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20 July 1998 MEMS sensors and wireless telemetry for distributed systems
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Selectively coated cantilevers are being developed at ORNL for chemical and biological sensing. The sensitivity can exceed that of other electro-mechanical devices as parts- per-trillion detection can be demonstrated for certain species. We are now proceeding to develop systems that employ electrically readable microcantilevers in a standard MEMS process and standard CMOS processes. One of our primary areas of interest is chemical sensing for environmental applications. Towards this end, we are presently developing electronic readout of a mercury-sensitive coated cantilever. In order to field arrays of distributed sensors, a wireless network for data reporting is needed. For this, we are developing on-chip spread-spectrum encoding and modulation circuitry to improve the robustness and security of sensor data in typical interference- and multipath-impaired environments. We have also provided for a selection of distinct spreading codes to serve groups of sensors in a common environment by the application of code-division multiple-access techniques. Most of the RF circuity we have designed and fabricated in 0.5 micrometers CMOS has been tested and verified operational to above 1 GHz. Our initial intended operation is for use in the 915 MHz Industrial, Scientific, and Medical band. This paper presents measured data on the microcantilever-based mercury detector. We will also present design data and measurements of the RF telemetry chip.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

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