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Sensors 2014, 14(1), 957-974;

Challenges in the Design and Fabrication of a Lab-on-a-Chip Photoacoustic Gas Sensor

CEA, LETI, MINATEC Campus, 17 rue des Martyrs, Grenoble F-38054 Cedex 9, France
Groupe de Spectrométrie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7331, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Faculty of Science, Reims University, Moulin de la Housse, Reims F-51687 Cedex 2, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2013 / Revised: 18 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 8 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors - 2013)
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The favorable downscaling behavior of photoacoustic spectroscopy has provoked in recent years a growing interest in the miniaturization of photoacoustic sensors. The individual components of the sensor, namely widely tunable quantum cascade lasers, low loss mid infrared (mid-IR) waveguides, and efficient microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) microphones are becoming available in complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) compatible technologies. This paves the way for the joint processes of miniaturization and full integration. Recently, a prototype microsensor has been designed by the means of a specifically designed coupled optical-acoustic model. This paper discusses the new, or more intense, challenges faced if downscaling is continued. The first limitation in miniaturization is physical: the light source modulation, which matches the increasing cell acoustic resonance frequency, must be kept much slower than the collisional relaxation process. Secondly, from the acoustic modeling point of view, one faces the limit of validity of the continuum hypothesis. Namely, at some point, velocity slip and temperature jump boundary conditions must be used, instead of the continuous boundary conditions, which are valid at the macro-scale. Finally, on the technological side, solutions exist to realize a complete lab-on-a-chip, even if it remains a demanding integration problem. View Full-Text
Keywords: lab-on-a-chip; miniaturization; model; photoacoustic spectroscopy lab-on-a-chip; miniaturization; model; photoacoustic spectroscopy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Glière, A.; Rouxel, J.; Brun, M.; Parvitte, B.; Zéninari, V.; Nicoletti, S. Challenges in the Design and Fabrication of a Lab-on-a-Chip Photoacoustic Gas Sensor. Sensors 2014, 14, 957-974.

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