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.
- chemical sensor
- gas preconcentrator
- microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
- Process Chemistry and Technology