recent data obtained from human breath or breath condensate, in particular, addressing the question of how environmental exposure influences the composition of breath. View full abstract»

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  • Photo-ionization mass spectrometry for on-line analysis of organic compounds in human breath and in tobacco smoke upon inhalation

    Page(s): 14 - 15
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (189 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Soft photo ionization mass spectrometry was applied successfully for on-line characterization of organic compounds in tobacco smoke during the smoking process (including mouth space measurements) and in the exhaled breath. View full abstract»

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  • Microfabricated differential mobility spectrometers for breath analysis

    Page(s): 16 - 19
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (540 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We have demonstrated the use of a novel micromachined differential mobility spectrometer (DMS) to analyze human breath condensate samples for applications in disease diagnostics. This miniature device is small, portable, low power, and potentially fieldable as a point-of-care clinical diagnostic instrument. To date, we have shown that our instrument system is capable of measuring a higher number of chemicals from breath condensate samples than traditional analytical instruments, such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). We have also found that we can detect extremely low levels of specific chemicals of interest, such as acetone, down to the single digit parts-per-billion level. The device has also been used to characterize exhaled breath condensate (EBC) samples from individuals, and we have used machine learning algorithms to differentiate between persons based on the measured chemicals in their breath alone. The detection limits and analytical power are clinically relevant for many potential biomarkers, and suggests our device may have many applications for disease diagnostics in human breath analysis. View full abstract»

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  • Compact mid-IR Breath Analysis System

    Page(s): 20 - 23
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (694 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Daylight Solutions is developing broadly tunable, external cavity quantum cascade lasers (EC-QCLs) for gas sensing instrumentation for numerous markets including medical breath analysis. Progress in two specific areas of development will be discussed: (i) miniaturization of a fast tunable, moderate resolution, pulsed EC-QCL and (ii) demonstration of a EC-QCL acetone sensor capable of breath acetone detection at the required low levels. Recent efforts at Daylight Solutions yielded the world's first miniature room temperature EC-QCLs comprising of a 15 mm long optical cavity, custom collimating optics, miniature grating tuning mechanism and integrated current and temperature controls. The laser can operate anywhere in the 4.5 -10.5 micron spectral region with a scanning range of over 100 wavenumbers. The spectral resolution is better than 1 wave number and the scanning rate is faster than 1 second. In addition to the relative simplicity and ruggedness of the optomechanical design, the laser also features low average power consumption, does not require precise current and temperature control, and can operate at room temperature with convective cooling. The prototype EC-QCL acetone sensor operating in 8 micron spectral range combined with Daylight Solutions' optimized IR detector together with a custom data acquisition system have shown a sensitivity of <100 PPB level of acetone, an important breath biomarker using single breath resolved absorption spectroscopy. The measurement approach, sensitivity, and selectivity in presence of other breath constituents will be discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Universal Smart Sensors Interface and Signal Conditioner

    Page(s): 24 - 27
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (348 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A novel universal smart sensors interface and signal conditioner was proposed and described in this paper. The innovation integrated circuit UFDC-2 is based on four new patented measuring methods for frequency-time domain parameters of signals and solves problem for interfacing of any frequency-time domain sensors and transducers to PC or microcontroller with programmable high accuracy and resolution for frequency (time)-to-digital conversion, non-redundant conversion time, wide frequency range and constant quantization error. Combining silicon micromachining designs and processes with the advanced universal sensors and transducers the interfacing circuit overcomes many of early limitations for single-chip sensors design. By eliminating the need for ADC, the frequency (period, duty-cycle or PWM)-to-digital conversion schemes reduce the systems complexity. The applications of such approach and developed IC are high-performance integrated sensors with truly digital output (RS-232 interface), bus output (SPI or I2C) or IEEE 1451 compatible sensors and transducers. View full abstract»

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  • Wireless Measurement System for Capacitive pressure Sensors Using Strain Compensated SiGeB

    Page(s): 28 - 31
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (387 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A prototype of miniaturized, low power, bidirectional wireless communication system was designed for in vivo pressure monitoring. The capacitive pressure sensors have been developed particularly for the medical field, where packaging size and minimization of the power requirements of the sensors are the major drivers. The pressure sensors have been fabricated using a 2.4 mum thick strain compensated heavily boron doped SiGeB. In order to integrate the sensors with the wireless module, the sensor dice was wire bonded onto TO package using chip on board (COB) technology. The telemetric link and its capabilities to send information have been examined on a test bench. A full pressure range from 0 to 10 kPa was generated using either air or water pressure pumped through connected tubes to simulate the environment similar to the one inside the gastro intestinal (GI) tract. View full abstract»

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  • Hardware-Software Design for Autonomous Sensors

    Page(s): 32 - 35
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (498 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A new hardware-software interface for autonomous sensors has been designed with the objective of providing a low power consumption and high performance interface for the measuring of transduction elements commonly used in industrial applications: temperature, resistive bridges, accelerometers, capacitive and pressure sensors. It integrates a Generic Transducer Interface, which is an analog front-end for low frequency measurement applications and offers a duty-cycle output, and two other specialized interfaces for acceleration and pressure sensors. The pressure sensor interface is specifically designed for its use with Ikerlan-Cidetec patented flexible pressure sensors based on conductive polymers. The hardware-software platform is based on the new MICAz OEM module (MPR2600 from Crossbow) and the TinyOs operating system. View full abstract»

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  • Contactless Excitation and Readout of Passive Sensing Elements Made by Miniaturized Mechanical Resonators

