An Easy to Manufacture Micro Gas Preconcentrator for Chemical Sensing Applications

Mitchell M. McCartney, Yuriy Zrodnikov, Alexander G. Fung, Michael K. Levasseur, Josephine M. Pedersen, Konstantin O. Zamuruyev, Alexander A. Aksenov, Nicholas J. Kenyon, Cristina E. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We have developed a simple-to-manufacture microfabricated gas preconcentrator for MEMS-based chemical sensing applications. Cavities and microfluidic channels were created using a wet etch process with hydrofluoric acid, portions of which can be performed outside of a cleanroom, instead of the more common deep reactive ion etch process. The integrated heater and resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) were created with a photolithography-free technique enabled by laser etching. With only 28 V DC (0.1 A), a maximum heating rate of 17.6 °C/s was observed. Adsorption and desorption flow parameters were optimized to be 90 SCCM and 25 SCCM, respectively, for a multicomponent gas mixture. Under testing conditions using Tenax TA sorbent, the device was capable of measuring analytes down to 22 ppb with only a 2 min sample loading time using a gas chromatograph with a flame ionization detector. Two separate devices were compared by measuring the same chemical mixture; both devices yielded similar peak areas and widths (fwhm: 0.032-0.033 min), suggesting reproducibility between devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1174
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 25 2017


  • chemical sensor
  • detectors
  • gas preconcentrator
  • microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • sorbent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Instrumentation


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