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Sensors 2011, 11(7), 6517-6532; doi:10.3390/s110706517

A Monolithically-Integrated μGC Chemical Sensor System

1,* , 2
1 Sandia National Laboratories, Integrated Microdevice Systems Department, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA 2 Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA 3 (Formerly of) Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA 4 3 Degrees of Separation, 444 East Second Street, Dayton, OH 45402, USA 5 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA 6 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA 7 Biosensors and Nanomaterials Department, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2011 / Revised: 3 June 2011 / Accepted: 20 June 2011 / Published: 24 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultra-Small Sensor Systems and Components)
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Gas chromatography (GC) is used for organic and inorganic gas detection with a range of applications including screening for chemical warfare agents (CWA), breath analysis for diagnostics or law enforcement purposes, and air pollutants/indoor air quality monitoring of homes and commercial buildings. A field-portable, light weight, low power, rapid response, micro-gas chromatography (μGC) system is essential for such applications. We describe the design, fabrication and packaging of mGC on monolithically-integrated Si dies, comprised of a preconcentrator (PC), μGC column, detector and coatings for each of these components. An important feature of our system is that the same mechanical micro resonator design is used for the PC and detector. We demonstrate system performance by detecting four different CWA simulants within 2 min. We present theoretical analyses for cost/power comparisons of monolithic versus hybrid μGC systems. We discuss thermal isolation in monolithic systems to improve overall performance. Our monolithically-integrated μGC, relative to its hybrid cousin, will afford equal or slightly lower cost, a footprint that is 1/2 to 1/3 the size and an improved resolution of 4 to 25%.
Keywords: monolithic integration; μGC; cost modeling; thermal isolation; CWA simulants monolithic integration; μGC; cost modeling; thermal isolation; CWA simulants
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Manginell, R.P.; Bauer, J.M.; Moorman, M.W.; Sanchez, L.J.; Anderson, J.M.; Whiting, J.J.; Porter, D.A.; Copic, D.; Achyuthan, K.E. A Monolithically-Integrated μGC Chemical Sensor System. Sensors 2011, 11, 6517-6532.

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