    Page(s): 36 - 39
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (334 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Mechanical resonance has been contactless excited and detected in conductive nonmagnetic structures to be used as sensors without the need for external magnets, or electrical connections to the structure to supply current lines. An external coil generates a magnetic field at frequency f that induces eddy currents in the structure. The interaction between the eddy currents and the magnetic field itself causes Lorentz forces at frequency 2f that can set the structure into resonance. An additional dual-coil arrangement applies and senses a probing magnetic field at higher frequency and exploits it to measure the resonator vibrations. The principle was tested on millimeter-size metallic beams, obtaining operation distances in the order of 1 cm and values of the resonant frequencies in agreement with measurements taken by an optical system. The resulting resonators can be used as passive sensing elements for a variety of quantities, being especially attractive for harsh and inaccessible environments. View full abstract»

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  • A Low-Noise Switched-Capacitor Front End for Capacitive Sensor

    Page(s): 40 - 43
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (435 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents the analysis and design of an integrated low-noise switched-capacitor front-end circuit for capacitive sensors. The interface has been implemented with a relaxation oscillator. To prevent overload of the input amplifier for large input signals, a negative-feedback circuit controls the charge-transfer speed. It is shown; that this negative feedback can also be used to optimize the noise performance of the interface. The circuit has been designed and implemented in 0.7 mum standard CMOS technology. The effects of any additive and multiplicative interface errors have been reduced by applying three-signal auto-calibration. Experimental results show that application of negative feedback yields a resolution of more than 16 bits for measurement time of about 100 ms, which is at least 1 bit better than that of an earlier designed interface. View full abstract»

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  • Reliability Issues in Miniaturized Sensors: Importance of Standards. What is needed?

    Page(s): 44
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (80 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Summary form only given. The continued advancements in micro and nanotechnology (MNT) for the development of miniaturized sensors, actuators, and other emerging devices is growing at a rapid pace and predictions of future growth are impressive and exciting. The impact of these technologies are seen in many industrial sectors, recently for example in the semiconductor industry, the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) is in the process of adding working groups on MEMS. The reliability of these technologies also continues to grow in importance, as it is major factor in the success of MNT enabled products. New technologies can only gain acceptance by customers and consumers only when product reliability is not a concern or product life is well defined. Thus, the manufacturers of advanced sensor devices are constantly mindful of this fact, and incorporate reliability all through the product life cycle, from the early conceptual phase, through development and all the way to production introduction, product shipment and field operation. Along with the focus on reliability science, manufacturers today must be capable of fast yield ramps to recoup their investment costs. The semiconductor industry has shown the link between high yield and excellent field reliability. Thus the central question is, what is needed in the MNT product reliability arena for continued advancement? Quite simply, it is the existence of structure around the reliability aspects of this technology that will enhance field reliability for these emerging technologies. Important to such structure is the creation of standards especially relating to techniques for test and characterization of properties for materials used in miniaturized devices. Also necessary are predictive models for DfR (Design for Reliability) and early screening testing, allowing for less cycles of learning in fabrication (which translates to higher initial fab yields) and faster introduction to the marketplace. M- etrology, or the science of measurement, is sprinting to try to keep up with new developments in MNT technology. Metrology is critical to producing data in development and manufacturing of these new devices and this data is required for yield enhancement and reliability programs. One example of the importance of metrology is the use of nanoparticles in gas sensor applications. How does one measure quantify/characterize a distribution of nanometer sized particles, and how does one measure the adsorption of targeted gases to determine that these materials have excellent selectivity to the gases of interest? With the plethora of data gathered in the manufacturing line (through test structure metrology at each step) as well as producing accelerated testing data, the physics of failure can be identified through a structured FMEA process. Acceleration factors for the specific physics of failure for the various failure mechanisms of the high variety of sensors and MEMS are also necessary for long-term field performance prediction. Device manufacturers will claim reliability performance, but how does the customer qualify that the manufacturer's claims are accurate? A level of structure around application specific standards for reliability testing is required so that this industry can continue to develop at a record pace while sustaining high product reliability levels. View full abstract»

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  • An approach for the study of reliability for a MEMS magnetic actuator

    Page(s): 45 - 48
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (349 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a summary of the design for reliability and the reliability test procedures used for the design, fabrication and testing of a MEMS magnetic actuator. The MEMS device reliability is determined incorporating device structure, its fabrication process, the packaging, & their interacting contributions. The goal of the MEMS actuator reliability design task is to increase the probability of failure free operation of a MEMS based system for a specified time period and the use environment. The design for reliability and the subsequent reliability testing procedures are used to determine the reliability of the MEMS actuator and enable the determination of the reliability of the final product that the MEMS device is becoming part of. View full abstract»

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  • Wafer-Level Encapsulation and Sealing of Electrostatic HARPSS Transducers

    Page(s): 49 - 52
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1930 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper reports on a thin-film wafer-level encapsulation technique for packaging and CMOS integration of MEMS sensors and actuators fabricated through the HARPSS process. This approach takes advantage of the stationary parts of the micromechanical device itself for encapsulation of its sensitive moving parts, and therefore can be performed without addition of extensive processing steps. Encapsulated high frequency capacitive silicon resonators are demonstrated using this technique. Reliability and performance tests conducted on the encapsulated resonators reveal a high level of hermeticity and reliability with minimal interference with device operation. This technique can be applied to a wide variety MEMS sensors and actuators. Silicon transducers encapsulated using this approach can run through the regular IC fabrication and/or packaging processes. View full abstract»

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