Theoretical and Experimental Investigations of Thermoresistive Micro Calorimetric Flow Sensors Fabricated by CMOS MEMS Technology

Wei Xu, Kui Song, Shenhui Ma, Bo Gao, Yi Chiu, Yi Kuen Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

A general 1-D model was presented to predict the characteristics of CMOS thermoresistive micro calorimetric flow (TMCF) sensor with two types of packaging, i.e., open-space type and channel type, for both gases and liquids. The 1-D model was first validated by a numerical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and was subsequently normalized for different fluids flow. Notably, the model proposed by Nguyen and Dötzel is a special case of our 1-D model. The normalized output of TMCF sensor is a function of normalized input parameters of Reynolds number Re and Prandtl number Pr. The scaling analysis of the sensor output, sensitivity, and power consumption was performed to optimize the design of TMCF sensors in terms of key design parameters, including the thin film thickness, the height of bottom cavity, and so on. Accordingly, three pairs of TMCF sensors were designed and fabricated by using a 0.35 μm 2P4M CMOS microelectromechanical systems technology. The fabricated sensors showed a normalized sensitivity of 230 mV/(m/s)/mW for nitrogen gas flow, which was two orders of magnitude higher than the previous CMOS flow sensors. Therefore, the proposed 1-D model is a promising tool for the sensor's system-level design with the on-chip microelectronics for the Internet of Things.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7542133
Pages (from-to)954-962
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2016

Keywords

  • 1-D sensor model
  • CMOS microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Micro calorimetric flow sensor
  • Prandtl number
  • Reynolds number
  • Thermoresistive

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